Carter sworn in as councilman

By Thomas Wilson
star staff

  Bill J. Carter was sworn in as a term member of the Elizabethton City Council at Thursday night's council meeting by former city attorney and sitting General Sessions Court Judge John Walton.
  Carter bested Judy Donley in last Thursday's special city election to win a two-year term to the council. A longtime city firefighter and later fire chief, Carter was appointed to council last year to fill the unexpired term of Diane Morris.
  The Carter County Election Commission certified Aug. 5 election results with the Division of Elections under the Tennessee Secretary of State's office on Thursday.
  Carter's swearing in highlighted a rather uneventful council meeting.
  An item generating the most discussion involved a purchase request for cellular telephone agreement for city employees. The council voted 7-0 to award the city's cellular telephone contract to the lowest bidder, Premier Wireless of Bristol, Va.
  Despite the low bid, Councilwoman Nancy Alsup questioned whether the number of cell phones provided by Premier - a total of 52 - was excessive for the city. City Manager Charles Stahl said the phones were designated for use by the public works, fire and police departments, and other city employees that could be called under emergency circumstances.
  "They are largely assigned to those groups of employees who merit after-hours contact in the event of an emergency situation," said Stahl.
  City director of purchasing, Gene Deloach, told council members the phones were available to the city at no cost under the proposal. Five companies submitted bids ranging in amount from $15,120 to $38,599 to provide cell phone service to the city. Premier Wireless and Aircomm Cellular of Elizabethton were the only two bidders that met specifications set forth in the request for proposals. The Premier bid of approximately $19,870 was roughly $15,000 less than the other company.
  In other business, the council voted 7-0 approving an agreement between the city and the South Elizabethton Utility District permitting disconnection of water service to district customers who do not pay their city sewer bill.
  The city provides sewer services to some SEUD customers. Under the agreement, the utility district would disconnect water service to a district customer who failed to pay his or her city sewer bill. The city would provide SEUD notice of customers that had not paid the sewer bill. The district would restore water service after the customer provided a receipt of payment to the city and payment of a service fee to SEUD to reconnect water service.
  The council voted 7-0 approving on first reading a recommendation from the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission to close an alley located between Field Road and Carter Boulevard. The request was made to the city by Immanuel Baptist Church. The closure agreement includes a provision that a utility easement located in the alley be retained and the church provide a 20-foot easement extending from the alley to Field Road on the west side of the property.
   The council also voted 7-0 to approve the following agenda items:
  -Adopted on second reading an ordinance on the city's 2005 fiscal year budget amendment
  -Approved paying the remainder of $5,982 in annual Appalachian League dues for the Elizabethton Twins baseball team
  -Approved paying annual membership dues of $3,918 to the Tennessee Municipal League
  -Approved a state-imposed maintenance fee of $11,700 to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.