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Chattanooga City Council sets goals for 2014

Three new Chattanooga City council members representing the North Hamilton County area were elected in 2013, and each have been hard at work in their respective districts since taking office in April.

District 1 Councilman Chip Henderson considers adding more money to the city’s paving budget one of his biggest accomplishments. The paving budget increased from around $1.5-1.7 million to about $3.7 million, he said.

“Well-paved roads and infrastructure are something I campaigned on,” he said.

He also considers the North Shore Summit he organized with District 2 Councilman Jerry Mitchell a success. He said subcommittees have been working since the main event on addressing issues identified in the North Shore area such as traffic and signage.

Another major accomplishment for Henderson, Mitchell and District 3 Councilman Ken Smith was the formation of the North Hixson Community Review Committee to discuss the issues surrounding the proposed development at Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road, said Henderson.

“I think having input from the citizens of that community will result in a better development,” he said.

Henderson said his greatest challenge since taking office has been answering all the phone calls and emails he receives as a councilman.

He said his goals for 2014 include further increasing the paving budget to $5 million. In the Hill City area, Henderson said he plans to work with Hamilton County to apply for Community Development Block Grant funding, which is intended to address issues such as sidewalks and low-income housing.

Smith also considers the North Hixson Community Review Committee one of his greatest successes.

“I consider it an accomplishment because the three councilmembers came together to make sure the development meets the needs of the community as a whole,” he said.

Smith said his idea for a District 3 Dialogue, an open public forum involving himself, Hamilton County Commissioner Marty Haynes and School Board Representative Greg Martin, was very well received by the community.

He also sees getting Big Ridge Road paved and permanently fixing the area near Lake Resort Drive to be two of his biggest accomplishments.

Smith said one of his biggest challenges has been coming up with sufficient funding for infrastructure improvement.

His goals for 2014 include the revitalization of Hixson Pike and Highway 58.

“There are a lot of dilapidated areas and closed businesses,” he said. “We want to create jobs and more economic development.”

Smith said he also plans to continue to focus on infrastructure improvements.

“There are a number of roads in District 3 that are in really bad shape,” he said.

Making sure there is adequate funding to provide fire and police services to the newly annexed areas in Hixson is another goal, said Smith.

District 2 Councilman Jerry Mitchell could not be reached.