City To Allocate Over $1 Million To County Schools, Donate Poss Homes Property Behind Howard To Correct Hiatus In Payment Of Liquor-By-The-Drink Tax

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The city of Chattanooga will allocate over $1 million in funding in the FY2014 budget to the Hamilton County Department of Education and also donate the Poss Homes property behind Howard School (HCDE). 

The move comes after it was discovered that the city had stopped furnishing proceeds of the liquor-by-the-drink tax, which is due each year, in 2005.

City and county school officials in recent weeks have been in talks on how the city will catch up on the required payments.

Mayor Andy Berke said, “Youth development is the best investment we can make for our future. With a strong, forward looking partnership with the Hamilton County Department of Education, we will ensure we are doing our part in growing smarter students.”

City officials said, "For several years following the merger of the city and county school systems in 1998, the city made significant payments to HCDE.  From 2005 until early this year, those payments were halted.  Now, with Mayor Berke’s recently approved budget, funds are budgeted for public schools for the first time in nearly a decade."

Mayor Berke said, “We have spent the last 120 or so days reviewing all functions of city government. Because of the importance of youth development, ensuring that these funds are appropriately allocated to public education is a priority.

One portion of the city payment will bring access to 275,000 books, 5,000 e-books, and 22 databases for county school students.

The city budget includes $500,000 to support an early childhood development initiative at Calvin Donaldson Elementary School. Officials said, "This initiative will help bridge the gap of academic performance by increasing school readiness and will be administered by the Creative Discovery Museum."

Mayor Berke said the city "will move to donate the site of the former Poss Homes.  HCDE has stated it plans to support the construction of new athletic facilities on the site for the benefit of students at Howard School."

Rick Smith, school superintendent, said, “In the past, there have been some issues with how the funds were paid to the school system. I am excited that we have been able to work with Mayor Berke to reach a clear solution and we can move forward.

“I look forward to working with the Berke administration and commend them for their support in education initiatives like the Creative Discovery Museum’s early childhood development partnership at Calvin Donaldson Elementary as well as ensuring students at public schools have access to books that we know are so critical to their success.”


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ASHWORTH, JESSE ANDREW  1267 LEASIDE LANE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 30 years old Arresting Agency: Federal Marshall Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BALLEW, JEFFERY LAMAR  1506 MULBERRY STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Worker Dies At M&M/Mars Plant In Cleveland

An employee of the M&M/Mars plant in Cleveland, Tn., died on the job on Thursday night. The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration was investigating. The plant is on Peerless Road. (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tipping The Preacher

I got an unusual telephone call the other day from someone I love who asked my help in solving one of life’s delicate mysteries. It is a tough question: “How do you tip a preacher?” In the first place, you never tip a preacher. It’s the preacher who gives out the tips, helping to keep you on the straight-and-narrow in your quest to waltz through the Pearly Gates. But there are ... (click for more)

UTC Craine Named Top-10 FCS Ball Carriers By Athlon Sports

  University of Tennessee at Chattanooga running back Derrick Craine is among the top-10 ball carriers in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) according to an article from Athlon Sports earlier this week.  Craine, a senior from McDonough, Ga., is No. 9 on Athlon's preseason list of running backs.  He is coming off a school-record 1,251 yards in 2015. ... (click for more)

Prep Football Jamboree is Aug 12-13 at Finley Stadium

Highlighted by a match-up of state semifinalists in Baylor and Notre Dame, the 57th annual Prep Football Jamboree is set for Aug. 12-13 at Finley Stadium with five games each night. Baylor (10-3) reached the D-II AA semis before losing to eventual state champ Brentwood Academy, while Notre Dame (10-4) reached the D-I 3A semis before losing to eventual state champion Alcoa. ... (click for more)