District 6 Summit highlights successes

District 6 Summit highlights successes

April 25th, 2012 Rachel Sauls in Local Regional News

District 6 has seen a variety of changes since Chattanooga City Councilwoman Carol Berz began conducting quarterly summits nearly four years ago, but there is still room for progress in what she calls "Chattanooga's most diverse district."

"We have a wonderful group of people in our community with one goal: to make it the most livable, connected, durable, friendly and safest community in the area," she said. "It has taken the police officers, the junior colleges and universities in the area, the unions, different citizen groups, neighborhood associations and my wonderful city that I work with to start making this model we developed four years ago a reality."

Berz listed renovations at the airport, a new facility for the Eastgate branch of the Chattanooga Public Library and the work of the Gang Task Force as some of the area's recent accomplishments. She pointed to an upcoming rain barrel project launched in the district and additional improvements at the airport as ways the district is expected to develop immediately during the next quarter.

Project Rain Barrel

In conjunction with the city of Chattanooga and District 6, the Department of Education, Arts and Culture, Office of Sustainability, Grace Episcopal Church and Higher Ground Rainwater Systems recently launched Project Rain Barrel in the area.

Local engineering firm Arcadis pledged $1,000 to help launch the project, and Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd has pledged matching funds up to $1,500, saying this is a very important community effort as repurposing rainwater and saving on stormwater fees will be looked at more closely in the coming months. An additional $500 in private donations totals $3,000 to help begin the districtwide effort.

District 6 residents are encouraged to sponsor or purchase handcrafted rain barrels created by local students and community centers for rainwater collection, according to EAC Administrator Missy Crutchfield.

"We are going to begin working with Tyner High School in the fall," she said of the project. "We're really excited about what we're going to be doing with them. As we keep connecting with this healthy planet mindset, we also move into other healthy attitudes."

Rain barrels typically retail for approximately $100, but the hand-constructed, hand-painted rain barrels made through this project will be available for purchase for $60. Proceeds will help cover the cost of materials. If interested in purchasing one of the rain barrels contact the EAC at 425-7823. Higher Ground Rainwater Systems will deliver them.

The Airport

Christina Siebold, director of marketing and communications at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority, said the airport will begin work on several projects in the upcoming months.

The airport recently acquired two additional car lots adjacent the airport campus and is working to acquire the former Kelly Cadillac site. Airport staff is planning to release a demolition plan for the two lots that have already been acquired and the former Woman's Way facility the airport owns in the coming months, she said.

"Long term we're looking to see a business park there on the north end of the campus with additional hangars on the north side of the airport," she said. "Additional passive space - not really a park structure but something much more appealing than what exists, with contoured land to help with hydrology challenges and flooding on Brainerd Road - is also in the works."

According to Siebold, the airport also plans to begin work on the second phase of the solar farm on Jubilee Drive that leads to Wilson Air.

"We welcome people to drive down that road," she said. "We want people to see that."