On January 12, 2023, Ridgely’s board meeting opened with a prayer by Alderman Crittenden. After roll call, the minutes from the prior board meeting were approved. A motion to approve the financial report but only to pay bills that are due. A vote on the financial report was postponed until next month.
The board turned to new business with Mayor Jones announcing Alderman Libern “Bubba” Henson’s resignation; a motion to accept Henson’s resignation was approved. Alderman Crittenden recommended Renee Bledsoe, previous mayoral candidate for the City of Ridgely and a former city alderman, be appointed alderman; the motion was approved. Bledsoe was sworn into office by the city attorney.
The board discussed bids been received from three contractors to repair the city’s fire station roof: Hales Construction $16,200; Clinton Construction $23,280; American Roofing Softwash $23,806.03. The board moved to accept the bid from Hales Construction. An issue was raised that the fire department has a bad mold problem which will need to be addressed.
Since 2021, the city has been under a directed order from the Tennessee Division of Environment and Conservation to correct sewer overflow. The prior city attorney appealed TDEC’s order, but the appeal was denied. Mayor Jones recently met with TLM, an engineering company, officials to discuss TLM’s proposal to develop and file a corrective action plan with the state for the city to come into compliance with TDEC’s standards. TDEC and City of Ridgely are entering into mediation over the sewer overflow issue. The city’s sewer lagoon has algae growth and two feet of sludge which is contributing to the sewer overflow. TLM indicated that it would cost the city about $434,000 to install two aerators at the lagoon. TLM officials advised Mayor Jones that it identified a company, Triple Point, that could install aeration fans in the sewage lagoon to eliminate algae growth. According to Mayor Jones, if the city doesn’t implement its corrective action plan, the city could face being fined a minimum of about $5,000 per month. TLM officials also advised that they would search for possible grant and funding resources for the city to install aeration units. A motion was approved to proceed with TLM’s proposal.
The city has communicated with Gibson Electric about replacing the rusty electric poles located downtown with new wooden poles. Efforts are also being made to convert existing lights into LED lights.