published Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Chattanooga council members question gang study funds

by Cliff Hightower
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Councilwoman Deborah Scott today asked city administrators why the cost of a gang assessment study coincidentally ended up being the same amount requested by the city two months earlier.

“So, it was just a coincidence that you asked earlier for that amount and it just ended up being that?” she asked.

The city is asking the City Council to approve tonight a resolution that would pay the Ochs Center of Metropolitan Studies up to $75,000 to conduct a study of gangs in the area. Discussion occurred today while the council went over tonight’s agenda.

City officials previously asked for the $75,000 from a pot of money set aside for a minority-business program. That money was later divided between the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dan Johnson, chief of staff for Mayor Ron Littlefield, told Scott the actual request was for $69,834 and the rest was a contingency fee in case the Ochs Center needed additional funds. He said the $69,000 figure was lower.

For more information, read tomorrow’s edition of the Times Free Press.

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