UPDATE: The Chattanooga City Council voted 5-4 to collect fees for the Business Improvement District.

A spokeswoman with the mayor's office tweeted that Councilmen Chip Henderson made an amendment to review the collection process after one year.

The city treasurer's office will collect no less than a 2% fee for collections.

The council must hold a second round of voting on the ordinance before it officially passes.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS UPDATE: The Chattanooga City Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would allow the city treasurer's office to collect fees for the Business Improvement District.

According to the agenda, the city council is scheduled to hold the first vote on the ordinance on September 3.

The scheduled vote comes after the Hamilton County Commission originally voted to allow the county trustee's office to collect the fees earlier this month, but reversed that decision during the August 21 meeting.

Several commissioners cited their concerns over the county being brought into lawsuits by business owners as the reason for the reversal.

The city council approved the creation of the BID on July 23.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: Some small business owners are fighting the Business Improvement District (BID) created for a portion of the downtown Chattanooga area.

Keeli Crewe, owner of Area 61 Gallery on Broad Street, took an opportunity to speak out against the BID at Wednesday's Hamilton County Commission meeting. 

"So I went there yesterday, because maybe this is just another opportunity. Maybe we should wait a full year before we do this and look at other options rather than a tax, a fee or an assessment, whichever you want to call it," said Crewe.

The Hamilton County Commission reversed its decision to allow the county trustee's office to collect the BID's fees during the meeting.

River City Company is now challenged with finding a new collection agency that has taxing authority by October 1. 

"Even though it's called an assessment and a fee in our language here, it's still handled like a tax and you can't get out of it," said Crewe. 

Crewe said she feels the true nature of this fee was misrepresented and that under the ordinance there are things that are unnecessary. 

"But I don't feel that beautification is the true nature of this," said Crew. 

Crewe loves what River City does for this community, but she said she feels like what could be a good thing is headed down the wrong path. 

"Cultural enhancements, activities in support of business or residential recruitment, retention, and management development, so that's historically the Chattanooga Chamber and River City," said Crewe.

Crewe hopes that without a collection agency, the BID is put on hold for a year.

Crewe's idea is a sustained membership. 

"And then what's cool about a membership, that if a person doesn't do their job, you drop the membership. They know that their funding comes from pleasing their members," said Crewe. 

Six property owners within the BID filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the city of Chattanooga. They're hoping to stop the BID.

River City Company has until October 1 to find another collection agency. A spokesperson said they are currently looking at other options.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.