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


Man, 28, Struck By A Train At Cleveland, Tn.

A 28-year-old man was struck by a train at Cleveland, tn., on Tuesday. Joseph Cross was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Police were notified at 6:46 a.m. of a pedestrian struck by a Norfolk Southern train in the area of APD 40/Old Chattanooga Pike. Multiple police, fire and EMS units responded attempting to locate the victim. The train was traveling from ... (click for more)

AUDIO: County Commission Meeting 06/29/16

General Bell: Chattanooga Needs The Coolidge Medal Of Honor Heritage Center - And Response (7)

I'm pleased and indeed compelled to let you know a bit more about the exciting and most honorable "Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center" planned for Coolidge Park.     Here's what the Heritage Center will be:  It will be a fitting capstone for Chattanooga's Coolidge Park on Northshore in downtown Chattanooga.  While this exceptional Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What You Leave Behind

Randy Travis, one of the best at singing country songs that has ever been, had a song about three people who got killed when an 18-wheeler missed a stop sign. There was a farmer and a teacher, a hooker and a preacher on this bus and Randy tells us: “One's headed for vacation, one for higher education, An' two of them were searchin' for lost souls.” In that wonderful song, the ... (click for more)

UTC Coach Jim Foster Recalls His Memories Of Pat Summitt

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s head basketball coach Jim Foster took time out Tuesday afternoon to meet with local media to answer questions about his relationship with the late Pat Summitt, the former head coach and most recently the Head Coach Emeritus of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols.   The two Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coaches met each ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Fairyland Clinches Red Division Swim Title

Members of the Calhoun swim team were set and ready to compete on the pool deck at the Fairyland Club Monday night, but they never got wet as the meet was postponed by lighting, thunder and the overall threat of stormy weather. They made the long trip back about 24 hours later and the second time around wasn’t nearly as productive as 21 less swimmers made the trip to the top ... (click for more)