Mayor Kelly Says City "Behind The 8 Ball" On Infrastructure, But Funding Is Coming

Monday, November 29, 2021 - by Joseph Dycus

Mayor Tim Kelly said Chattanooga is “way behind the eight-ball” when it comes to infrastructure, but outlined his plan to bring the city up to a higher standard during his speech to the Pachyderm Club on Monday afternoon.

 

A couple of weeks after speaking to the JFK Club on the same topic, Mayor Kelly’s message of “One Chattanooga” and “localism” remained consistent in front of a more conservative crowd.

 

When the housing shortage came up, he said the city has land it can use to entice developers to come to do business with the city.

“We’ve got thousands of acres the city owns we could put back in circulation, and by God we will,” Mayor Kelly said.

 

He also said spending on maintaining and improving road quality is a priority. He said, “We should have been spending six or seven million a year to keep our head above water, and we were spending three.”

 

He told the Pachyderm Club that he was a supporter of the trillion dollar infrastructure bill, and some of that money will go to the roads. In his earlier speech to the JFK Club, he also said improving the Wilcox bridge is the top priority for the city.

 

Mayor Kelly said early education is a priority for his administration, and that “only 40 percent of kids coming into kindergarten in Chattanooga know their colors, numbers and letters.” He called that unacceptable. He said that children coming into kindergarten at a disadvantage has effects down the road.

 

On the subject of business, he said the city needs corporations to relocate to Chattanooga.

 

After his presentation, the mayor fielded questions from the various Pachyderm members. These queries covered everything from his stances on various political ideologies to the sewer system.

 

“How do you get guns out of the hands of kids,” Mayor Kelly said when questioned on gun violence in Chattanooga. “I am not afraid of taking chances and thinking outside the box.”

 

He said the population of people who are homeless is something that his administration is addressing. He said the solution to alleviating the problem of homelessness is not one all-encompassing action, but rather ”we look at it as a ladder, and we have to build up those rungs.”



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