Coming to Alcoa: $500 fine for not mowing the lawn
By Iva Butler | (email@example.com)
Penalties for offenses such as not cutting your grass could get a lot more expensive in Alcoa with the new position of administrative hearing officer.
Alcoa City Commission Tuesday night approved an ordinance on first reading to create the new position, which would give the city more enforcement power on city codes. The ordinance must pass second and final reading before becoming law.
A few years ago the legislature passed a law permitting administrative hearing officers as a parallel function to city court, said Assistant City Manager Bill Hammon.
Currently, the city judge is limited to fining an individual a maximum of $5 for offenses. The hearing officer could levy a penalty of up to $500.
The administrative hearing officer could hear cases on “any city codes we enforce,” he said. That would include nuisance, requiring grass and weeds to be mowed, condemnation of buildings and areas that need cleanup through demolition, Hammon said.
Other communities considering establishing the position are Maryville, Knoxville, Farragut and Oak Ridge.
Holiday signage OK’d
The commission also approved these ordinances on first reading:
• To allow extra temporary signage for businesses from the Friday after Thanksgiving through Dec. 26 to try to increase holiday sales. Temporary signage for special events would be allowed for seven days before the event. The law would require they be removed the next day.
Signs can be up to 24 square feet and cannot exceed six feet in height. Signs cannot be placed on public property or in the road right of way.
• Annexation of the remaining portion of the Wrights Ferry Road rights of way between east of Topside Road to existing corporate limits and between Pellissippi Parkway/Stewart Lane and the CSX Railway bridge. This will end the confusion on which police jurisdiction should respond to wrecks on the road, whether Alcoa Police Department or Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
• Appropriated an additional $362,300 for completion of Greenway projects. A state grant was received for $224,040, and the city would have to pay $138,206 as a local match.
More Greenway trails
The commission appropriated funds to construct Greenway trails from Springbrook Road to Meadowood Apartments; sidewalk along Louisville Road/Culton Creek to the new pedestrian bridge; and Meadowood Apartments to Clayton Headquarters off Old Knoxville Highway.
Trails added to the original appropriation are a bike trail along Lincoln Road, Springbrook Trail and Wrights Road; trail along Alcoa Little League and down to the elementary school (funded by Strider’s Walking Club); and behind Alcoa Municipal Building that goes around the lake (cost shared by Blount Memorial Hospital).
Most projects are funded 80 percent by state grants and 20 percent by local match.
• Eliminating Unified Business District J, which has been replaced by another zone.
In further action the commission:
• Approved on second and final reading closing an unimproved alley off Lewis Street.
• Agreed to sell a remnant piece of property beside Pellissippi Parkway at Old Knoxville Highway to Blount Industrial Board.
• Approved obtaining property by condemnation if necessary for the widening Old Knoxville Highway at Pellissippi Place. Tennessee Department of Transportation may let bids on the widening project in November.
• Awarded the bid for testing, maintenance and repair services for substation equipment and field devices to Liberty Power Services Inc. of Bean Station.
• Authorized the mayor to execute an agreement with S&ME Inc. for biological stream sampling and pathogen monitoring at a cost not to exceed $11,559.
• Awarded the bid on various paper products from various vendors. The city decided to take bids on paper products from all departments as a cost-saving effort, said Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson. He commended employees Patricia Tipton and Amy Fields for their extensive work on the project.
• Gave the contract to low bidder Quality Machine & Welding of Knoxville on the fabricated steel debris shield required by CSX Railroad at the railroad track overpass on the Culton Creek section of the Greenway. The low bid is $33,367.
• Declared the radio antenna tower at Overlook Reservoirs as surplus and authorized its sale.
• Authorized a change order for the final amounts of the Pennsylvania Avenue sewer rehabilitation project. Final contract amount went from $749,770 to $765,583.
TVA rate increase
• Approved TVA’s nonfuel rate adjustment increasing by 1.6 percent wholesale and retail electric rates effective Oct. 1 to pay for new generating equipment and pollution control costs. Alcoa Electric Department Director Eddie Tramel said savings on the October fuel charge from TVA will more than offset the increase.
• Authorized Alcoa’s participation in the Tennessee Municipal League safety program matching grant program that will reimburse up to $2,000 for fire department safety purchases. The department will use the money toward the purchase of a MSA Thermal Imaging Camera for $4,800.