Janice Casteel, Richard Banks & Greg Thomas
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Future industrial and commercial prospects, in addition to Volkswagen’s coming presence in Chattanooga, have city and county officials here in a planning surge.
City Councilman Richard Banks said that city and county planners are working so well and constantly together now that maybe they should work together under one roof for a time — perhaps the next two years.
City and county officials are also sending to planning consultants requests for proposals to develop new five-year, 10-year and even 20-year plans to deal with growth.
“We need the planning tools in place to prepare, not just for Volkswagen, but for all the growth we feel is headed in our direction,” City Manager Janice Casteel told City Council members on Monday.
She said Cleveland Utilities’ board may consider joining in funding, as well as the Chamber of Commerce.
“We are looking for anyone who would like to put money into this study,” she said.
Mr. Banks applauded the cooperation between the two local planning offices.
“It seems like joining together in a partnership for a little while would be a good idea,” he said. “If you are already working across the table, it just seems like a more efficient way to do it.”
Mr. Banks said it might be time to dust off a citizen committee’s report from several years ago outlining potential areas of city/county cooperation.
Mayor Tom Rowland said part of that planning may include a trip to the Greenville/Spartanburg area of South Carolina to see the impact there of German automaker BMW. Chattanooga officials just completed such a trip.
According to the request for proposals, the selected consultant would look at existing infrastructure, housing, growth and facilities and project the growth outwards in five-, 10- and 20-year increments.
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...