published Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Hamilton County Commissioners get copies of city/county agreement with Volkswagen

Hamilton County Commissioners today were given copies of the new local memorandum of understanding between the county, city and Volkswagen Group of America.

Mayor Jim Coppinger called a special meeting immediately following the commission's regular scheduled meeting to share the information with commissioners.

The new agreement is very similar to the 2009 payment in lieu of tax agreement, Coppinger said, except Volkswagen will pay the city and county a combined $250,000 a year over the next 10 years. And the county will use some of its general fund balance, which is not taxable, for some of the costs along the way. Additionally, the agreement says Volkswagen will give 300 acres at Enterprise South Industrial Park back to the county, but it will extend an option it has for 1,200 acres on the land for possible future expansion.

No public notice was given for the special meeting, but Coppinger said that was because there was a time constraint for the memorandum to be approved. The agreement must be approved by July 29, and he wanted to make sure all the commissioners had all the information they needed. Commissioners were told not to ask questions during or after the presentation, because that would violate the state's Open Meetings Act.

Commissioners meet again next week to discuss and possibly vote on the agreement, even though there is not a regular agenda session scheduled.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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