knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

Library n00z

Knox County mayor Mike Ragsdale has announced plans (.pdf warning) for the new downtown library this afternoon as part of his new budget.
The Ragsdale plan includes a new downtown library to replace Lawson McGhee. “This can be a critical part of downtown redevelopment,” said Ragsdale. The burden will not fall just on the taxpayers, however. Charlie Anderson, President of Anderson News, has pledged to raise $5-million to help defray the cost of the facility. The proposed site is the old News Sentinel site bordering State, Gay and Church. “The land is owned by the city, and we will work with them to devote it to this public use,” said Ragsdale. (Knoxcounty.org)

The county expects to raise the revenue needed for the various projects from a new $30 annual wheel tax. Ragsdale cites fairness as the reason for levying a wheel tax, and not a property tax. A wheel tax would affect 400,000 registered vehicles, as opposed to the 180,000 properties in Knox County. It seems rather reasonable, if you ask me. Considering the horrible air quality in the county, it would have been nice to see an exemption offered for extremely clean and efficient vehicles, or an extra fee for commercial trucks or private trucks over a certain weight. Clean the air and raise money for the library...crazy, I know.

Also, I'm not sure if I should thank Charlie Anderson or be suspicious about what he stands to gain from donating $5 million for the library.
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