Chattanooga City Council holding first vote on Business Improvement District

Chattanooga City Council holding first vote on Business Improvement District

July 22nd, 2019 by Sarah Grace Taylor in Breaking News

The Chattanooga City Council will cast its first vote on the second attempt this summer to form a controversial Business Improvement District Tuesday evening.

Here's what you should know about the upcoming BID votes:

» The council last month failed to pass the formation of a BID, a special district of property owners, due to a lack of a motion at the end of a hectic, two-hour public hearing and council debate.

» The original ordinance was brought to the council with a survey of property owners within the proposed district that indicated that 60.51% of total property owners representing 81.96% of the assessed value supported the BID. The new ordinance is council sponsored and was formed by District 7 Councilman Erskine Oglesby, District 2 Councilman Jerry Mitchell and District 8 Councilman Anthony Byrd. The new legislation includes many of the amendments to remove liability from the city, audit and impose other requirements on the proposed BID's governing board, which were proposed by council members during the last Business Improvement District vote.

» Tuesday's vote is the first of two on the ordinance. The second vote and public hearing for property owners will be at 6 p.m. during the July 30 council voting meeting, per state law. Business owners in the zone will be allowed to speak at the public hearing in addition to the property owners. There will be a total of 60 minutes for the public hearing with 30 minutes for each side — support and opposition. Each speaker will get up to 3 minutes, according to the city. 

» If approved on both readings, the district would provide $1 million annually to support services making the area cleaner and safer, as well as enhanced beautification and special projects. Commercial and nonprofit landowners in the district will pay an annual assessment of 9 cents per square foot, of either the lot or building size, whichever is greater, plus $4.95 per linear foot of lot frontage. Residential property owners with townhouses or condominiums would pay a flat annual fee of $150 per unit.

The council will meet at 1:30 p.m. for the strategic planning meeting, 3 p.m. for the agenda meeting and 6 p.m. for the regular voting meeting. All meetings are in the City Council building at 1000 Lindsay St.

The full council agenda may be viewed at chattanooga.gov/city-council/agendasminutes-by-date.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at 423-757-6416 or at staylor@timesfreepress.com. Follow her on Twitter at @_sarahgtaylor.