The following represents an unofficial account of the significant items discussed and/or voted upon during the September 9,  2013 City Council Regular Meeting. The complete agenda packet as well as a video of the meeting can be viewed here. Draft meeting minutes will be posted at the city website, most likely, as part of the October 14th Regular Meeting Agenda packet.


Airport Presentation by Billy Stair, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority Click Here: OR_Airport Project Update_1309 Final

VII. CONSENT AGENDA 9 items total, 1 removed by Baughn, remaining 8 passed by unanimous vote

d. Authorize City to submit a grant application to the Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management and accept said grant if approved.

e. Awarding a contract to Loudon County Fence for the installation of fencing for the dog park at Big Turtle Park  $27,767. (paid for entirely by a private grant)

g. Resolution awarding a bid in the estimated amount of $101,871 to Wesco Distribution, Inc., for underground electric cable.

h. Authorizing a grant application to TDOT to reimburse the City up to 50% of the net operating expenses of the City’s Public Transportation Program in the estimated amount of $165,533

i. Authorize approximately $25,000 from the Special Programs Fund for pedestrian crosswalk safety improvements on Emory Valley Road at the Emory Valley Center.

Removed from Consent Agenda

f. Resolution awarding two contracts to Dixie Roofing, Inc. for the replacement of metal and member roofs at the Water Treatment Plant. Estimated amounts of $170,575 and $241,395. passed 6-1 with Baughn voting “Nay”  *This spending is directly tied to the water increases referenced below. Note that they have nothing to do with the EPA administrative order.


a. Purchase of three new fire engines from Sutphen Corp for approximately $1,446,437. Passed unanimously

b. Contract extension for employee medical insurance with the state local government health insurance program for $4,520,000. Passed unanimously

c. Multiple contract awards for temporary staffing services totaling $225,000. Passed unanimously

d. Select site location for a new equalization basin (EAST PLANT EQ BASIN)* Passed unanimously

e. Select site location for a new equalization basin (EMORY VALLEY EQ BASIN -SITE A)* Hensley moved to select Site B; passed unanimously; amended  resolution passed unanimously

f. Select site location for a new equalization basin (ILLINOIS EQ BASIN — SITE A)* Hensley moved to select Site B; amended  resolution passed 4-3 with Beehan, Hensley, Hope & Miller voting “Aye;” Baughn, Garland, Mosby voted “Nay”

*My previous assertion, that the costs of the alternative sites would exceed those of the recommended sites, was incorrect. I could not support Site B for item f because it involved using taxpayer money to purchase private property. We had the option to use existing city land and continue collecting revenues off the private property. 

g. Contract amendment with TVA to establish an electric rate increase totaling 2.63% effective October 1, 2013 Passed unanimously

IX. Public Hearing and First Reading of an Ordinance

  1. Personnel Plan Amendment: Update sections to clarify the definition of compensation, philosophy and policy, specify service requirements for promotion eligibility, add a new section on bonuses and provide a totally revised Grievance Procedure Baughn motioned to amend the time allowed for employees to file a grievance from 10 to 30 days. Motion and amended resolution passed unanimously.
  2. Water Rate Increases to take effect January 2014 & January 2015 * Motion passed 6-1 with Baughn voting “Nay”
  3. Wastewater increases to take effect January 2014 & January 2015* Motion passed 6-1 with Baughn voting “Nay”

*Read my analysis and position statements on these increases here.

X. FINAL ADOPTION OF ORDINANCES (see voting results from the first reading here.)

  1. Second and final reading of sign ordinance amendment regarding electronic signs. Hensley motioned to amend to allow scrolling text and limited movement; motion passed 5-2 with Beehan and Garland voting “Nay”; amended ordinance passed 6-1 with Beehan voting “Nay”
  2. Second and final reading of amended ordinance to establish the Oak Ridge Land Bank Corporation Motion passed 6-1 with Baughn voting “Nay”
  3. Second and final reading of amended ordinance to expand residential inspection district Passed unanimously


b. Mayor Beehan moved to nominate Jane Miller in his place to the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce’s Initiative Steering Committee Passed unanimously


  1. I know you’re probably taking a lot of heat for your common sense approach to city problems and your reluctance to spend city (citizens) money without analyzing other options but don’t quit. We citizens have got to have someone that realizes money doesn’t grow on trees.

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