November 29, 2011 5:17 PM Reporter: Lindsay Jackson Source: http://www.newschannel9.com/news/city-1006889-hamilton-county.html
For weeks there’s been talk of adding another city to the Tennessee Valley. A local group is trying to establish a city within Hamilton County, and they want to call it the city of Hamilton.
But in order to get that option on the ballot, they first have to get thousands of signatures.The petitions went out yesterday at 10a.m. and despite the soggy start we’ve had to this week, a couple dozen signatures are already inked.
“I’d like to see it become Hamilton City rather than Chattanooga anyway,” said Jimmie Beavers.
Beavers has lived in Ooltewah for 24 years and says he’s happy with the way things are. But with Cleveland expanding into western portions of Bradley County, and plans of more annexation from Chattanooga, Beavers says he wants to be separate from the city of Chattanooga as well as Collegedale.
“Collegedale is a small town and doesn’t offer the benefits of police protection and stuff that like we would have.; Some of the county sheriff’s seem to be doing a good job patrolling. But I’m not to happy with the Chattanooga police,” Beavers said.
More police is something Mark Ervin would like to see too. His business Fresh Fitness in Ooltewah has already been broken into once-,and he says response time by police was slow.
“I would like to see an increase in more of a police patrol. More awareness of that and giving more of a secure feeling to us as tenants here in the shopping center,” said Ervin.
Down the road, Steve Ray, who owns Midnight Oil which is a petition location, and signed the paper himself.
“I’m not enthused about any more government or another city. That doesn’t enthuse me one bit,” Ray said.
But, he says, that may be what it takes. His business was annexed in 2002 and he says so far, the only thing that’s happened, is extra bills.
“The service part, it just doesn’t happen. And it’s not a throw off on the city of Chattanooga, its fact. It’s just financial fact. It’s another extra bill. And I pay it here and I don’t wanna pay it at the house,” he said.
In order to get this on the next ballot, Friends of Hamilton who are organizing the movement, must get 33.3% of registered voters within the city boundary to sign the petitions.
If you’d like to sign the petitions, they can be found at these locations: Steve Ray Midnight Oil & Steve Ray Golfcarts, Fresh Fitness, Gymnastics Centers of Chattanooga, Savannah Valley Utility District, and Volunteer Electric Cooperative.
For more information, go to FriendsofHamilton.org