Ho Ho Ho? or Ha Ha Ha?

Is Cookeville's gift of asphalt a holiday gesture or reckless spending?

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 26) -- If the city were not so busy breaking into other peoples computers, it would be fitting that they expend an equal effort breaking into their own computers and find out the exact circumstances surrounding the three businesses here in Cookeville that got free paving this fall.  The building owner, Brenda Chase, in a phone interview, denies flatly that she had anything to do with the sudden and unexpected generosity of the city.

Being so close to Christmas, I originally chalked this up to gross and unmitigated guilt for the local tax burden that caused the city to take pity on struggling businesses.  I thought that Scrooge had seen the ghost of past taxations and of past annexations and suddenly felt like it finally owed businesses something.  Maybe this is a new urban renewal policy.

 Without a formal federal inquiry on the order of the Warren Commission, we will never know.  The true cost of this gift was somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000,  but since the depth of the asphalt is unknown, this is only an estimate.  There will be no line item in the city budget to let the citizen know exactly how much was actually transferred from the city to the infrastructure of a private individual because the city contracts for its paving on a per unit basis.  The city only needs to order the contractor to do the work.

If this were a legitimate transfer, there would be a paper trail that would specify what was given in return for approximately 65 by 147.5 feet of asphalt.  The city codes department does not even require  a permit for jobs like this when they are legal.  The cost to the citizen will be hidden by including it in the cost of paving the nearby road just south of the fairgrounds.
If anyone wants to see their tax money in action, go down to Hub City Cycles, Hot Heads and the Greyhound Bus station. If anyone finds out who ordered this done, Please ask them if the city plans to do this job right by coming back next year to put coal tar sealer on it.

Danny L. Newton