published Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Auction set for Tennessee Multicultural Chamber parcels

Multiple vacant lots are photographed Wednesday in the 400 block of MLK Blvd., leading up to the former Renewal Barber Shop at 423 MLK Blvd., seen in the background.
Multiple vacant lots are photographed Wednesday in the 400 block of MLK Blvd., leading up to the former Renewal Barber Shop at 423 MLK Blvd., seen in the background.
Photo by John Rawlston.
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The holder of a $579,000 loan to the Tennessee Multicultural Chamber of Commerce is foreclosing on the two M.L. King Boulevard properties purchased with the money.

Legal notices in Saturday’s Times Free Press state that the minority Chamber has defaulted on the 2008 loan by the Chattanooga Community Development Financial Institution.

The notices state that the properties at 423 and 439 E. M.L. King will be sold at auction Oct. 3.

Multicultural Chamber officials could not be reached Saturday for comment. The Chamber’s telephone has been disconnected.

Last week, Multicultural Chamber board Chairman Walter Hitchcock said in a voicemail message to the Times Free Press that the Chamber board was scheduled to meet Sept. 20 to discuss reorganizing the nonprofit.

The Times Free Press raised questions in June about inconsistencies in the minority Chamber’s budget requests to Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Later, both governments axed their annual $75,000 contributions to the Chamber.

A subsequent review by City Auditor Stan Sewell revealed that the Chamber owed more than the total value of its assets.

The Chamber paid $500,000 from the CCDFI loan for the properties, which were appraised for taxes at just $211,000, as part of a plan to build a Business Solutions Center on M.L. King.

It bought three other parcels for the project using a $545,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Records show the Chamber paid $200,000 for the land and $106,400 for planning and development. The remaining $238,600 is unaccounted for, according to city records.

The business center was not built, and both HUD and FBI investigators have been asking questions about the loan and the grant.

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harrystatel said...

The City of Chattanooga should buy the property, even though it's not a toxic dump site. Since education is so important here's suggestions for new schools.

Sherrie Gilchrist University of Financial Responsibility and Voo-doo Accounting

The Littlefield College for Transparency in Government, Annexation, and Sewage Discharge (Rocky Raccoon, mascot).

Ward Crutchfield's Tennessee Waltz and Two-Step School of Dance (instructors depend on who is on parole).

The Paul Page Therapeutic Touch Emporium and Training Academy for Government Subordinates (women only).

Billy Long School for Better Sheriffing.

Mike McMahan's Legal Secretarial School for Ethics in City Government.

Bill Cox's Academy for Deaf, Dumb and Blind District Attorneys (Silence will be observed at all times).

Zach Wamp's School for Term Limits, Bailouts, and Building a House on "C" Street (students must furnish proof of hypocrisy for admission).

Jack Benson's Little Red Schoolhouse of Cronyism and Tin-Foil Hats (Graduate Degree offered in IHOP Terrorism).

Manny Rico's Know-Nothing School for Political Scalawags and Suppression of Free Speech at City Council Meetings (you may only speak with permission).

Chattanooga City Council School of Christmas Carols. Learn such Council favorites as "While Shepherds Screw Their Flocks by Night", "Away in a Manger I Hide All My Cash", "O Holey Pants, I Think I Lost My Payoff" and that perennial favorite "O Come Annexation, Let Us Tax More People" as only the City Council can sing.

So many educational opportunities and only Chattanooga government can buy the property for more than it's worth.

September 11, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.
Citizen49 said...

I see that Mr John "the Money is where the Money is" Taylor has not been heard from lately. Where are you Taylor? When will you step up and tell your and Sherrie's story - how you are innocent and you were helping the minorities of Chattanooga. Make sure you answer where is the remaining $238,600 first?

September 11, 2011 at 10:27 a.m.
SavartiTN said...

Oh, harrystatel, that was entertaining!

September 11, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
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