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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, January 13, 2017

Chattanooga to clean up Lupton City neighborhood




Mounds of rubble and debris at the former Dixie Yarns factory site. - Submitted

The City of Chattanooga will clean up the “blighted and dangerous” property on the former Dixie Yarns factory site.

“This is a 12-acre property in the middle of a neighborhood,” says Mayor Andy Berke. “By working together with the neighborhood association and Chattanooga City Councilman Jerry Mitchell, we developed a strategy to clean up this important property so it can return to being a centerpiece of the neighborhood instead of a dangerous eyesore.”

In the 1920s, Lupton City was built around the former Dixie Yarns factory, which was located in the middle of the neighborhood.

The 12 acres that made up the Dixie Yarns site, whichwould later become R.L. Stowe Mills, was once the crown jewel of the Lupton City neighborhood, providing jobs and a place for the community to gather. The property was sold to an out-of-town LLC in 2012 that began demolition but then abruptly stopped, leaving behind potentially dangerous rubble and debris.

The property defaulted and became a back tax property in 2016, allowing the City of Chattanooga to move forward and execute a clean up of the site.

“It was a lengthy process but the result will be worth it,” says Mitchell, who represents District 2, where the property is located. “We cut through red tape and more red tape.”

Mitchell says the clean-up process will take some time but will result in a safer, stronger Lupton City.

Mayor Berke is using the project as an opportunity to highlight the importance of rehabilitating Chattanooga’s brownfield sites.

“As this property will demonstrate, brownfields can be an important source of economic and community benefit when they’re remediated and added back to the tax rolls,” says Berke. “Chattanooga is growing. It will be critical that we reuse sites like this, making more land available to market to potential employers.

“Not only will this improve the safety and well-being of a neighborhood, it makes good fiscal sense for the city to make an initial investment and put brownfield properties back on the tax rolls.”

Over the next few months, and in conjunction with the budgeting process, the city will develop a plan to prioritize and remediate brownfields by working with existing partners like Brightbridge. The plan is expected to include details regarding the prioritization process as well as recommendations for funding sources both public and private.

Funds for the Lupton City project will be allocated in the City of Chattanooga’s fiscal year 2017-2018 capital budget. The city expects to have public works crews beginning cleanup of the site this summer.

Source: City of Chattanooga