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Fort Oglethorpe OKs purchasing new server for fire department

The Fort Oglethorpe Police Department is continuing with its technology upgrades as city officials have approved the purchase of a new server to go along with a newly purchased software system.

During the March 11 City Council meeting, Fire Chief Chuck Ballew presented a bid for recommendation and explained that a new server would be very welcomed.

"I come before you tonight to purchase a Titan commercial server with Windows server 2019," Fire Chief Bruce Ballew said. "The price will be $7,387 and this will replace the server we have now, which the software on it will run out Dec. 31 of this year.

In late January, the city approved the purchase of new software for the department and Ballew says the new server is to accommodate the new software.

"Our server is not equipped to handle the new software, so we'd like to have your approval to purchase the server," Ballew explained.

The software purchase included a $5,460 one-time fee as well as a $1,525 annual fee for a total of $6,985, which brings the grant total for the server and software to $14,372.

"This also has the Gasboy (fuel management system) on it and the operating system for the pumps and stuff," Ballew said.


80 percent A's and B's; no failures

Catoosa County

The Rock Fitness Center

2630 Pine Grove Road, Ringgold

Score: 80

Inspection date: March 15

Inspector Notes: Observed main entry door's self latching mechanism was not functioning properly. Observed skimmer weirs were missing in multiple skimmers. Observed deck and pool floor with debris. Observed ventilation system showing evidence of not being in good repair.

Cloud Springs Deli

4097 Cloud Springs Road, Ringgold

Score: 91

Inspection date: March 15

Inspector Notes: Observed TCS foods being held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit in prep top cooler (see temperature log). Observed TCS food (chili) prepared the day before being stored in a reach in cooler at a temperature greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heritage High School

3960 Poplar Springs Road, Ringgold

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 14

Heritage Middle School

4005 Poplar Springs Road, Ringgold

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 14

Subway (drive-thru)

2865 Battlefield Pkwy, Fort Oglethorpe

Score: 97

Inspection date: March 14

Inspector notes: Observed food service employee wearing a bracelet while preparing food.

Baskin Robbins

2847 Battlefield Pkwy, Ft. Oglethorpe

Score: 97

Inspection date: March 14

Inspector notes: Observed employee preparing food while wearing a bracelet.

Villa Hotel

5437 Alabama Hwy, Ringgold

Score: 79

Inspection date: March 14

Inspector notes: Observed the presence of flies, gnats, and possible bed bugs in room 205 and 206. Observed no paperwork on file for the last annual fire inspection. Observed toilet bowl bolts exposed (covers missing) in rooms 205 and 120. Observed PIC unable to provide pest control records. Observed door in room 120 not tight fitting to protect against the entry of pest (daylight visible around exterior entry door). Observed walls in room 128 and 205 showing wear and in need of repainting, base cove missing on wall behind entry door in room 224, and floors behind furniture, especially bed frames and chests of drawers not clean. Observed HVAC unit filters were not clean in rooms 204, 205, 120, and 128. Observed personal items left in room (lost and found) stored on housekeeping cart in contact with clean replacement supplies.

Trinity Services Group Inc, Catoosa County Jail

5842 Hwy 41 N, Ringgold

Score: 93

Inspection date: March 13

Inspector notes: Observed dish machine with a sanitizer concentration less than the required effective concentration. Observed pan of hash-browns tightly covered with plastic wrap during cooling.

Wrath Brewing Co.

61 RBC Drive, Ringgold

Score: 93

Inspection date: March 13

Inspector notes: Observed bottle of sanitizer not labeled. Observed wet wiping towel lying on prep table.

Wendy's (LaFayette Road)

401 Battlefield Pkwy, Fort Oglethorpe

Score: 83

Inspection date: March 12

Inspector notes: Observed reach-in cooler no holding at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below. TCS foods cold holding between 47-48 degrees Fahrenheit in cooler (including salad dressings, milk, creamer, salsa and sour cream). Observed time as a public health control for safety procedures not being done correctly. TCS foods on prep top/front line were cold holding above 41 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no recording or knowledge of start or discard time for TCS foods using time as a control. No initial temperature recorded to verify TCS foods were at 41 degrees Fahrenheit at the start of the 4 hour time control. Observed several TCS food items in the walk-in cooler not date marked. Food included cooked hamburgers, shredded cheeses, chopped lettuce, and tomatoes. Observed several cracked and broken plastic lids being used for covering food. Observed hand washing sink not draining properly. Hand washing sink holds water when in use, does not drain. Observed grease build-up under cooking equipment (grill and fryers).

Spencer B's BBQ

6581 Hwy 41, Ringgold

Score: 96

Inspection date: March 11

Inspector notes: Observed clean utensils air drying in rack stored handle down. Observed air curtains over non-self closing drive-thru and walk up windows were unplugged.

Moe's Southwest Grill

73 Parkway Drive, Rossville

Score: 97

Inspection date: March 11

Inspector notes: Observed condiment bottles on front line with no labels.

Pizza Hut Delivery — 711715

1919 Battlefield Pkwy, Fort Oglethorpe

Score: 81

Inspection date: March 8

Inspector notes: Observed improper hand washing by food service employees. Employee went from handling money and working at the register back to preparing food, while only washing hands for 5-10 seconds. Observed no employee reporting agreements for employees. 511-6-1.03(4)(a)(b)©(e)(f) — Responsibility of permit holder, PIC, and Conditional employees (P), (Pf) (a) Requirement to Report Symptoms, Diagnosis and History of Exposure. The permit holder shall require food employees and conditional employees to report to the CFSM and person in charge, information about their health and activities as they relate to diseases that are transmissible through food. A food employee or conditional employee shall report the information in a manner that allows the CFSM and person in charge to reduce the risk of food-borne disease transmission, including providing necessary additional information, such as the date of onset of symptoms and an illness, or of a diagnosis without symptoms, if the food employee or conditional employee. Observed an open employee drink stored on a shelf above boxes of food. Observed no paper towels available at the only hand washing sink in service. Observed repair equipment and paper towels lying in hand washing sink. Observed food service employee not wearing a hair restraint while preparing food. Observed debris build-up on top of pizza oven, on sides of hand washing sinks, and on top and sides of ware washing machines. Also observed food debris build-up on all shelving units in the facility. Shelving for clean dishes, pizza boxes, dry goods, and shelves in the walkin cooler all need to be cleaned. Observed heavy build-up of food debris on floors and walls throughout the facility especially around the ware washing machine. Observed extreme heavy build-up of charred debris and grease all over pizza oven hood. Plastic flaps hanging down also need to be cleaned or replaced.

Winners Development LLC

59 Kellerhalls Lane, Fort Oglethorpe

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 8

Super 8 — Fort Oglethorpe

2044 Lafayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe

Score: 98

Inspection date: 03-08

Inspector notes: Observed tub drains in rooms 225 and 213 were missing.

Kentucky Fried Chicken — Alabama Hwy

5387 Alabama Hwy, Ringgold

Score: 96

Inspection date: March 7

Inspector notes: Observed sanitizer bucket being stored in contact with food product (mashed potato mix).

Walker County

China Buffet

1141 N Main St., LaFayette

Score: 88

Inspection date: March 15

Inspector notes: Observed potentially hazardous food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Observed Eggs in the walk in cooler and Ranch dressing at the cold bar above 41 degrees. Wiping cloth chlorine sanitizing solution not at proper minimum strength.

Hardees — Rossville

300 McFarland Ave., Rossville

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 14

Mountain View Head Start

403 Chickamauga Ave., Suite 201, Rossville

Score: 91

Inspection date: March 14

Inspector notes: Cooked meats or poultry not held at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Observed fried pork held below 135 degrees.

Rock City Cliff Terrace

1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Score: 100

Inspection Date: March 14

Fairyland Elementary

1306 Lula Lake Road, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 14

Oakwood Baptist Church

115 Oakwood St., Chickamauga

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 13

Ridgeland High School

2478 Happy Valley Road, Rossville

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 13

Arby's — 6478

1103 N Main St., LaFayette

Score: 82

Inspection date: March 12

Inspector notes: Observed not hot water in facility. The tankless hot water system was not functioning correctly at the time of inspection. Observed tcs foods (ham, corned beef) held above 41 fon prep table cooler.

Rock Spring Elementary

375 Hwy 95, Rock Spring

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 12

Choo Choo BBQ — Chickamauga

13070 Hwy 27 North, Chickamauga

Score: 91

Inspection date: March 11

Inspector notes: Worker seen handling ready to eat (?FOOD ITEM?) with bare hands when glove or utensil use is required. Observed worker slicing lemons for drinks with bare hands.

Rossville Middle School

316 Bulldog Trail, Rossville

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 11

Rossville Elementary School

1250 Wilson Road, Rossville

Score: 100

Inspection date: March 7

REPORT EXPLANATION AND SUMMARY

Explanation of grade/score

A — Food safety excellence with a numerical score of 90 to 100.

B — Satisfactory compliance with a numerical score of 80 to 89.

C — Marginal compliance with a numerical score of 70 to 79.

U — Unsatisfactory compliance with a numerical score of 69 or less.

Summary of inspection

A+ (100) — Walker, 8; Catoosa, 3

A (90-99) — Walker, 2; Catoosa, 9

B (80-89) — Walker, 2; Catoosa, 3

C (70-79) — Walker, 0; Catoosa, 1

U (below 70) — Walker, 0; Catoosa, 0


Fort Oglethorpe to buy new HVAC unit for City Hall

Officials in the city of Fort Oglethorpe have signed off on the purchase of a new HVAC system for City Hall.

During the March 11 City Council meeting, Building and Zoning Director Rick Quarles presented the council with a recommendation to replace the existing outdated unit.

"The Department of Building Planning and Zoning recommends approval of a 30-ton HVAC unit," Quarles said. "It's to replace the 20-ton unit that serves central areas of City Hall, part of DFACS (The Department of Family and Children Services), and part of the courtroom area."

Quarles said existing units at City Hall have aged significantly, and said other units have already been replaced.

In July 2018, the board purchased two five-ton units for the area of City Hall that houses the police department.

Quarles said the main unit in question is 35 years old.

"The unit currently is 1983 original equipment," Quarles said. "This new unit will come with new curve adapters, and they also need a crane to install in on the roof; it's going to be a pretty big job. It'll also have an economizer too, which is something that'll keep compressors from wearing out.

The board unanimously approved the purchase of the new unit in the amount of $3,103.22.

Although the unit will support the main area of City Hall, Quarles says the building could need more upgrades in the future.

"We have 12," Quarles said. "We replaced two in the evidence room, and we replaced one in the IT area, but there are still several up there."


TSPLOST gets an emphatic 'NO'
Transportation tax proposal loses 4,833 votes to 1,399

Steven Henry

Catoosa County residents shot down a proposed one-percent transportation tax increase Tuesday night, March 19, by voting an overwhelming "no" in a much-anticipated special election.

The TSPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) was defeated 4,833 to 1,399 Tuesday night following a late surge in voter turnout.

The tax, which is designed to garner revenue for infrastructure projects such as road paving and bridge repairs, was expected to create approximately $60 million in revenue for the county over the next five-year cycle.

The referendum vote has become a huge debate in the county over the past few months as commissioners pushed for the bill to avoid a property tax hike, while residents became increasingly vocal about being saddled with an additional special tax.

While voter turnout was light during the three weeks of early voting (2,211 ballots cast of 41,756 active voters for a 5.3 percent clip), but rose to right at 15 percent (6,232 votes) by the time all the ballots were tabulated.

The vote has been a big issue over the past few months, as Catoosa County officials estimated it would fetch approximately $60 million in revenue over a five-year cycle.

The county, as well as the cities of Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold, hashed out a 70/20/10 split of the expected revenue, which would equate to $42 million for Catoosa County, $12 million for Fort Oglethorpe, and $6 million for Ringgold.

All that planning and preparation is out the window now as residents made a statement with the election results.

"I voted no because I didn't want another special tax out there," Fort Oglethorpe resident Ken Price said. "I feel like the county should handle taxpayer money a little better instead of trying to put another tax in place when they want money for something."

Meanwhile, Ringgold resident Peggy Reynolds says she voted "yes" for the SPLOST because she wants to see road repairs near her home and work.

"There are just a lot of roads out there that need attention," Reynolds said. "I drive over bad spots every day, and from what I was hearing, the money would go for that type of needed work."

A week prior to the special election, commissioners pitched a bypass project on Graysville Road to combat longstanding railroad crossing issues, but even that promised project was not enough to sway voters to support the tax.

Chairman Steven Henry said that project could only be completed with funds accumulated if the TSPLOST was passed.

"Without TSPLOST, we don't have the funding to do this project," Henry said during a March 12 press conference on the matter.

With TSPLOST now defeated, commissioners will have to pay for road work out of budgeted general funding, the existing SPLOST, and through grants like the LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant).

A property tax hike seems almost a certainty for later this year after commissioners pushed the TSPLOST as an alternative to such an increase.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009.

I voted no because I didn't want another special tax out there. I feel like the county should handle taxpayer money a little better instead of trying to put another tax in place when they want money for something.

Fort Oglethorpe resident Ken Price