City drops residential area from annexation

City drops residential area from annexation

October 21st, 2009 by Cliff Hightower in Politics Local

The City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday night on first reading to annex a small area on the side of Lookout Mountain and areas on Hixson Pike.

The city decided to exclude one residential area that initially was part of the annexation - Goldpoint Estates. Mayor Ron Littlefield said the $1 million cost of putting sewers into the area led to the decision.

"It's a rather expensive sewer project," he said. "We can put it off."

Councilman Russell Gilbert voted against the annexation.

John Peckinpaugh, a resident of Stonington Drive in Goldpoint Estates, thanked the council for not annexing the area. Afterward, he said the city could reconsider, but because the subdivision is on a hill, it might be costly for sewer work, he said.

"It's too expensive," Mr. Peckinpaugh said.

Council members also discussed whether the city's public arts program had been shortchanged for a number of years. A 2004 ordinance says that public arts should be funded by whichever is greater - $100,000 or 1 percent of the city's capital budget.

Councilman AndraƩ McGary, chairman of the arts, education and culture committee, said he believes the council should move toward funding the art program through the 1 percent capital budget fund.

PDF: Chattanooga Percent-for-Art


The Chattanooga City Council will hold a public hearing on the areas of Hurricane Creek and Windstone at 6 p.m. Thursday. The mayor has said he would hold off on annexation of these areas if county officials would talk about consolidation of services. The hearing will be held anyway because it previously was advertised, city officials said.

Mr. McGary argued that art helped as an economic driver for the city. He said he realized it would be tough to fund a program such as that while the economy is down.

"Even in tough times, you have to make some decisions," he said.

Councilwoman Deborah Scott said no percentage of the budget is tied to road or sidewalk construction.

"I don't know if it's good budgeting strategy to come up with an arbitrary percentage per year," she said.

The council also discussed selling alcohol in Memorial Auditorium and Tivoli Theatre. City officials told council members that the Tivoli Auditorium Promotion Association could manage the sale of alcohol at the facilities only 12 times a year.

"That wouldn't solve our problem," said Council Chairman Jack Benson.

"Right now, we're looking for a short-term solution," Mr. McGary answered.

Mr. McGary said the city could have the nonprofit association manage alcohol sales until the state possibly could change the law next year. The arts, education and culture committee will talk about alcohol sales and public art again next week.