published Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: East Ridge may make city property tobacco-free

East Ridge parks, recreational fields, courts and public safety stations soon may be smoke-free after city officials asked for an ordinance to be drawn up prohibiting all forms of tobacco on city property.

City Manager Tim Gobble said it's hoped the measure will make the city cleaner and, in the long run "maybe help us lower our insurance premiums."

Gobble said Friday he was drawing up two versions of an ordinance: One would make all city property tobacco-free, and the other would allow for designated smoking areas.

Recreation director Stump Martin said it was important to distinguish between "smoke-free" and "tobacco-free" at Camp Jordan's facilities.

"We don't want to have coaches chewing and spitting in front of players," he said.

Smoking already is prohibited inside city buildings and city vehicles.

East Ridge to discuss taking back sewers

East Ridge officials are asking for public input as they consider taking control of their sewers back from the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority and forming their own sewer board.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday at East Ridge City Hall, 1517 Tombras Ave.

The discussion follows the WWTA's recent vote to study whether it needs to increase East Ridge's rates, the authority's Chris Clem said. The WWTA board approved the study after East Ridge decided to enforce a $200 fee for cutting into city streets.

Because of a major sewer overhaul expected over the next three years, WWTA officials say the fee could cost them more than $1 million.

Gobble said enforcing the fee is necessary to help make future repairs. WWTA board members say they can't raise rates on other customers to pay East Ridge.

The city turned over its sewer lines to the WWTA in 2001.

Vehicle show to honor late judge

The Harrison Ruritan Club's eighth annual open car, truck and motorcycle show is set for May 27 and will be held in honor of the late General Sessions Judge Bob Moon.

Moon, who had been a General Sessions judge since 1996, died in January of what officials believed was a heart attack.

"Bob was a beloved Ruritan member and a proud owner of top quality show vehicles, usually seen at this annual event," club Chairman Jim Holcomb said in a news release.

The show will be held at the Tennessee Riverpark off Amnicola Highway near Chattanooga State Community College. For more information, call Holcomb at 413-6140.

about Judy Walton...

Judy Walton has worked 25 years at the Chattanooga Times and the Times Free Press as an editor and reporter focusing on government coverage and investigations. At various times she has been an assistant metro editor, region reporter and editor, county government reporter, government-beat team leader, features editor and page designer. Originally from California, Walton was brought up in a military family and attended a dozen schools across the country. She earned a journalism degree ...

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