Council to consider 'speed bump' proposal next month
By Bob Robinson


   Several residents of Mill Street appeared before Elizabethton City Council last night to complain of speeding motorists and heavy trucks using the street.
   Motorists take Mill Street as a shortcut between West Elk Avenue and Bristol Highway, thereby avoiding traffic and traffic lights on West Elk Avenue and Broad Street.
   "We favor use of speed bumps on Mill Street to slow traffic down." Another resident said traffic was so heavy "it was dangerous to back out of her driveway."
   Mayor Sam LaPorte said speeding is a problem in every neighborhood in the city and that Council needed to look at alternative methods to slow traffic down.
   "We don't have enough police officers to be everywhere motorists are speeding," Mayor LaPorte said.
   The mayor then deferred until next month's Council meeting consideration of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) to give Council members more time to study the proposal.
   Speed bumps, a "traffic calming device," are part of the NTMP recommended by the Elizabethton Planning Commission.
   Burning ban -- Elizabethton City Manager Charles Stahl said there is a "burning ban" inside the city due to extreme drought conditions. Residents should not burn leaves or other items without first obtaining a permit from the Elizabethton Fire Chief, Stahl said.
   Memorial Park -- Council, unanimously, voted to approve the development of a Veterans War Memorial Park to honor all veterans who died in World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and Desert Storm.
   The memorial is to be built in City Park, corner of Elk Avenue and Pine Street, from donations and in-kind contributions.
   Roy Merryman, member of the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans War Memorial Committee, expressed appreciation to City Council for their support.
   Other members of the Veterans War Memorial Committee attended the Council meeting, including State Sen. Rusty Crowe.
   Council members Pat "Red" Bowers, Richard Sammons, Sam Shipley and Mayor LaPorte spoke in favor of the project.
   In other action, Council:
   * Adopted proclamations setting Saturday, Nov. 10, Elizabethton Soccer Association Appreciation Day; setting Friday, Nov. 9, as Baughman Manufacturing U-8 Cobras Day in recognition of the 2001 Championship Soccer Team; recognizing October 30 as Weatherization Assistance Day;
   * Adopted a resolution commending Mayor Sam LaPorte, recipient of the National Boys and Girls Club of America Service Medallion, one of the highest honors to be presented by the organization;
   * Reappointed Nancy Alsup and Sam LaPorte to the Planning Commission and Zoning Appeals Board; and J. B. Shepherd, Andrew McKeehan and Pat Holtsclaw to the Personnel Advisory Board;
   * Adopted a resolution establishing a "formal policy" on uniform rules for bids, contracts and agreements entered into on behalf of the City of Elizabethton;
   * Adopted, on first reading, an ordinance increasing fines and court costs in City Court;
   * Approved a budget amendment requested by the Elizabethton Airport to reinstate $170,000 funds rolled over into a fund balance previously approved for airport runway extension;
   * Approved the expenditure of approximately $60,000 to purchase a video camera for the Wastewater Treatment Division of Elizabethton Public Works Department;
   * Approved bids to demolish a structure at 809 N. Main St., acquired under the flood grant and recommended by the City Planning and Development Department;
   * Adopted a resolution transferring ownership of the historic train owned by the City of Elizabethton to the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce;
   * Approved bids and purchases, totaling $134,280, of which $38,416 is for bulk rock salt for use by the Street Department this winter.