Lookout Mountain, Ga., May Finance Town Center From Federal Loan Pool

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - by Matthew Smisson
The Lookout Mountain, Ga., City Council may finance the long-sought town center from a federal loan pool.

The council and Mayor Sandy Gothard have been working on finance options for the town center development. Councilmen Jim Saborin and David Bennett reported about an important step they have made in securing financing for the development.

The two men have met with the USDA about financing the town center. The USDA offers a rural development loan program for communities under 20,000 residents for projects like the town center. One option from the USDA that the council is considering is a 40-year loan with a fixed rate with no penalty for early pay off. This type of loan would allow for the development of the town center to be affordable under the city’s current budget.

Because of the multi-month process in applying for potential financing, the council approved the measure to begin the preliminary application process. By completing the first part of the application process this would present to the USDA that the city is interested in financing the town center and would allow the council the time to finish details and costs to determine the exact amount needed for the development. The mayor plans on attending a conference in December for potential grants related to the town center project.

At the upcoming December meeting several citizens will present their ideas to the council about making some improvements to the current city hall and surrounding properties. The building is currently being freshened with new exterior paint.
City Manager Brad Haven presented the council with the latest information on the city’s current stormwater management. Mr. Haven said the city must finish its topography map of the city’s stormwater infrastructure. He stated that it is a requirement for the Environmental Protection Agency. He also said that it will be easier with this map to conform to state and environmental regulations and guide any new construction or development on the mountain. Mr. Haven said that the map is nearing completion and he hopes to have it finished very soon. The council approved the measures to complete the map.
The council approved two residents’ applications for business licenses. One is for Monogrammed Peak, an in home business operated by new resident Thomasene Todd who recently moved to Lookout Mountain from Greenville, S.C. The other license was approved for William M. Whitaker, an architect who operates his business from his home office.

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