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Live where you work: Alderman says some not 'fully invested' in Kingsport

May 17th, 2014 8:01 pm by Rick Wagner

Live where you work: Alderman says some not 'fully invested' in Kingsport

Kingsport Alderman John Clark

KINGSPORT — If you work in Kingsport, Alderman John Clark wants you to consider moving to Kingsport.

And City Manager-elect Jeff Fleming said a project is afoot to encourage live-where-you-work behavior in the Model City.

"We have a lot of people who work in our city who don't live in our city," Clark said Thursday during a Board of Mayor and Aldermen work session.

Faced with financial woes that Mayor Dennis Phillips recently called the "worst year ever," the Board of Mayor and Aldermen during a work session reached an informal consensus on a 2014-15 budget plan that calls for a 4-cent property tax rate increase, a $5-per-month solid waste fee for curbside garbage pickup and slight increases in water and sewer rates.

The estimated cost for a home assessed at $140,000 would be $7.22 a month.

In addition, city officials are looking at the longer term prospect of implementing a franchise fee on natural gas, which would be passed along to customers.

And at its Monday work session, the BMA is to consider a request from the school system for $775,000 in additional operational money and $750,000 in technology money to buy computers for students.

After the meeting, Clark cited census data he said indicated that the Model City swells to about 73,000 people during the day but has a permanent population of only 50,000.

With the city struggling financially, he said folks who work here should consider moving here.

"They are not fully invested," Clark said of workers commuting to and from Kingsport.

"I feel they could help our city," Clark said. "They need to understand we are struggling for revenue."

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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