Community Organizer Says CHA Should Divulge More Info On Tubman Sale

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Community Organizer Patrick Kellogg spoke out at a Chattanooga Housing Authority Board meeting on Tuesday, saying that documents pertaining to the Harriet Tubman property needed to be made public.

He told the Board there was a problem with information being disclosed to the media that was not available to the public.

He also told the Board members that a list of their criteria for determining who they would sell the property to should be made public as well.

He said, "I am specifically asking that the Housing Authority allow for public inspection.

" He continued, "I would ask for the immediate release of those bid documents."

However, Commissioner Jim Sattler told him the Board did not agree with his interpretation of events.

For nearly two years, the fate of the now vacant property has been up in the air. The city recently made a bid of $1,000,000, plus the former Poss Homes site near Howard School, for the property with plans to demolish the housing and develop an industrial park.

The Berke administration believed this would bring jobs to the area. However, the CHA declined.

Other offers have come in from out of state, everywhere from Florida to Chicago.. Lakewood Development made an offer, with intentions of renovating the housing, but failed to close the deal.

During the meeting, the Board members approved a motion to approve a new contract for construction and renovation services on the Emma Wheeler property. They said they were not currently satisfied by the quality of work with the lowest bidder. The second lowest bidder, Trinity Home Construction, is to be offered a $250,000 contract.

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