Chattanooga IDB member's status under review

Chattanooga IDB member's status under review

September 2nd, 2014 by Mike Pare in Local - Breaking News

Chris Ramsey, center

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

A Chattanooga Industrial Development Board member's status is uncertain after it was learned that he apparently doesn't live in the city, which officials say is required.

Chris Ramsey, a longtime board member, was not at a meeting of the panel today.

James Miller, the board's vice chairman, said the City Council and Mayor Andy Berke will review Ramsey's status.

Helen Burns Sharp, a community activist, said Ramsey's situation casts doubt on past votes by the board, including the controversial tax-incremental financing agreement related to a development on Aetna Mountain.

The board earlier approved and then re-affirmed the taxpayer financing agreement that would subsidize a road from a Chattanooga golf course community to access 3,000 undeveloped acres on top of Aetna Mountain. The agreement allowed more than $9 million in taxes to flow toward a group of developers led by New York-based York Capital.

"We need to start over," said Sharp.

But, Mike Mallen, an attorney for the development group, said Ramsey's status shouldn't impact the TIF, noting that all the votes on the project were approved by the board by more than one vote.

Wade Hinton, the board's attorney, said officials are looking at Ramsey's situation. He said most of the board's actions over the years wouldn't have been impacted by Ramsey's vote.

See more in Wednesday's Times Free Press.