City applying for grant for rail, traffic upgrades

City applying for grant for rail, traffic upgrades

September 13th, 2009 by Cliff Hightower in Blogsmetrochatt

The Chattanooga City Council approved applying for a federal grant Tuesday night that could bring up to $40 million in rail and traffic improvements to the area in and around Enterprise South industrial park.

The council voted 8-0 for the go-ahead with Councilwoman Deborah Scott abstaining.

Stephen Meyer, assistant vice president for Volkert & Associates, told the council that trains coming in and out of the facility could be two miles long and take 20 to 25 minutes to cross nearby roads.

The grant would help put in traffic signals around the area to alert motorists when the trains are coming, he said.

The money could also help improve the actual rail lines, he said.

"We're proposing about $15 (million) to $16 million to improve the rail," he said.

The grant proposal also includes money to help get public transit to Enterprise South, he said.

Several other cities are also competing for the pot of money, Mr. Meyer said.

Purple People Eaters come to town

During a Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee meeting Friday, Councilwoman Pam Ladd noticed something about the city's finance department.

"I was just noticing everyone in finance has on purple today," Ms. Ladd said. "It's just a personal observation."

The room erupted in laughter after the comment. Daisy Madison, the city's chief financial officer, offered a quick reply.

"We're a team!" she said.

Death by chocolate

Just after lunchtime, members of the Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee filed back into the City Council conference room on Friday.

Awaiting them were bags of chocolate candy sitting on the conference table.

Councilwoman Carol Berz, chairwoman of the committee, immediately started laughing.

"I told the fire chief I can be bought for chocolate," Dr. Berz said.

Adams: No back talking

Hamilton County Commission Chairman Curtis Adams told commissioners Thursday he wanted to make sure they were involved in his decision on if he would hire a third person in the County Commission office.

But he also had something else to say to commissioners.

"Don't talk behind my back," he said.

Controversy stemmed a week-and-a-half ago in the County Commission when Mr. Adams hired a Georgia woman to replace outgoing legislative administrator Carolyn Collins.

The woman decided not to take the job and Mr. Adams promoted within the department.

He said Thursday if a third person is considered it would be someone from within the county.

"I'm sure I'll never be chairman again, but I want to do a good job," Mr. Adams told the commission.

JFK Club meeting Monday

The JFK Club will hold its monthly meeting at noon Monday at the Out of the Blue Cafe on Brainerd Road with guest speakers Councilwoman Carol Berz and Councilman Russell Gilbert.

The two council members will discuss the district office they are opening in Brainerd for constituents.

There is an $11 cost for lunch. Anyone interested should contact Carole Blasse at

Gobble gets endorsement

Chattanooga businessman Joseph Decosimo has endorsed Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble in the Congressional run for Tennessee's 3rd District.

Mr. Decosimo, a Chattanooga accountant, said Sheriff Gobble is electable by wide margin.

"Tim is a local person with a broad world view, gained by extensive national and world travel," Mr. Decosimo said in a news release.

Sheriff Gobble said he is humbled by the endorsement.

"I am honored to receive the support of Joe Decosimo, a well-known and distinguished Chattanooga area businessman and fine individual," he said.