published Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

City incorporation group pushes back against Chattanooga statements

  • photo
    Richard Beeland, media relations director for the mayor's office, in this file photo.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Friends of Hamilton, a group seeking to incorporate a new city in the northeast section of Hamilton County, released a statement today pushing back against city officials for comments made to a local TV station.

The group said city spokesman Richard Beeland and City Councilman Jack Benson criticized the group’s comparisons between taxes in Chattanooga and the proposed city of Hamilton.

Beeland said the city isn’t interested in annexing inside Hamilton’s proposed boundaries.

The group began its effort last fall immediately after Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield sent a letter to County Mayor Jim Coppinger, seeking to reopen the county’s 20-year growth plan and expand the city’s growth boundaries north to Mahan Gap Road.

“How short must our memories be to forget that last fall, Chattanooga attempted to extend its urban growth boundaries north to Mahan Gap Road — the southern boundary for the proposed city of Hamilton?” the group said in its statement. “And the city just this week quietly voted to rezone property in Ooltewah for a major apartment complex only two years after a similar decision sparked a near revolt by citizens that forced the city to back down.”

Friends of Hamilton is currently engaged in a petition drive to place the option of incorporation on the ballot for affected voters.

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