City Bond Board Approves Issuance Of Up To $9 Million In Bonds For Aetna Mountain Tax Increment Financing In 5-1 Vote

Monday, October 15, 2012

The City Bond Board, after hearing lengthy presentations from the developer as well as opponents, on Monday voted 5-1 to issue up to $9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bonds for a major development on Aetna Mountain in Lookout Valley.

Developers Doug Stein and Gary and Bobby Chazen say they are planning "a small town" on top of the mountain that is now wilderness and most frequented by four-wheeler enthusiasts. Ten people have signed up thus far to build homes in the development. As many as 1,400 homes are envisioned.

The motion was passed with the agreement that a legal opinion will be issued that the project qualifies under state requirements for TIFs. Attorney John Konvalinka, representing project foe Helen Burns Sharp, said he has serious doubts that it does qualify. One suggestion was to get an opinion from the state attorney general's office.

Attorney George Masterson of Nashville, bond counsel for the project, said the developers will front the money to build a spine road up the mountain and to the town center along with a sewer line. He said they would make "draws" on an escrow account taken from taxes in the TIF district. The current "base tax" amount is $32,000.

He noted that the taxes going into escrow would not include the school portion, money for normal city or county debt service and a five percent administrative fee.

City Councilwoman Deborah Scott, whose District 1 includes the project area, asked that it be further studied, saying it was "not ready for prime time."

She said TIFs were mainly set up for "blighted" areas. "This is not a blighted area," she said.

Councilwoman Scott also said that there is only one access road to the community. She said Lookout and Signal mountains "both have two."

Bond Board Chairman Ted Mills said the project had already been approved by the County Commission and City Council and the bond board was to just make sure the paperwork was in order. Councilwoman Scott told him, "This board is not a rubber stamp."

Councilwoman Scott also said a development group involved in the project had twice failed to fulfill obligations on projects in other states. Attorney Mike Mallen said that was not the case. He said one newspaper article passed out by Ms. Scott regarding that company and a bankrupty referred to it as being a creditor in the bankruptcy, not the one filing for bankruptcy. 

An attorney for a group of Aetna Mountain residents who have been in litigation over the old Aetna Mountain Road said he objects to the developers "changing the name to Black Creek Mountain." He said it is Aetna Mountain and Black Creek "is a creek in the valley."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


15,286 Have Voted Early In Hamilton County

There have been 15,286 to vote early in Hamilton County, including 3,845 who asked for Democratic  ballots and 11,265 who asked for Republican ballots. Here are the totals for Wednesday: ABSENTEE/BY MAIL Ballot Type - D 88 Ballot Type - G 71 Ballot Type - R 221 Location Totals 380 BRAINERD REC CTR Ballot Type - D 1,604 Ballot Type - G 2 Ballot Type ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: APPLEBERRY, GERALD DELANE     2460 NORTHBRIAR CIR CHATTANOOGA, 37406     44     Hamilton County          AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ARCHEY, JACOB DILLON     2060 PARIS METZ ROAD CHATTANOOGA, 37421     21    ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Club National Championship Match Can Be Viewed Via EPB Fiber Optics

EPB Fiber Optics is offering the community exclusive live broadcast coverage of the Chattanooga Football Club in its final battle for the National Premier Soccer League National Championship. The game between the Chattanooga FC and the New York Red Bulls-Under 23 squad is scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 p.m. from the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Fi TV Bronze, Silver ... (click for more)

McCallie's Bubba Simmons Steps Down as A.D.

C.R. “Bubba” Simmons  has announced plans to step down from his position as Athletic Director at McCallie School and accept the position of principal at Gordon Lee High School. Mr. Simmons took the helm of the school’s athletic department in 2008. Over the course of his career, which includes two previous stints, Mr. Simmons has served McCallie for almost 20 years. ... (click for more)