published Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Spring City manager sees new leaders bringing fresh ideas

SPRING CITY, Tenn. — A leadership overhaul in Spring City government will offer a diverse perspective on upcoming needs and tourism-related changes, the new city manager says.

"It's added value from talking through [situations] with different perspectives," Stephania Motes, the former city recorder, said of the city's leadership changes since September.

That was when former Rhea County Executive Billy Ray Patton was elected mayor and Jody Bauer and Max Douglas were elected to the Spring City Commission.

City commissioners fired former City Manager Vicki Doster in January, and voted unanimously in April to place Motes in the position. Motes had served as interim city manager.

Motes pointed out that all the leadership changes wouldn't deter officials from maintaining certain efforts begun earlier by former Mayor Mary Sue Garrison and Doster.

As for her leadership, Motes said that she wants to "focus on being relevant to the immediate needs of the community, and be there for the citizens."

The commission has discussed plans to pave deteriorating streets and concentrate on infrastructure, she said.

Patton said officials plan to rehabilitate 54 water lines that will extend to Ideal Valley Road by June 2013.

Both Motes and Patton said the commission plans to keep its goal of growing tourism.

In another matter, the opening of the $322,435 splash pad water attraction in Veterans Park is scheduled for Saturday.

Last year, the commission accepted a bid by Rich Construction Inc., of Lenoir City, Tenn., to build the attraction, while Vortex Aquatic Structures International designed the blue and green water feature.

Other tourism plans, Patton said, include a monthly cruise-in and a canoe launch at Veterans Park later this year, along with fishing tournaments off New Lake Road in 2014. Plans for a dog park in the downtown area are "on the back burner for now," he said.

Applications for the city recorder position are available until May 20 at www.town ofspringcitytn.org.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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