$3.5 million, and a sensible idea

$3.5 million, and a sensible idea

June 6th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

The Chattanooga City Council is considering building a $3.5 million health care and wellness center for current and retired city employees.

The 19,000-square-foot facility would be on 11th Street at the former Chattanooga Gas Co. site and would replace existing facilities on 10th Street and Amnicola Highway. Some city officials believe that would be a convenient location for city workers. They may well be right.

But with millions of dollars proposed for the construction, Councilman Peter Murphy has a sensible suggestion: He wants to get a clear idea that the proposed 11th Street site is a location that would be likely to attract high usage by city employees. Building a costly new facility in a place where it might not be well utilized would not be a wise use of tax dollars, he pointed out.

It's always appropriate to be careful when using public money for whatever type of project. But that is especially true when the economy is weak and government is not flush with cash. Therefore, Murphy's suggestion is reasonable.