Commissioners approve West MLK Boulevard expansion

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton county commissioners approved the extension of west M-L-K boulevard this morning and helped numerous schools with building projects.

Following the lead of the Chattanooga city council, the County Commission has voted to approve Tax Increment Financing for the proposed extension of west MLK Boulevard.

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It’s a 5.2 million dollar project.

The vote followed an extensive discussion with Charles Woods, the Chamber of commerce vice president of economic development.

“We view the property as you move on MLK, going towards downtown away from the river, as additional development that will happen because of this project. That the value created because of this project, through views, access and amenities, will increase the value of that property substantially.”



The plan is to extend the roadway across Riverfront Parkway to the Blue Goose Hollow Trailhead and the Riverwalk. It would include sidewalks and bike paths. The new roadway would permit a view of the river from Riverfront Parkway.

Commissioner Joe Graham “We’re going to use future tax revenues from the development of that property to be able to purchase more land right there, to move the road over so when you come down ML King it’s going to be a straight shot all the way to the trail head at the river walk.”

Also at the meeting, Commissioners voted their approval of using some of the $110,000,000 for school building and improvements.
Commissioner Graham says the county’s excellent credit will generate even more funds.

“The interest rate is going to save millions of dollars, uh, Hamilton county has got a triple, AAA bond rating, which is unheard of in the state of Tennessee. I believe if I’m not mistaken we’re the only county that has it, that saves the county taxpayer millions of dollars in interest, which means we take that millions of dollars in savings and we’re able to put them back into these buildings and into school projects and help develop our schools better. ”

Normal Park Museum Magnet school got $30,000 to put a roof on their new gym.

Principal Carrie Willmore says “our parents have really rallied together and worked really hard to raise a large chunk of that money and we’re very thrilled today that our county commissioner Joe Graham and the rest of the commission were able to support this project and help us move it along.”

Parents raised 168-thousand dollars to build the new gymnasium.