City backs away from Summit annex plan

City backs away from Summit annex plan

October 6th, 2009 by Cliff Hightower in News

City officials said Monday they plan to redraw their annexation maps around the Summit landfill, not taking in so much residential area as once planned.

"We're drawing back to areas that will be mostly commercial," said Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield.

The move comes just a week after the City Council handed Mr. Littlefield a loss in the same area. Council members voted 5-4 last week not to annex an area between Apison Pike and Interstate 75, close to the Summit of Softball complex.

Council members are expected to vote tonight on two annexation areas in the vicinity of the Old Lee Highway area. The area immediately adjacent to the Summit landfill has been requested to be deferred while an alternate plan is drawn up, according to city documents.

SUMMIT ANNEXATION

The area around the Summit of Softball complex that the city is reconsidering includes more than $4 million in infrastructure costs, records show. The costs and revenues include:

* $4.1 million: Projected cost of sewers to the Summit area.

* $140,800: Approximate estimated revenue annually from the Summit and Green Shanty areas.

* $39,000: Estimated cost of street repairs.

* $1,168: Estimated cost of traffic signals.

* 296: Acreage of proposed annexation area.

* 134: Estimated number of people in the area.

Source: Chattanooga

The area the council voted on last week is on the northern side of Apison Pike, while the Summit area that's possibly being dropped from annexation lies on the south side of the road.

Mr. Beeland said the alternate plan should come before the City Council on Oct. 20.

Several council members said Monday they had concerns about the amount of sewer, roads and infrastructure needed in the area near Summit landfill. Council Chairman Jack Benson said he had reservations, considering the $4.1 million price tag for sewers alone.

"It looks like it's going to be very costly for the amount of revenue we're going to bring in," he said.

The area around Summit is projected to bring in about $119,000 in property revenue annually, city records show.

Councilwoman Deborah Scott, who voted against annexing an area on Old Lee Highway last week, said she also had reservations about doing too much at once.

"It's a lot of infrastructure debt for not a lot of revenue," she said. "The question is whether it's the right time for the city of Chattanooga to take on those infrastructure issues."

Councilwoman Pam Ladd said she also has concerns about the amount of debt the city could take on if it annexed the area. But she could change her mind if a new map is drawn that included less residential and mostly commercial areas, she said.

"My concern all along has been primarily those residential areas," she said. "I think it would relieve some of the conflict that several of the council members feel."