Collegedale Greenway May Eventually Lead Downtown

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - by Gail Perry

A meeting to discuss longterm land use in Collegedale was announced at the commission meeting Monday night by Strategic Planner Kelly Martin. Collegedale officials will have a meeting with representatives from Chattanooga Tuesday at 6 p.m. at city hall. One topic of discussion will be connecting the greenway in Collegedale to Enterprise South and eventually to the Chattanooga Riverwalk and downtown.

Connectivity within the entire city is presently under consideration, Mr. Martin said. A request for the city to build a sidewalk from the Wellesley subdivision in order to join the greenway that is already in place should be part of that master plan, he stated. 

Director of Public Works Rodney Keeton said there has not yet been a study to determine where sidewalks are needed or how to prioritize them. There are many subdivisions that do not have sidewalks, said Mr. Keeton.

Commissioner Larry Hanson said the residents of Wellesley in conjunction with two other adjacent subdivisions have taken the initiative to make a request for the walkway and should be put into another category. Last week, he arranged a meeting with TDOT, three city employees and representatives from the neighborhood to discuss the development of that sidewalk. Collegedale was advised that grant money may be available, but before applying for a grant, the city must first apply to TDOT to use the right-of-way, which is the only option available for locating the sidewalk. If built on a TDOT right-of-way, a sidewalk must meet state specifications, which means lighting it, commented Mr. Keeton.

He also told the commissioners that it might take up to a year to receive approval. “Government wheels turn slowly,” said Ted Rogers, city manager. Collegedale must first get its plans drawn up and sent to TDOT for review. Then they will be sent to Nashville before Collegedale will get an answer. The commissioners voted to begin the application process to TDOT.

The Board of Commissioners also approved the property tax rate that was set by the assessor's office. Every four years Hamilton County does a property reassessment. Tennessee state law requires that a city adjust its property tax rate based on those assessments so that it is “revenue neutral.” If property values go down after being re-evaluated, the tax rate will go up so that the money from property taxes that are received by the municipality remains the same. The new tax rate for Collegedale is 1.37 per $100 of assessed value, up from the previous rate of 1.34.

Vice Mayor Tim Johnson questioned City Attorney Sam Elliott about some information that was sent to the city from David Fowler, head of Family Action Council of Tennessee, concerning insuring same sex couples that are unmarried. Several commissioners expressed concern that Mr. Fowler would bring the city into a lawsuit. Attorney Elliott advised the commissioners that he was emailing them a proposal and making recommendations about the issues raised by Mr. Fowler. The matter will be discussed at the Sept. 5 commission meeting.

gailaperry@comcast.net



McCormick Says Tax Increase Is Last Resort For Transportation Infrastructure

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick released the following statement to clarify previous remarks regarding transportation infrastructure funding: "I would like to take the opportunity to clarify my comments made to the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club yesterday regarding Tennessee’s transportation infrastructure. In no way am I advocating for our state to take on debt to fund ... (click for more)

Medical Examiner Changes Opinion In Case In Which Teen Lost Baby After Beating By Boyfriend

Hamilton County Medical Examiner Dr. James Metcalfe testified Tuesday that he had changed his findings in the death of a teen's foetus after she said she was beaten by her boyfriend. Dr. Metcalfe first listed the death of "Promise Jones" as a homicide due to blunt force injury.  He said he later determined that it could have been as the result of another cause - placental ... (click for more)

Why Chattanooga Should Stop Granting Apartment Complex PILOTs - And Response

A new report indicates why Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials do not need to extend PILOTs to apartment complex developers. Demand is high, therefore developers will continue to build to meet the demand without PILOTs. What is truly needed in the Chattanooga metroplex is low-income affordable housing. “Homeownership Drops to Lowest Level in Decades” ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Gun Control? Accuracy!

When President Barack Obama responded to the tragic killing of nine people who were worshiping at their beloved Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, he immediately blamed the gun, saying, “We don't have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hand on ... (click for more)

Dalton Edges Stuart Heights To Conclude Unbeaten Regular Season

The Dalton Dolphins had several key goals when the 2015 Chattanooga Area Swim League season began on the first day of June and they can put a big check mark by the first one, which was to go undefeated in the ever-competitive Blue division. They accomplished that goal before dark on Monday as they defeated a much-improved Stuart Heights squad by a 404-386 final that may have ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Hosts Nashville Friday In NPSL Playoffs

Chattanooga will host this weekend's National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference playoffs. There are two semifinal matches on Friday with the two winners meeting in the Championship match the following night. “We’re very proud of the team for winning home field advantage,” said board member Krue Brock. “Now that every game is a must-win situation, it will be a big help ... (click for more)