Fort Oglethorpe To Consider Hiring Development Director As Chickamauga Battle Anniversary Approaches

Monday, February 18, 2013 - by Mike O’Neal

Fort Oglethorpe soon could have its first-ever paid director of the city’s downtown development authority.

 

During their monthly meeting Monday, the city's Downtown Development Authority (DDA) trustees agreed that the city council should consider hiring someone to oversee projects and write grant proposals for the historic district.

 

“We’ve got to do something or Ringgold will eat our lunch,” board member Ron Davis said, before making a motion that the request be placed before the city council.

 

Mayor Lynn Long, who attended the DDA meeting as a guest, said the idea of having someone working full-time to recruit new businesses, support existing ones and promote the city has been discussed in the past — it is nothing new.

 

But now, Mayor Long said it is critical that the city move forward.

 

“This would be a paid position,” the mayor said.

 

City Councilman and DDA board member Louis Hamm will have the request for hiring a DDA director placed on the city council’s agenda for next Monday.

 

“That director could be a grant writer for the entire city,” he said. “As a city employee, he would be responsible to the city manager.”

 

DDA Board Chairman Jeff Epperson suggested asking for up to $40,000 a year to be allocated to hiring a director, one that work a specified number of hours for the DDA.

 

“We will ask for a full-time employee,” he said.

 

With as many as 200,000 expected to attend events related to the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Chickamauga that is scheduled for September, having a director to oversee marketing efforts and promotions would be beneficial, the board agreed.

 

The DDA members also were unanimous in an immediate need to install banners and signs to welcome travelers who will be attending events at the Chickamauga National Military Park and reenactments of the battle held in nearby McLemore’s Cove, and attract them to the city’s historic district.

 

Board member Harold Silcox presented a mock-up of a design that could be used for fabric banners, signs or posters advertising the city’s historic district — that stretch of LaFayette Road that extends from Battlefield Parkway to the entrance of the battlefield.

 

“A DDA director could oversee such a project,” he said.

 

While much of the evening’s discussion centered on promotion of the city’s historic past, board member Derek Rogers posed the question, “What do we have to offer?”

 

The DDA has been involved for nearly a year in an urban renewal plan, REFRESH Fort Oglethorpe, and an accompanying Opportunity Zone.

 

If implemented, REFRESH would totally revamp the aesthetics and commercial appeal of the historic district while Opportunity Zone designation would offer serious tax incentives to businesses that open or expand within its boundaries.

 

Mr. Rogers was told both plans are being burnished before being presented first to the city council and then to state’s Department of Community Affairs.

 

Mr. Epperson advised the board that both plans must be submitted to the state before the end of March if there is any hope of their approval.

 

moneal2480@comcast.net


Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: HENSLEY, MICHAEL WADE W 41 M 0 1 GS 1648791 POSSESSING A FIREARM WITH INTENT TO GO ARMED HENSLEY, MICHAEL WADE W 41 M 0 2 GS 1648792 TAMPERING WITH OR FABRICATING EVIDENCE HENSLEY, MICHAEL WADE W 41 M 0 3 GS 1648793 CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY WRIGHT, ANASTASIA LOUISE W 21 F 0 1 GS ... (click for more)

Skeletal Remains Found On Wesdell Lane In Cleveland; Dog Brings In Human Skull

Cleveland Police said human skeletal remains were discovered in the 3100 block of Wesdell Lane on Wednesday. At approximately 7:30 a.m., units were called to interview a man who had called advising that his  dog had brought a human skull into his garage.   Crime Identification personnel responded and the originating location of the skull was ... (click for more)

Chris Anderson Has Done Plenty For Alton Park

Three years ago today, I was canvassing in Alton Park. President Obama called for a day of action to help educate people about the Affordable Care Act and Chris Anderson responded by mobilizing his campaign volunteers to spread the word in the places in his district that needed it most.   I moved here a little over three years ago and the entire time I've worked with Chris ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Catchers & ‘Shaq’

Kids whose parents are active members in the military were special guests of the New York Yankees when they played the Tampa Bay Rays in an exhibition game last Sunday in Tampa. The Yankees had even arranged for taped videos so some of the kids could watch with the rest of the crowd as their parents told how much they missed them on the Jumbotron. Both the kids and the fans ate ... (click for more)

Lindsey Leads Unbeaten Baylor Past Marion County

There are quite a few new names and faces in the lineup for Baylor’s softball team this spring, but the Lady Red Raiders are the two-time Division II state champs, so it’s more a case of reloading than rebuilding. It’s still early in the season and there’s a lot of key games coming up, but the Lady Raiders are clicking on all cylinders at this point and are now 8-0 following ... (click for more)

UTC Athletics Begins Search For New Men's Basketball Coach

The Chattanooga Mocs begin their search for the 20th head coach in the program’s proud history. The previous 19 combined for 1,281 wins, 16 NCAA Tournament appearances (11 as a DI program), one NCAA DI Sweet 16, 11 Southern Conference Regular Season titles, 11 SoCon Tourney crowns and the 1977 NCAA DII Championship.   Coach Matt McCall departs for UMass after two strong ... (click for more)