published Sunday, May 16th, 2010

County budget has doughnut hole

by Cliff Hightower

by Dan Whisenhunt

Just minutes before hearing jointly funded agencies present their budgets Thursday, City Mayor Ron Littlefield and County Mayor Claude Ramsey were sitting in a conference room in the county courthouse.

The two sat at a table with doughnuts, pastries and chips in between. Mr. Littlefield asked Mr. Ramsey about how much leeway the county had as far as the jail and school budgets. He asked if there was any room to "massage" those budgets.

"We can't afford those doughnuts you're eating right now," Mr. Ramsey replied.


The City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday to change the names of Enterprise South Parkway and Enterprise South Boulevard to Volkswagen Drive.

City officials told council members how the name change came about through Volkswagen.

"They were given naming rights, and they came up with the name," said City Engineer Dennis Malone.

"Creative," replied Councilwoman Carol Berz.


Steve Leach, administrator for the city's Department of Public Works, on Tuesday presented a plan to recognize this week as Public Works Week.

As he handed out the schedule to the City Council's Public Works Committee, he told members what Public Works is about.

"Remember, if it blinks or stinks, it's Public Works," he said.

Some of the highlights this week include a "Day at the Office" on Thursday, Public Works Day at Miller Plaza on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Public Works Day at the Chattanooga Market on Sunday.

Up for a vote

When the Hamilton County Commission meets Wednesday, it will consider approving several items, according to a preliminary agenda.

Among them:

* A resolution approving a special permit for a single-wide manufactured home at 3737 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road.

* A resolution approving a special exceptions permit for a residential planned unit development on 2016 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road.

* Several rezoning resolutions.

* Approving the purchase of $18,938 worth of election ballots for the May 4 primary.

* Approving a $947,244 contract with the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole for continuing the Hamilton County Felony Community Corrections Program.

* Amending the list of roads and speed limits, changing the speed limit of Blue Spruce Drive from 30 mph to 25 mph, and Oak Forest Lane and Mountain Ash Drive from 30 mph to 20 mph.

* Amending the master list of roads to accept Red Poppy Drive and Trout Lily Drive so the commission can establish speed limits.

* Changing the name of Freedom Bay Loop to Waterside Way.

* Awarding an $83,600 contract to Insight Public Sector for EMC2 Clarion Storage Area Network for the county information technology services department.

* Awarding a $31,763 contract to Dell Marketing L.P. for Microsoft Office Professional 2007 licenses and media for the county's IT department.

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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