December 18, 2012

Dalton council accepts ownership of part of downtown building

Charles Oliver
charlesoliver@daltoncitizen.com

— The Dalton City Council accepted ownership of part of the downtown Lee building Monday night, and members said that they want the whole building.

“That building has sat empty for, I think, four years,” Mayor David Pennington said. “We want to get the property, get rid of the building and bring in a private developer who will build something there that will generate some property taxes.”

The council voted 4-0 to accept the back portion of the building from Lee Deal LLC.

“We plan to eventually transfer that to the land bank for redevelopment,” City Administrator Ty Ross said. “It’s the back half of the Lee building, not the glass structure that fronts Hamilton Street. It’s the large brick-and-mortar building that fronts the railroad tracks.”

Before council members accepted the donation they asked Ross if they would be able to acquire the rest of the property.

“We need the whole building,” Pennington said.

Ross said the city is currently in talks with the bank that owns the lien on the remaining part of the building.

Council members also voted 4-0 to:

• Make the intersection of Selvidge Street and Hawthorne Street a four-way stop. Traffic on Hawthorne Street had been stop controlled at the intersection but not traffic on Selvidge Street.

• Accept a small amount of property from Shaw Industries for construction of walking and biking trails on Mount Rachel. The construction of those trails will be funded through state and federal grants.

• Accept a small amount of property along Mill Creek from Dixie Property Management that Ross said will be used for green space.

• Accept about three acres near Dalton High School from Troy Smith.

“It’s back behind Dalton High School as that hill rises towards Castle Drive. It’s landlocked, and it’s such a steep grade it’s not buildable. That will also be added to the city’s green space,” Ross said.

• Approve an amendment to the 2012 budget that, among other things, includes $8,000 in closing costs for the donated properties.

• Approve a $2,657 change order for renovations currently underway at the Dalton-Whitfield Senior Center for work on the kitchen floor slab and the restrooms.

• Approve preapplication for federal funding for land acquisition to remove obstacles on the approach to the runway at Dalton Municipal Airport.

The council tabled action on two resolutions that would bring all of the Dalton Housing Authority’s properties into the city’s eastside redevelopment zone, a move that officials said will make it easier to improve the properties.

Members said they had just got the revised redevelopment plan Monday and needed time to read it before voting on it.

Members are scheduled to vote on the measure at a called meeting at 10 a.m. on Dec. 27. They are also scheduled to vote on the 2013 budget at that meeting.

Ross said that including housing authority property into the redevelopment zone will make it easier for the agency to qualify for federal funding.

“We want to get the Housing Authority ready for the 2013 grant cycle, and we needed to get some Housing Authority properties that aren’t in the redevelopment area. The vast majority are already in that district,” Ross said.