TWRA Releases Grant Announcement For Boat Docks On Item Pulled From City Council Agenda

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on Thursday released the news that the agency, in cooperation with the city of Chattanooga, "has been awarded a grant to build or extend dockage at four prominent locations along the downtown south shore of the Tennessee River." However, City Council members earlier expressed concern about the $8.7 million cost of the required city match and pulled the item from a previous agenda.

The TWRA said the project would include the installation of up to 10 slips for transient, non-trailerable vessels at each location.

The grant is being made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. The Chattanooga project was one of the 16 sites for the competitive grant as announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was stated.     

TWRA said, "The project has received $1,285,868 and the city of Chattanooga will provide a percentage match toward this grant, embarking upon the necessary refurbishment of Ross’s Landing. An additional $65,000 from the same program has been received and committed to the Chattanooga project.

“This is one of many projects that TWRA is involved that promotes tourism and increases the economy of the state and local governments,” said Ed Carter, TWRA executive director. “We are very pleased to be involved in a project of this stature and in cooperation with the city of Chattanooga.”

He said the city of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation administration’s "successful efforts to seek funding for the additional boat slips will have an immediate impact and increase tourism by the transient boating community. In 2012 alone, the Chattanooga Marina hosted more than 1,000 customers, including the popular fleet titled, Loopers.

"The transient boating community helps generate an estimated $1 million economic impact to the Chattanooga economy yearly. The successfully funded slips will facilitate and help fulfill the high demand for transient dockage during the ever expanding events on Chattanooga’s waterfront.

“The Boating Infrastructure Grant program is one of the many ways we support access and provide quality outdoor opportunities for Tennessee’s recreational anglers and boaters. These projects also support major construction projects, creating jobs and providing much-needed economic benefits.”

Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. It is supported by excise taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels.

The project, worked out by the previous administration, includes installing 44 non-trailerable transient boat docks at four prominent locations downtown in a $10.7 million project.

City officials earlier said the aim is to make Chattanooga "a highly desirable transient boating destination."

The City Council had been scheduled to vote on applying for the $1,350,868 grant. Then it was pulled from the agenda after council members noted the city portion of the project was listed at $8,784,870.

Officials earlier said the city funding has been approved in the 2013 Parks and Recreation Department capital budget. Under the new Andy Berke administration, Parks and Rec was folded into the new department of Youth and Family Development headed by Lurone Jennings.

Prior city officials said, "The city of Chattanooga’s Riverfront Parkway Project BIG application seeks to meet the broad objective of enhancing the Downtown Chattanooga Riverfront, located along the southern portion of the Tennessee River into a highly desirable transient boating destination.

"To achieve this goal, the city will use the referenced grant funds to build or extend guest dockage at four prominent locations along the downtown south shore of the Tennessee River, namely the Bluff Furnace Historical Park, Ross’s Landing, the Olgiati Bridge, and the Riverfront Parkway Marina for the proposed placement of a total of 44 transient boat slips.

"The city of Chattanooga maintains a consistently strong tourism industry, but is unable to allow visitors and residents to fully utilize its primary historical attraction; the Tennessee River. The currently available dockage is very limited and is located far from the high tourism shore areas:

"1. Transient

"1. Bluff View Dock - publically owned; 6 horizontal tie-ups

"2. Olgiati Bridge Dock - publically owned; 4 horizontal tie-ups

"2. Non-transient

"1. Marine Max - leased marina (long term leases)

"The need for transient dockage has been identified through local community interest, usage rates during large regional and national riverfront events, and identification in the architectural study ‘Ross’s Landing Park Improvements’, by Jones and Jones (March 2012)."


Police Chief Fletcher Announces Picks For Top Leadership

Police Chief Fred Fletcher Wednesday made his picks for top leadership, releasing the names of 15 newly promoted individuals from within the Chattanooga Police Department. This announcement comes several weeks after Chief Fletcher was appointed.  “I am honored to announce today’s promotions," said Chief Fletcher.  "Together these individuals have served our community ... (click for more)

Corker Says Probe To Point Directly At Russia

Appearing on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown on Wednesday to discuss the missile strike on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, Senator Bob Corker said the investigation is “going to point directly at Russia.” He said there is bipartisan support for the U.S. “to act alone without Europe” in expanding existing sanctions against significant Russian entities in the energy, financial ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (3)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)

Mocs Picked First In SoCon Polls

The Chattanooga Mocs football team is the pick of litter in the Southern Conference. Coming off its first league title since 1984, the SoCon coaches and media deemed the Mocs the team to beat in 2014.   “It means we have good players,” Head Coach  Russ Huesman  said. “There is a long way to go from now until late November (when the regular season ends). ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy's Wright Commits To MTSU Baseball

Soddy-Daisy’s Andy Wright, a rising senior and dual-threat player, has made a non-binding verbal commitment to play baseball at Middle Tennessee State University. Wright, a pitcher/third baseman, chose the Conference USA Blue Raiders over Belmont, Air Force, Navy, UT-Martin and Carson-Newman. “I’m glad to get this (decision) off my back so I can enjoy my senior year,” Wright ... (click for more)