Make The Crazy Parking Lot Deal Better

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On Monday, April 10, a dozen interested citizens attended the board meeting of the CDRC (Chattanooga Downtown Redevelopment Corporation) to question why the city would contemplate selling a parking lot on King Street (behind St. John’s Restaurant) to a developer for $134,700, when the city bought the parking lot in 2007 for $195,000. Ten of those citizens pointed out that prices of property have increased many fold in the last 10 years on the booming Southside and that Chattanoogans have a right to expect city property to be sold at a price beneficial the public.  

The citizens voicing concerns also learned that the developer making the bid of $134,700 offered to rent back to the city the 85 parking spaces now being used by city employees for $140,000 over three years, an amount more than the price the developer had offered to pay for the lot. And yet that same lot was declared “surplus” by vote of the City Council last summer—at the request of the city administration. 

I appreciate the CDRC board member who questioned when the last appraisal was completed and found that it was 10 years ago in 2007. The CDRC has now voted that a fair market value appraisal should be completed by an independent appraiser and that a new price should be negotiated for the property with the already selected developer, based on the independent appraisal.  

The mayor’s chief of staff has declared that this is not a “done deal” until the CDRC approves. I suggest that the city make a new arrangement with the developer not only on selling price, but also whereby Chattanooga citizens do not supplement this developer’s income by renting back spaces for city employees of the Development Resource Center (just across King Street) who need that “surplus” parking lot now and in the future. 

I request the CDRC and the city administration use the motto of the National Association of Counties as their guide: “The wisdom to know and the courage to defend the public interest.” 

Franklin McCallie
Chattanooga


Be Aware: Pests Threaten Tennessee; You Can Help Protect Our State

As warmer weather sets in, the trees fill out and the flowers start to bloom, we are reminded why Tennessee is a beautiful state to call home. However, you may not realize that those trees and plants may be at risk. Invasive plant pests and diseases are a threat that is easy to overlook, yet can have a devastating impact on our entire state.   Once pests and diseases establish ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Knoxville’s Godsend

Back when we were uppity teenagers, the best put-down when a friend started acting crazy was to say to the heathen, “Quit acting like you are from Knoxville!” I don’t know how the term originated but I can say that back in the day it was pretty insulting to be told you were acting like you were from Knoxville. This week I wish that more of us acted like Knoxville. The Knox County ... (click for more)

County School Teachers To Get 3% Raise Under Balanced County School Budget

Hamilton County Schools teachers are slated to get three percent pay increases under the balanced budget approved by the School Board on Thursday afternoon. That comes on top of a two percent hike last year. Lee McDade, assistant superintendent, said a large influx of cash came from the state, and Governor Bill Haslam outlined that it was to raise the pay level for teachers. ... (click for more)

Law Enforcement Shuts Down Convenience Store Near College Hill Courts As Public Nuisance

Law enforcement on Thursday took steps to shut down a convenience store near the College Hill Courts as a public nuisance. The action was taken after District Attorney Neal Pinkston filed a petition with Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz about the Westside Shop. The store is operated by Salma Ambo, and the real property is owned by AAA Investment Properties LLC. The petition ... (click for more)

Sales' Grand Slam Leads Lady Owls To 6-2 Comeback Win

Cheyenne Sales came close to hitting two home runs on Tuesday. She atoned for those close calls a day later with a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning and powered Ooltewah to a 6-2 victory over gritty East Hamilton in District 5-3A softball action at Jim Lovell Field. “That’s the first grand slam I’ve hit this season,” said Sales, who finished with five RBIs. “The pitch ... (click for more)

Red Bank's Kendall Farr Hurls No-Hitter Against Tyner

Kendall Farr was on the money Wednesday afternoon as she hurled a no-hitter and struck out seven as the Red Bank Lionettes blanked Tyner, 10-0, in six innings. Kelsey Peden and Destiny Painter both had two RBIs for the Lionettes while Hannah Wood had a triple and Sami Shrader a double.  Peden also had a double. With Farr improving to 3-2 on the season,, Red Bank finished ... (click for more)