While big development projects downtown tend to get a lot of attention, I know how much the investments we make in neighborhoods throughout Chattanooga matter.

That’s why I wanted to make sure you saw a few recent stories about what we’re doing to build stronger neighborhoods, starting with this piece in NOOGAToday about some important road paving projects coming up in 2019. Blythe Bailey, the administrator of our Chattanooga Department of Transportation explains how we prioritize paving projects across the city so we can make the most of every dollar. In Lupton City, we’re going to start soon on converting the former R.L. Stowe thread mill from a brownfield to a greenfield while we work with the neighborhood on a new vision for that site. NOOGAToday also spoke with Public Art Chattanooga‘s Katelyn Kirnie about some terrific public art projects that have recently been unveiled throughout our city.

We’re not only investing in places — we’re investing in people. Frigid temperatures hit our region this week, which brought extra urgency to our annual “point-in-time” count of the community’s homeless population. As the Times Free Press explains, changes in federal funding formulas make it harder and harder for cities like ours to provide housing to those in need. In their words:

“The total homeless population after last year’s count was 623, up from 576 the previous year. Even more concerning was last year’s increase in the chronically homeless population — those who have been homeless for more than a year… The good news is that Chattanooga has a plan, a real plan, to shrink those numbers and help people get off the streets and back into a normal life with a roof over their heads.”  

Click here to read our new Homelessness Action Plan and learn how you can get involved in the solution.

Last but not least, please join me in remembering Chattanooga icon Sandy Bell, who passed away last weekend. A public memorial service will be held Saturday, February 2, from 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. at the John Henry Visual and Performing Arts Center, 1100 East 16th Street. Rest in peace, Sandy, and thank you for all the joy you brought to our city.

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