Ring­gold, Ca­toosa eye­ing court­house streetscape

♦ Plans in­clude mak­ing Maple and Jail streets one-way, new and re­vamped cross­walks, green spa­ces, and more park­ing.

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Cook [email protected]

Ring­gold of­fi­cials are dis­cussing plans for a streetscape im­prove­ment project around the Ca­toosa County Court­house and will now seek in­put from the county’s sher­iff and Board of Com­mis­sion­ers.

The project was first pre­sented to the pub­lic dur­ing Ring­gold’s Nov. 12 City Coun­cil meet­ing, at which time Coun­cil­man Ran­dall Franks pre­sented first draw­ing of changes to the block sur­round­ing the court­house.

“The coun­cil is sup­port­ing this par­tic­u­lar project that was brought to us through our vi­sion­ing plan that the EDA (Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity) and the Lyn­d­hurst Foun­da­tion helped us with as part of the Down­town De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity’s over­all plan,” Franks said.

Pre­lim­i­nary de­tails of the plan in­clude mak­ing Maple and Jail streets one-way, plus new and re­vamped cross­walks, green spa­ces, and more park­ing.

“This will make a tremen­dous im­prove­ment in the traf­fic flow around the court­house,” Franks said. “We’ll be adding ad­di­tional park­ing on all of these streets around the court­house, with a tremen­dous amount of ad­di­tional park­ing on Jail Street, as well as along Lafayette Street and on Maple Street.”

The park­ing along Nashville Street (U.S. 41) would re­main es­sen­tially the same un­der the cur­rent first plan.

“That’s where were at,” Franks said. “I think our plan was to take this to the court­house and al­low the com­mis­sion­ers to re­view it as well as the sher­iff’s of­fice — let them give it a look to see what we’ve got in mind from our vi­sion­ing plan.”

The coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the ini­tial de­sign, and the mo­tion in­cluded sub­mit­ting it to the county for re­view.

City Man­ager Dan Wright said there could be changes made, and Mayor Pro Tem Terry Craw­ford said Maple Street be­com­ing a one-way might be an area of con­cern for county of­fi­cials be­cause of the gas pumps that are fre­quented by county ve­hi­cles.

“I don’t think the county has signed off on which streets they want to make one-way,” Craw­ford said. “The Sher­iff’s Depart­ment, plus some of the county … fuel all their ve­hi­cles right there and we need to check with them to see which one is most ben­e­fi­cial to them. If they need it the other way, we may have to change some­thing.”

Franks added that ini­tial dis­cus­sions with Sher­iff Gary Sisk left him feel­ing like the plan might be okay.

“The sher­iff thought the de­sign as de­scribed would be ad­e­quate for ve­hi­cles to get to the pumps and for de­liv­er­ies,” Franks said. “Our en­gi­neer has told us that he has ac­com­mo­dated that in this plan, the space that’s needed.”

The plans will now be re­viewed by the county, which has its next Board of Com­mis­sioner’s meet­ing slated for Tues­day, Dec. 4.

Mayor Nick Mill­wood said the main goal is to make the streets and walk­ways around the court­house safer, more walk­er­friendly, and to cre­ate more park­ing.

“I think a lot of peo­ple will ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­tra park­ing around the court­house be­cause that’s a big dif­fer­ence,” Mill­wood said.

/ Adam Cook

Ring­gold City Coun­cil­man Ran­dall Franks dis­cusses some of the early plans for a streetscape project.

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