Middle Valley Communities Move to Stop Annexation

Chattanooga Flag
Chattanooga Flag
Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 11/25/2013 5:48 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV)-- A Middle Valley community is asking the city of Chattanooga to rethink annexing them.
Most of the annexation proposals introduced under the Littlefield administration have been finalized, but residents of eight residential areas not yet officially in the city are asking, "Why bother?"

When is it best for a municipality NOT to annex property?
That's a decision the Chattanooga city council will have to make on December 3rd.
Several communities in middle valley are asking the city to de-annex them.

KEN SMITH "From a fiscal standpoint, it doesn't make sense. We have enough problems trying to maintain the areas that are already within the city limits."

Councilman Ken Smith has major concerns over bringing Ramsgate, Laurel Cove, Eagle, East Boy Scout, Starlight. Westpoint. Jackson Square and Rose Garden into the city December 31st.

KEN SMITH, CITY COUNCIL "In this case its really 526 residences and 10 small businesses without that kind of growth possibilities for industrial or commercial."

Although annexed in 2009, these neighborhoods have not yet gone on the tax roles, and they are not receiving city services. Council can stop the annexation with an ordinance before the city goes through the expense of bringing them in.

KEN CAREY, PRES. LAUREL COVE HOMEOWNERS ASSOC. "We see that the city in the first three year period..which is covered within the master local agreement, is going to spend 3-dollars for every one dollar they take in."

Ken Carey headed a petition campaign to ask for an ordinance to that effect. There are almost 500 names on that petition. He says they are worried the city cannot provide adequate police and fire protection, especially now that troubles with the pension plan may lead to widespread retirements.
He also sees it as a moral issue.

KEN CAREY "This annexation was totally forced on us. We really didn't have any say...no vote ..No nothing."

State Representative Mike Carter of Ooltewah is sponsoring a bill to have Tennessee join 39 other states in requiring a referendum before any area can be annexed into a city.

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