Mayor Berke tours downtown public library; talks upcoming budget vote

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)– We are less than one week from the Chattanooga city council’s first vote on the new budget.We are less than one week from the Chattanooga city council’s first vote on the new budget. We caught up with Mayor Andy Berke about renovations that have already been made at the downtown library, and what’s to come.

The city council is preparing to vote for the first time at their first meeting in September on the new budget.The city council is preparing to vote for the first time at their first meeting in September on the new budget.

Wednesday afternoon Mayor Andy Berke toured the downtown public library to show off the many major renovations.

Berke says, “The progress that’s being made at the downtown public library is something that is being used by so many people and when you come in you see people sitting, using the computers or using printers or reading magazines makes you feel great.”

They have been doing maintenance to the historic building and trying to preserve its character. There have already been renovations to the library’s lighting system to make it more energy efficient.

“A couple years ago if you were to come in here it would have been a dark and dingy place we put in some capital dollars to improve the lighting and now not only is it lit so much better,” Berke says.

They say they library went from having 800 lights to just 100 and the efficient system cut their bill by 11%. Mayor Berke says making changes like these, along with the others written into the proposed budget are important because it is in the heart of the innovation district.

Berke believes, “Innovation is all about knowing something new and using it to spark a new idea. The library is a resource for people to come to, anybody can use it no matter what part of the city they are from and this is a place that they can come together, they can argue, they can talk and they can come up with that great new idea.”

Another budget hearing is scheduled for September 5th, next Tuesday for 10 am in the council conference room. The council’s first vote is also that day at 6 pm.