published Monday, October 15th, 2012

Board approves taxpayer financing for Black Creek Mountain

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    Equipment sits idle around the developing area on Aetna Mountain Road in this file photo. New development in the area around Aetna Mountain Road is causing a stir.
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Officials still can’t agree whether to call it Aetna Mountain, Raccoon Mountain or Elder Mountain, but they finally agreed today to approve $9 million in taxpayer financing for a road to the top.

The approval from the city’s Industrial Development board came with strings attached.

The board gave its approval pending an opinion from either the state attorney general or public finance attorney George Masterson that will defend the legal basis under the Tennessee Tax Increment Financing statute.

After the meeting, Masterson said “we’re digesting” the opinion and what it means.

A number of attendees spoke in opposition, criticism everything from the legal basis for the taxpayer financing to the name of the project.

In short, developers will front the $9 million for the road and the city and county will pay them back using the increase in area tax revenues as a result of the project’s success — if it succeeds.

If it doesn’t, only the developer loses money, officials said.

See tomorrow’s Chattanooga TImes Free Press for more.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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