Saturday, September 20, 2014 · 6:05 p.m.
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Chattanooga City Council members unanimously approved a $5,500 contract extension for the gang task force and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, allowing the partnership to continue toward the second stage of the comprehensive gang assessment plan.

The stage, described as the implementation plan, comes after city officials were briefed on the initial findings of the data-driven assessment. Boyd Patterson, gang task force coordinator, said he hoped that the task force, in partnership with the UTC Social Work Department, could best determine how entities can move forward in light of the most recent baseline data.

"This contract isn't for new research," Patterson said. "It's for taking and partnering and continuing to partner with the folks who did the research, to make sure that the planning is tied to the research and that it comes back to the neighborhoods that need it most."

Patterson said that, ideally, he could see the group's implementation plan ready for action as early as next March. 

"That's very ambitious," he said. 

The council also approved a resolution authorizing the Department of Parks and Recreation to enter into an agreement with Franklin Architects for renovations at the Hixson Community Center, for an amount not to exceed $146,585.

Councilwoman Deborah Scott cast the lone no vote against the resolution.

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