Chattanooga BID Fiasco Rears Its Ugly Head

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Once again the Chattanooga BID fiasco rears its ugly head. You know, the people who haven't already run all the businesses off from downtown are trying to get them again. They are refusing to exempt four non-profits from their ridiculous fees for their aim to clean up the city.

They even have job opportunities for those wishing to become ambassadors for their cause. One of the qualifications for the job states is to be prepared to clean up human feces from flowerbeds and around trees in the morning while in the afternoon defending themselves from drug addicts and the homeless panhandlers. What a job, especially on hot summer days. Who wouldn't want to do that, for the approximate $10 per hour. Good luck with that.

They mention there are other non-profits in the area who are not complaining. To put two churches, the YMCA, and the United Way, all non-profits, in the same sentence with the Aquarium, Carta (the biggest air polluter in town), and the Chamber of Commerce, (who wastes as many county tax dollars as does the school superintendent) also non-profits, is insane. One church has a night shelter for the homeless, the United Way helps the needy in the area, as does the other church, I'm told. Don't recall hearing of the Aquarium or the Chamber doing any of that.

Yet BID says it's only one percent of their income. I've never heard of a homeless shelter not needing every cent they could get to help feed, clothe, and give a warm place to sleep on a cold winter night. And any new business always struggles when they open and doesn't have an extra one percent for anything or anyone.

Sure wish Dalton Roberts was around to deal with the BID people. I agree with my friend Joe who says this is just another tax on the businesses down there to pay to clean up downtown for a job the city of Chattanooga is already being paid to do, but just isn't doing it.

I miss the days of my youth when my mother would take us downtown to window shop and see the lights at Christmas time when it was safe to be down there and the folks on the BID committee weren't born yet.

Arlos Dempsey
Signal Mountain



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