East Ridge Mayor Lambert Touts New Sports Complex At Camp Jordan; Says Commissioner Boyd Now In Support

Friday, July 14, 2017

East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert issued a statement on Friday touiting the benefits of a new sports complex at Camp Jordan Park.

He said County Commissioner Tim Boyd, who earlier indicated support for an alternate site by Howard High School, is now committed to the East Ridge location.

Mayor Lambert said, "In recent days, a handful of articles have appeared regarding the potential redevelopment of Camp Jordan Park, and naturally, questions have arisen as a result.

The city of East Ridge has indeed participated in exploratory discussions with Hamilton County officials regarding improvements and expanded capacity at the 260-acre park, and those discussions are ongoing.

"This redevelopment concept has been in the works for well over a year, and as East Ridge Mayor, I personally have met with Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger on several occasions to discuss the value of such a project - an effort that would make Camp Jordan the finest multi-sport, multi-event facility in the Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia area. I applaud Mayor Coppinger’s vision, his willingness to entertain a dialogue, and of course, his support.

"I also had the opportunity to meet with District 8 County Commissioner Tim Boyd on May 3 and Sept. 13, 2016, in order to discuss the totality of the proposed facilities and the subsequent economic impact. On Tuesday of this week, I received a copy of a letter from Commissioner Boyd. I am very pleased to have his pledge of complete support as we move forward collectively. I intend to meet with other county commissioners in the days ahead so that they, too, may have a thorough understanding of this concept.

"A first-class, regional, multi-sport facility would have an immense economic development impact on East Ridge and Hamilton County as a whole. Currently, Camp Jordan Park is the only likely asset in Hamilton County with enough acreage to attract major regional sporting events, and the existing park already has much of the expensive infrastructure necessary to complete such a project. With its convenient location directly off Interstate 75 at Exit 1, these events would bring thousands of additional visitors every year who will stay, shop, and play in our area.

"Camp Jordan is already home to many successful multi-sport activities, and the goal will be to make all of our facilities competition-level, which will allow us to compete for the regional sporting events that we now are unable to attract in our community (with the exception of softball). Whether it’s hosting a 200+ team soccer tournament, the Southern Conference Cross Country Championships, or this weekend’s 100+ team lacrosse tournament - the largest to ever take place in the Chattanooga/Hamilton County Region - Camp Jordan is already an outstanding recreational asset to all of Hamilton County. My desire is to make this wonderful area even better.

"The city of East Ridge hopes to partner with Hamilton County to use property tax revenues from the Jordan Crossing development, which has a Hampton Inn under construction and already contains a Bass Pro Shops, to fund this redevelopment of Camp Jordan. These are new property tax revenues to the city and county as the majority of this property was previously government-owned and not on the tax rolls. The city has no plans to use tax increment financing vehicles for this project, and all of the standard, allocated education portion will remain with our Hamilton County School System.

"There is no definitive timetable at this juncture, and I have no doubt that additional questions will arise as we continue the discourse. However, I look forward to those discussions and the opportunity to work jointly toward a responsible solution."



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