The Chattanooga City Council wants at least two more early voting sites added in time for the March city election.
Council members also agreed Tuesday evening that the city should accept a $500,000 donation from the Lyndhurst Foundation to help renovate Miller Park downtown.
All of the council members agreed on the need to make it easier for Chattanooga residents to vote. But the debate was over how much money to spend and whether it could be done in time for the upcoming municipal voting.facebook
In a letter to his fellow members delivered at the council's 1:30 strategic planning meeting, Councilman Chris Anderson had proposed six more sites be added.
City attorney Wade Hinton reported at the 6 p.m. meeting that the Election Commission could add two more sites at a cost of $15,000 each. But adding the six sites proposed by Anderson would require them to buy additional laptop computers and other equipment at a cost of $30,000, he said.
The council has a contingency fund that could be used for the additional expenditures, but in the end the council asked only that two more be added, one at the Glenwood Youth and Family Development Center and the other at the South Chattanooga YFD Center.
The city now has three early voting sites, at the North River Civic Center, the Brainerd YFD Center and the Election Commission offices.
The council adopted the resolution by voice vote, with only councilman Chip Henderson dissenting. Henderson had asked the council to postpone a vote on adding the early voting locations until the next election cycle, saying he was worried council members lacked information on where the sites were most needed.
The Lyndhurst Foundation donation was accepted with no discussion, other than a remark from Councilman Anderson calling it "most generous."
The city plans to remove the current water feature at Miller Park and bring it to ground level as part of a $10 million public and private project to renovate the area. Work is expected to begin this summer.
Contact staff writer Steve Johnson at 423-757-6673, email@example.com, on Twitter, @stevejohnsonTFP, and on Facebook, www.face book.com/noogahealth.