Anderson committee to consider tax agreement for OR mall redevelopment

Oak Ridge Village Area Rendering

 

It’s already been approved by the Oak Ridge City Council, and a 10-year extension of the $13 million tax agreement that could be used to help redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall will next be considered by Anderson County officials.

The agreement will be considered by the Anderson County Operations Committee on Monday evening. It could then be considered by the full Anderson County Commission later this month.

Like Oak Ridge officials, Anderson County officials will consider extending the tax agreement for the 59-acre project by 10 years—from 20 years to 30.

Officials have described the proposed redevelopment, named Main Street Oak Ridge, as an $80 million project that could fill a “hole in the heart” of Oak Ridge, bring new retail life to the city’s downtown, and build a lasting legacy. [Read more…]

County mayor asks volunteer fire chief to postpone subscription plan

Terry Frank

Terry Frank

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank has asked the Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department to postpone its controversial proposal to switch to a subscription-based plan.

The AVFD currently relies on donations, but Fire Chief Jeff Bagwell has proposed switching to a membership-based department on Jan. 1. Residents would pay a tax-deductible fee of 0.08 cents per square foot. The fire department would still respond to all fires, but non-members would be billed for service, Bagwell said in an Oct. 22 letter and list of frequently asked questions.

The first hour of a response to a structure fire could cost $1,900, Bagwell said.

“Fires could result in several thousands of dollars,” he said.

[Read more…]

Andersonville Fire Department to become subscription-based

The Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department says it will switch to a subscription-based operation beginning Jan. 1 due to a lack of funds, according to WYSH Radio in Clinton.

Fire Chief Jeff Bagwell says that a financial analysis of the department showed that if it did not change its operating plan, it would have to close down within three years, the radio station said.

The AVFD serves about 9,000 residents in a 68-square-mile area that also includes almost 60 businesses, four schools, several marinas, and an industrial park, WYSH said.

Memberships will be voluntary, and the subscription cost will be based upon the size of the home or business at a rate of eight cents per square foot. Officials estimate that the annual subscriptions will range from $150 to $200 but will be tax-deductible.

Currently, a very small percentage of homes and an even smaller percentage of businesses contribute to the department, WYSH said. After March 1, 2013, the department will begin charging non-subscribers for responding to the scene of a fire or an emergency medical call.

WYSH said Bagwell is scheduled to be a guest on the radio station’s “Ask Your Neighbor” show in a couple of weeks, and they plan to discuss the issue with him.

Andersonville is an unincorporated community in northeast Anderson County.

This story brought to you through an agreement between Oak Ridge Today and WYSH. See more local news headlines on the WYSH website at http://www.wyshradio.com/local_news.html.