Hamilton city plan advances

An effort to incorporate the new town of Hamilton is in full swing.

Last month, a group calling itself Friends of Hamilton chartered a civic organization to shepherd an initiative establishing the town on the November 2012 ballot. This week, members are calling on churches and businesses to help collect at least 4,000 signatures in the next nine months, roughly one-third of the estimated 12,000 registered voters who would be drawn into their proposed boundaries.

Hamilton would be "sandwiched" between Cleveland and Chattanooga in unincorporated areas of Birchwood, Harrison and Ooltewah, said Friends of Hamilton President Chris Matthews. The group is shooting to put the measure on the ballot next year to pre-empt the cities of Cleveland and Chattanooga from annexing areas near them, he said.

"That's why we're saying the time is now.