City Council: Emergency Funds, Budgets, Salaries & Resident’s Questions

Chattanooga, TN – On Tuesday, the Chattanooga City Council met for their scheduled meeting at 6PM. 

The first half of the meeting pertained to rezoning of Greenways, Residential and Commercial areas in the City.  All rezoning requests were approved. 

Deputy Administrator, Anthony Sammons brought to the Council’s attention two new emergency purchases under Mayor Berke’s Emergency Declaration. 

Both were related to COVID-9 activities. 

The first was an increase to original purchase order no. 558917 by $36,085.38 to the Salvation Army. 

The funds were for additional emergency services for the months of September and October in the form of homeless housing that was used as a COVID-19 isolation facility.

The second was an increase to original purchase order no. 557745 by $9,933.04.  This was for additional cleaning services for the month of September to the facility provided by the Salvation Army. 

District 5 Councilman Russell Gilbert asked, “Regarding the cleaning services, was this under the same contract that we have with the company used for other buildings?” 

Sammons replied, “This was a separate contract for this specific service.  This service was bid out and Jan-Pro was awarded this service for this activity.” 

Chairman Chip Henderson then asked the Council Members to report from their individual committees. 

District 9 Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod used her time to remind the public to sign up for the virtual 2022 City Budget meetings. 

The City will host two more sessions – Thursday, November 12th from 5:30 to 7PM and Monday, November 16th from 5:30 to 7PM. 

“I want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard through this process.  This is the time, before and not after the budget has passed,” Coonrod stated. 

District 6 Councilwoman Carol Berz said, “We had our introduction to BFO on the 2nd and we had a great meeting last night (the 9th).  Councilwoman Coonrood is right, this is the time.  We are listening to everything you say.” 

District 8 Councilman Anthony Byrd reported on the issue of Firefighter salaries discussed in the Public Safety Committee. 

“I just want to let the Firefighters and all city workers know that we will continue to fight and work to get you the fairest pay we can get you.  Just hold on, we’re working for you,” Byrd said. 

Before opening up the meeting for Public Questions and Requests, Chairman Henderson asked City Attorney, Phil Noblett to explain how the Public can interact with the Council during the Pandemic. 

“Governor Lee, by his most recent Executive Order No. 65 is continuing to have Zoom Meetings through December 27th of 2020.  Because of that, at the end of each Council meeting, the Chair can recognize members of the public that wish to address the Council,” Noblett stated. 

Chattanooga resident, Sam Reeves reported that the line at the drive-through at Dunkin Doughnuts blocks the entrance to Smart Bank on Hixson Pike.  

“The managers of Smart Bank are getting agitated because no one can get into the entrance of Smart Bank.  Is there any resolution the bank could get?” Reeves asked.  

Chairman Henderson replied, “I am not aware of a resolution the City Council can bring forward to govern a private entity.”  

Henderson asked Reeves to email him personally to continue the conversation offline. 

Chattanooga resident, Robin Floyd reported problems with the 311 service.   

“When I call them for services, they tell me I don’t live in the city.  I’ve put in several different work orders and requests to have our ditch dug out more…storm water washes through the yard….but was told there was nothing they could do.  I do believe, with paying city taxes, we should be able to reach someone in Public Works to have a discussion with them regarding the 311,” Floyd stated.

Chairman Henderson replied that he would discuss the issue with Floyd’s District Councilman, Darrin Ledford, who was not present at the meeting, to see what can be done to resolve the issue. 

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