Soddy Daisy community uses discretionary funding for school, fir - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Soddy Daisy community uses discretionary funding for school, fire department

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SODDY DAISY, TN (WRCB) - Commissioners in Hamilton County will get to decide how to spend $100,000 on projects in their district.

The commission voted Wednesday to keep the funding in next year's budget, going against Mayor Jim Coppinger.
    
Commissioners say the money is put to good use.  

At Daisy Elementary in Soddy Daisy, there's only one entrance and exit to get to the school and it's a road also shared by Soddy Daisy High School. But there's a new project in the works and that's to create a new road that creates its own entrance and exit behind the school.  That project is being paid for with $100,000 in discretionary funding.

"At this point it's been a major inconvenience, the high school traffic is up there, the elementary traffic, the buses of both coming in and out," said District 1 County Commissioner Randy Fairbanks.

Soddy Daisy High School's principal says safety has always been a top concern.

Now $100,000 in discretionary funding will help address it.

"There are times when we've had to bring ambulances in here," said Principal Danny Gilbert, "And it is during a time when we're either coming to school or letting out."

Inside the high school, Gilbert says the newly painted walls are all thanks to discretionary funding as well.
    
That project was approved when Commissioner Fred Skillern was in office.

"Without his money, our building would not look like it does right now."

Also in District 1,  the Mowbray Mountain Volunteer Fire Department has seen the funding go to good use.

"Turnout gear, air packs, portions of fire trucks, grants, basically you name it, it's gone toward that," said Asst. Chief Dusten Woodard.

This department handles all of the Pocket Wilderness rescues. There have already been two this month alone.
    
The department is hoping to purchase ATV's to give rescue workers better access in the woods
    
Discretionary spending could help offset that cost.

Woodard says the equipment that has been paid for in discretionary funding has saved people's lives.

"Without a doubt, every day. It's saved our communities' lives, it saves our fire department lives, both directions," Woodard said.

Commissioner Randy Fairbanks says his priority, when handing out discretionary funds, is to help keep the community safe.

"It's little projects that sometimes fall through the cracks but are desperately needed that help the citizens," Fairbanks said.

Fairbanks says next week bids will be going out to start work on the new road at Daisy Elementary, and construction is supposed to start September 1st.

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