Business Improvement District revisited at city council


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The proposal to bring a business improvement district to Chattanooga is getting a second chance with the city council.

More flowers, cleaner sidewalks, less graffiti — that all one step closer to coming to the heart of downtown Chattanooga at no extra cost to the city.

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Last week, no city council member seconded the petition to create a Business Improvement District — killing the ordinance without a vote.

Now, the idea is getting another chance as a resolution.

“I felt a lot more energy afterwards. I had some discussions and got some clarifications on a lot of things that was going to make the BID so successful and a good part of our city,” Councilman Erskine Oglesby said.

The BID would have business owners within the district pay the city every year for some extra attention to those areas.

Included would be beautification projects and downtown ambassadors dedicated to helping visitors and residents alike.

“This is something new, and I think it’s everyone trying to get their head around it. The most important part of it is that property owners have been the ones to vote that say they want to pay. And it’s a million dollar investment in the city every single year,” said Kim White, president and CEO of River City.

Sixty-one percent of the 195 property owners affected voted in favor of the BID.

The BID will be discussed at next week’s economic and community development committee meeting. It will then have to be voted on to be heard once again on the council’s main agenda.

“Since we’ve had a restart, they will have time. If there’s questions about it, we have reached out. We’ve had property owners reach out. So there is time to take a deep breath and understand more about the ins and outs of the bid,” White said.

Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis all have successful BID that Chattanooga would model after.