The Chattanooga City Council voted 6-2 tonight to give the go-ahead for designs of a projected $3.5 million wellness center on 11th Street.
Council members also approved a potential increase in contracts for storm debris cleanup after estimates came in higher than expected.
On the wellness center, Councilmen André McGary and Peter Murphy voted "no" and Councilwoman Deborah Scott abstained.
The wellness center will sit on the former Chattanooga Gas Co. site and the city expects to pay about $241,000 for its design. It will have a gym, clinic and a pharmacy for city employees and retirees, officials said.
In other action, council members continued a process started two weeks ago when the voted on private contractors to clean up storm debris.
The city's Department of Public Works asked the council for $1 million, but the estimated costs shot up to $2.5 million, said Lee Norris, deputy administrator of Public Works.
The council voted 8-1 tonight to approve additional expenditures. Councilman Russell Gilbert voted "no."
Norris said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay for 87.5 percent of the costs. The total fees only go "up to" $2.5 million and the contractors will only be paid for whatever debris poundage comes across city scales, he said.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.