City Council’s Critical Call—Creek Consensus?

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Friars Branch Stream Restoration Project cost the city $1.2 million after new homes were flooded along Hickory Valley Road caused by inadequate stormwater management during the development of Hamilton Place upstream.  The residents dealing with the floodwaters suffered cleanup costs as did the city.  Allowing homebuilders to cover up more surface with impervious homes and paving will continue to make matters worse likely at cost to taxpayers and certainly to water quality. 

Action Requested: Delay your vote on amendments to the Storm Water Ordinance now scheduled for Nov. 21. Ask Public Works staff to call a facilitated meeting(s) with members of the development community and the environmental community to seek a solution that works for the environment and all water quality rate payers.  

Concerning the vote of whether to change the SOV regulation in the South Chickamauga Creek Basin from 1.6 inches back to 1.0 inch, you are faced with what many citizens believe is a critical decision. 

On the one hand, the Homebuilders Association has implied to you that their efficiency as home developers is imperiled if they are not allowed to build with less stringent regulations concerning the amount of rainwater that must be captured on a particular piece of ground in the South Chickamauga Creek Watershed area. They believe the current stormwater fee is too high.  

On the other hand, the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance and other residents of Chattanooga have said that this decision will make a significant impact on water quality, issues related to flooding, siltation, habitat, and pathogens. Making this change would mean the city would no longer comply with our water quality permit with the state.  

New and additional programs would need to be developed, such as stream restoration projects. At this point, no one is able to tell you how much reconstruction will be required and at what cost to all storm water rate payers in Chattanooga. With these competing points of view and the passionate discussions concerning both sides, you, our City Councilpersons, must make a wise and far-reaching decision. The original 1.6 inch decision was made in 2014 with development and environmental viewpoints represented at the table to consider all sides of this complex issue. This year the discussions did not include the South Chickamauga Greenway Alliance. Why not call for a new mediated meeting again with all sides involved? 

While I appreciate the open public forums the Stormwater Board and the City Council have held in an attempt to put all the issues on the table, these meetings have resulted in a debate rather than a “we-are-all-in-this-together-meeting,” and we must find the best answer for all of Chattanooga. I am not suggesting an easy meeting or set of meetings. This will be difficult.  An outside mediator will probably be required. But a clearer vision of what is being said on both sides needs to be presented in such a manner that nothing will be a surprise to you as a Council, to the Homebuilders Association, or to those of us who are residents. Whatever the ramifications for the future, we must be able to say: “These are all the reasons a final decision was made at this time.”

Franklin McCallie



Commissioner Mackey Thanks The Voters

I am writing to thank the voters who have re-elected me to represented them on the Hamilton County Commission. I am especially humbled at the high level of trust that was given to me. In the primary I received 72o percent of the vote. In the general election conducted last week an amazing 83 percent of the voters supported me. Again I must say that I am humbled and I say ... (click for more)

Make One Of The Proposed Surplus City Buildings Into A Local History Museum - And Response

The city of Chattanooga currently has no history center or museum. That is because several years ago it was conveyed to the public, in the blinking of an eye, that $9 million that had been raised mysteriously vanished for reasons unexplainable to this date. In the meantime, valuable artifacts and collections are sitting in cellars, basements and storage facilities instead of being ... (click for more)

Pinkston's Office Seeking The Death Penalty Against Trio Charged In Murder Of State Witness Bianca Horton

The office of District Attorney Neal Pinkston is seeking the death penalty against three men charged in the murder of state witness Bianca Horton. The intent to seek the death penalty was filed against Andre Grier, Courtney High and Charles Shelton. They were among 42 alleged members of the Athens Park Bloods gang charged in a state RICO action. Ms. Horton was gunned down ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Mayor, City Council To Appoint Phil Noblett As City Attorney

Mayor Andy Berke and the Chattanooga City Council said they will introduce a joint resolution next  Tuesday  confirming Phil Noblett as city attorney and chief legal officer for the city of Chattanooga. A native of Asheville, N.C., Mr. Noblett received his J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham and has been a licensed ... (click for more)

Rectors Lead Hixson Past Lady Bucs In Season Opener

Robert Catlett may have been a little bit nervous before Hixson’s first volleyball match of the season Monday evening, but the guy who is now the head coach for the Lady Wildcats after many years as their assistant didn’t seem to show it. Hixson hosted the Boyd-Buchanan Lady Buccaneers in both team’s season opener and it was also the first match for first year Lady Buc coach ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Opens Volleyball Season With 3-1 Win Over Red Bank

Ooltewah defeated Red Bank, 3-1, Monday to open the Lady Owls’ 2018 volleyball season. Scores were 22-25, 25-11, 25-14 and 25-21. Madeline Mills, Jensen Davis, Ariel Reid and Cheyanne Sales led the Lady Owls with solid performances against the Lady Lions in the match played at Ooltewah. Mills had nine kills, 19 assists, 15 digs and two aces. Davis contributed 10 ... (click for more)