Let's Look At Alternative Funding Source For Camp Jordan Expansion - And Response (2)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

If the County and East Ridge-are going to consider declaring the Jordan Crossing development as a TIF region let's look at the much needed items the TIF money can be used for besides Camp Jordan;

1. Classroom expansions at Spring Creek Elementary
2. Sidewalks throughout East Ridge
3. Hardscape improvements along Ringgold Road along with the grants already being received
4. Additional incentives for development in conjunction with the Border Region incentives
5. Debt service on bonds already issued by East Ridge for Exit 1  improvements.

None of the above can be funded with hotel/motel tax, but the Camp Jordan improvements can.

 Do I like the idea of expanding Camp Jordan? Yes and, of course, I will be an active supporter of the idea.

Do we have alternate funding mechanisms in place to make it happen? Yes...hotel/motel tax

Do we need to take a close look at placing artificial surfaced playing fields in a flood-prone area? Yes

I am all about improving East Ridge and Camp Jordan, but let us take a very close look at all alternatives before we just jump on the idea of funding Camp Jordan improvements with a TIF.

We must remember 30 percent of the County's  2018 projected hotel/motel  tax will fund almost $25 million of tourist-related improvements throughout our county. The Camp Jordan improvements qualify without question.

Let's be smart with how we use all of our tax revenue sources for making improvements in our community before we talk about property tax increases on our citizens.

District 8 County Commissioner Tim Boyd

* * *

 Mr. Exum is off the mark when it comes to the East Ridge Sports complex.  East Ridge has a lot of needs and issues that need to be addressed and spending taxpayer money to force people past his dear friend John Healy’s development isn’t the best use of these funds.  Yes, they won’t affect the budget but the budget will not see the increase that was promised to the taxpayers when the city agreed to spend millions in incentives and development and reconfiguration of Camp Jordan Parkway and the surrounding exit ramps.

        Yeah Mr. Exum’s bathroom floods but not while it's been rented out by a major tournament who is then forced to relocate or refund the money its taken in and decides next year's tournament won’t have this problem because it won’t be played at Camp Jordan. Just ask the Christmas Nights of Lights folks who withdrew from their contract and decided to not return due to Camp Jordan flooding.

        Who Mr. Exum should really speak to is the taxpayers of East Ridge to ask them if they want funds diverted from city coffers and put into a larger Camp Jordan that's meant for outside folks more than local citizens.  Or if they would like those funds added to the city budget and used to securely badly needed police officers and firefighters.  I would tell Mr. Exum to ask those of us who pay taxes in East Ridge that question, but it appears Mr. Boyd already did.

Matthew DeGlopper

* * *
Tim Boyd has reason to be concerned. When one goes looking at comparable sports complexes in the region, you see that Lake Point Sports, just 70 miles south of Camp Jordan on I-75 is kicking butt. Sure, it is bringing in mega bucks to the small town of Emerson, GA, but it is also privately held. Does East Ridge and Camp Jordan really think that they can go toe to toe with a venue like that?

I realize that youth sport travel is a major industry and everyone wants a piece of the pie, but I don't think that Camp Jordan is necessarily the best place to throw tax payer money in order to grab some market share for Hamilton County. Unfortunately, the flooding of Camp Jordan is a reality. Seeing a bathroom flood is one thing; unable to get to your bathroom is another story. Tim Boyd's concern about putting in lots of infrastructure and the clean up costs WHEN it floods is very real. Sure, games will be canceled during the rain, but we are talking about the area that stays wet for days after the rain. One big flood messing up a tournament will have all the travel ball planners looking an hour south at a venue that won't flood! 

It was just 3 short years ago that East Ridge agreed to sell the dirt comprising the high ground at Camp Jordan to the developers so that the Crossing wouldn't flood. Now we want to build a sports complex on the freshly excavated low ground. 

East Ridge/Camp Jordan: Do what you are good at. Provide the nicest park for local sports and local events. Municipalities are in the business of providing services to the citizens, not development and tourism. 

If it really is a great idea, then a private company will make investment, just like Lake Point has done, on a site that doesn't flood or cause the tax payer money. 

Tim Giordano


My Experience With The Assessor’s Board Of Equalization

According to the Hamilton County Website, the County Board of Equalization “hears appeals from citizens who do not agree with their property assessments.” That sounds good. I sure don’t agree with mine. It “exists to give every property owner a chance to be heard. The goal is not to be an appraiser, but to decide values based on consistency, equity, and evidence. When properties ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Writing From Bragg Avenue

Far and away, my favorite comment on destroying statues appeared on my Facebook page the other day and, believe it or not, it was the clear-minded Times Free Press Sports Editor Stephen Hargis who penned, “This statue offends me! It must be torn down!” Underneath his fiery words, the long-suffered UT football fan posted a picture of the bronze monument outside of Bryant-Denny stadium ... (click for more)

Girlfriend Says Wright Was Driving Her PT Cruiser When He Left With Pair Whose Bodies Were Found At Cemetery

The girlfriend of William Howard Wright testified Tuesday that Wright and "Little Tony" were with two youths whose bodies were afterward found in a cemetery at Shepherd. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck bound two counts of criminal homicide and especially aggravated robbery to the Grand Jury against Wright. A 17-year-old is facing similar charges. The girlfriend ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Pay Increases Announced

Chattanooga Police officers will be earning more under a $1.4 million pay improvement plan announced Tuesday. New officers would get increases in each of their first six years with the department, which has been dealing with a number of newly trained officers going to other cities. City officers now make $35,913 upon joining the force. Under the plan, they will receive about ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Gets Revenge With Boyd-Buchanan

The Notre Dame volleyball team may have felt they let one get away in the championship match of the Hixson Invitational Saturday afternoon against the Boyd-Buchanan Lady Buccaneers, but they were bound to not let it happen again. At least, not during a home match against these same Lady Bucs Tuesday evening in the rowdy confines of their Jack Steiner Sr. Gymnasium. The Lady ... (click for more)

Despite Sloppy Finish, Lady Raiders Sweep McMinn

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cleveland High School’s volleyball team came close to completely satisfying its coach Tuesday. The Lady Raiders then got lazy. Coach Trish Flowers, who has another state tournament contender on her hands this season, let the squad feel her displeasure in the postgame huddle. “I was within just a few minutes of being in a good mood,” said Flowers, ... (click for more)