Of the more than 50 citizens in attendance, most of whom have lived a significant portion of their lives in Lookout Mountain, most supported the idea of building a town center, and even of shouldering more property tax pay-ments in order to help do so.
The proposed repeal of sales tax rebates, while still theoretical at this point, could cost a Lookout Mountain homeowner anywhere from $58 extra per year to more than $400, depending on the assessed value of the home. The city would stand to gain almost $110,000 per year from the repeal, which would be equivalent to a 17 percent tax hike in the city. County property taxes would not increase and would remain unaffected.
A conceptual drawing of the town center prepared by River Street Architecture shows the 1.67-acre triangular lot upon which the Lookout Mountain city hall currently sits transformed to a space where a new city hall backs up to the mountainside and is surrounded by an updated police and fire station on each side. At the front of the prop-erty, room for up to four retail or commercial spaces has been marked.
Lookout Mountain mayor Bill Glascock stressed during the meeting, at which opinions only were gathered and no formal decisions were made, that the current plans are not yet architecturally detailed are merely ideas. Glas-cock welcomed other ideas from the crowd, which included moving the city hall and public safety stations to the location less than two miles away where the new public works building was recently constructed, leaving the prime real estate at the heart of Lookout Mountain more open for retail development in order to draw greater economic growth.
The overall tone of the meeting was hopeful, and citizens expressed that, despite not yet having a definite devel-oper ready to invest in Lookout Mountain retail property, they would rather begin to move forward with the project in the near future, with the hope that developers would hop on board at a later date.
Glascock still hopes some local business or property owners might step up with a good idea for the city, and ex-pects to have a more solid idea toward which direction the project might be heading within the next few weeks, af-ter which further public meetings will likely be announced.