Friday, October 31, 2014 · 2:59 a.m.
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Council members at a City Council meeting. (Photo: Staff)

City Council members will vote Tuesday to give final approval for designating $500,000 in funds to an ongoing effort to plan for the next 40 years of growth in the greater Chattanooga area.

The group will vote on an ordinance to shift the funds from the city's general fund contingency to the Southeast Tennessee Development District to be put toward the plan, also known as the Thrive 2055 initiative. Along with the city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County has committed an additional $500,000 for the project, and $540,000 has been committed from businesses. 

The public-private initiative is geared at encouraging collaboration between government and business leaders across the 16 counties making up the tristate region of Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama. The project is expected to have a total cost of $3 million. 

The ordinance being voted on by council members tonight says the region surrounding Chattanooga is "well-positioned for accelerated growth on many fronts" and cites recent investments from companies such as Volkswagen, Alstom, Amazon, Wacker and EPB as priming the area for additional growth. 

The plan will provide implementation strategies for future growth, as well as handling current growth in such a way that preserves the greater Chattanooga region's identity and quality of life.

The ordinance also offers a bleak prediction for what could happen if planners aren't given the green light to move forward with their study. 

"Without such a plan, unmanaged growth will occur, placing tremendous stress and strain on our infrastructure, land, fiscal and natural resources, culture, heritage and overall quality of life, resulting in a region that will deteriorate over time where no one will want to live, work and play," the ordinance reads.

City Council will meet for its agenda session at 3 p.m. in the council chamber at 1000 Lindsay St. The group's regular meeting is at 6 p.m.

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