published Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Hamilton County: Commission considering contract increases


by Dan Whisenhunt
  • photo
    Hamilton County Commission Chairman Fred Skillern speaks with Commissioners Jim Fields and Larry Henry.
    Staff File Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Hamilton County commissioners this morning began discussing proposed increases to the contract for operating the Silverdale Detention Center and a $921,000 increase to a $3 million contract at Enterprise South.

The county paid Corrections Corp. of America $12.8 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010 to operate Silverdale. The contract amendment increases the value of contract by 1 percent in 2011 and by another 1 percent in 2012. One percent of $12.8 million is $128,000.

The contract alsot guarantees a minimum daily population of 915 inmates.

The increase for the Enterprise South project involves a contract held by Talley Construction Co. for the widening of a support yard at the site. The notes on the commission agenda anticipate the city of Chattanooga will split the cost with Hamilton County, with each paying $460,934.

County Engineer Todd Leamon said the county is applying for a $307,289 Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Grant to help fund the project.

Both items will be up for approval the commission's March 16 meeting.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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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bpqd said...

If this was a $900,000 increase to the budgets of arts or educational programs, these cronies would be whining to no end.

The massive failures to collect basic taxes off of endeavors in the Volunteer Army Ammunition Depot area has already been enough of a setback.

Republicans in our area need to start engaging in the basics of rational and supportive economic decisions for government. We cannot continue to let people appoint themselves and their friends, to fail to have governors who fairly enforce environmental laws on their own businesses, or to continue to fail to collect taxes which support the old, the sick and the poor.

Our officials need to stop using their positions to give money to themselves and their friends. Begin taking care of the community's needs today. That means collect taxes for secondary and university schools, infrastructure improvements like roads and internet, and basic medical support and food aid for our old and sick.

Enterprise South has already used massive amounts of its funding to support arts programs like a symbolic Bridge to Poverty outside of the auto plant and a large Fountain of Monetary Waste, the monument to self-appointed local politicians.

Increase the City and the County's contractual commitment to advocating basic support for our local people. Begin by doing the basics of the job for a change. Elect, not self-appoint, officials. Support, not insult, those in need. Lead, do not pay off cronies.

While it is nice that they are trying to make an effort for our area, the cumulative selfishness shown by self-appointed bodies and local city politicians, like Mayor Littlefield, who use ignorance as an operating method; we see their good deeds lost in the shadow of their failure to do the basic civic good of their offices.

These contract increases should be seen as the self-serving gifts that they are, in light of local leaders' habitual use of public office for inflating commercial property values. For shame.

Homeless still go unsheltered, as the old "Career Center" sits abandoned and empty, just blocks away from a previously proposed shelter site.

The aged go unvisited by their political leaders. The elders sit crammed and ignored in high rise apartments throughout the county area. It's their meal that's on the dole, and ridiculed by some pols.

The schoolteachers get insulted and their projects continue to go unpaid as these same echelons of government make haste to give away money to large corporations.

Doing anything about any of these problems above would only be a marginal step in the direction of the basic maintenance of welfare of personnel that we expect from large area leaders around here.

Just another report of more self-serving conduct from the leaders who appoint and pay themselves. We relish and welcome the arrival of the next election.

Two thumbs down, again.

March 10, 2011 at 1:15 p.m.
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