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Knoxville City Council to vote on Andrew Johnson Building development, $160,000 in homelessness outreach funds

They will also discuss whether to give $50,000 to the YWCA to support a program providing emergency shelter for women experiencing homelessness.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Tuesday, the Knoxville City Council will meet to discuss and vote on several routine items, and some items that could impact people experiencing homelessness across the city.

First, they will discuss whether to approve changes to the PILOT program for developers planning to change the Andrew Johnson Building on Gay Street into a hotel. The program reduces the amount that developers would need to pay in taxes as long as they meet certain expectations for the project.

Originally, the agreement would have lasted 12 years with an annual payment of around $110,000. Now, city council will discuss formally changing the agreement to last for 17 years with an annual payment of $60,000 due to an increase in construction costs and interest costs used for the project.

They will also vote on whether to give YWCA Knoxville and the Tennesee Valley up to $50,000 in CARES Act funds to support their Keys of Hope program. The program provides emergency shelter and services for women experiencing homelessness.

City leaders said that the grant would help pay for personnel in the shelter, cover the program's costs and provide direct help to an estimated 146 people in the emergency shelter.

They will also discuss giving another $160,000 in CARES Act funds to Volunteer Ministry Center for outreach efforts to people experiencing homelessness within Knoxville.

Specifically, the organization will be tasked with identifying people experiencing homelessness and building relationships with them. They will manage their cases, coordinating and monitoring services given to them while also addressing urgent needs and providing emergency medical services.

Ultimately, they hope to move unhoused people into safer conditions.

They will be expected to engage with 32 people through the outreach services from July 1 through September 30, conduct CHAMP assessments on at least five people, refer 16 to housing care management services and facilitate the placement of at least one person into permanent housing. Similar goals are expected during the following quarters.

The Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department is also hoping to lease the Historic Oakwood-Lincoln Park Clubhouse to the Oakwood-Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association. They expect the space to be used for community events, monthly meetings between community members and private rentals.

The lease is expected to last 5 years, with an option to renew it for another 5 years.

They will also discuss whether to adjust the city's tax rate to its lowest rate since 1974. The current city tax rate is $2.9638 per $100 of assessed value, according to the release. The mayor's administration is proposing a new rate of $2.1556.

Finally, city leaders will discuss whether to apply for the 2022 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which would give the city $144,082 in federal money to buy equipment, supplies and technology upgrades, as well as provide law enforcement training.

Knoxville City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

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