City Foots Bill for TVA Parking Garage

Now that Chattanooga's operating budget is finished, city leaders are working on the capital budget.
The mayor's office is asking council members to approve 70-million dollars, to cover major city projects, and one of those, is a pretty pricy parking lot for T-V-A employees..

Each morning parking is a struggle for TVA employees on their way to work.  

"Everyday I have to park down at Finley Stadium and walk it takes me about ten minutes," says Kellie Keith, a TVA employee.

"I spend anywhere from 5-10 days parking in the paid republic parking lot," says Terry Johnson, also a TVA employee.

That's why the city is planning to build TVA employees a brand new parking deck. City leaders say the plans for this garage were drawn up almost a decade ago.

Mayor Littlefield proposed to council members that its a must in order to keep TVA employees downtown.
The 1000 new spaces will not only serve TVA by day but the trade center at night.

But the 13 million dollars allotted in the Capital Budget to pay for this parking garage comes out of taxpayers pockets. Taxpayers that won't get to use it all the time.

"Well they will be able to use the parking when it is important to them, and they will be able to park in the areas that are more readily available because we have made more parking in the area," says Mayor Ron Littlefield.

Mayor Littlefield says even though the city is putting the money up first, we'll get that money back through bonds later. But at least one tax payer we spoke to doesn't buy it.  

"It doesn't really make sense to me if the taxpayers are paying that much money for a parking garage to not be able to have access to it," says Misty Geistert.

Other parts of the capital budget are technology upgrades throughout the city, and intelligent traffic system, work on public roads and replacing public vehicles.  

The first reading of this budget will happen next Tuesday.
Tennessee Valley Authority
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