Economic Development Council Discusses Community Growth
by Ashley Murphy
Friday, June 4, 2010
The Economic Development Council held their regular bimonthly meeting on Thursday, June 3rd at the Chamber of Commerce.
Lisa Pickel updated the council on Existing Industry. To date, there have been three completed surveys and sixteen industry visits to the Cleveland area.
Cleveland Utilities and TVA sponsored a Lean & Clean Energy Workshop on May 6th, which had fourteen attendees from various industries.
A new career center has been opened in the Village Green, Suite 205. The center is open to the public Monday through Thursday until 4:00. Beginning in July, the center will be opened Monday through Friday.
Sherry Crye then updated the panel on Workforce Development. On April 15th, all system-level teachers of the year from city and county schools were honored in an Annual Salute to Education Event. Each honored teacher was given a $500 award and certificate. Building-level teachers were also honored with a certificate and a door prize, which were donated by local businesses.
Graduations across Bradley County and Cleveland this May saw the largest group of senior Tennessee Scholars. There were 81 from Walker Valley High School, 56 from Bradley Central High School, 45 from Cleveland High School and 5 from Tennessee Preparatory School.
The discussion then went to Gary Farlow and Doug Berry who gave updates to current industrial plans around the county beginning with Wacker. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has finalized plans for the access road that will be located between Wacker and Olin. Farlow stated that by the end of this year or the beginning of next he hopes to be breaking ground and getting construction on the project underway.
Berry stated that potential property on the south end of the county that was in negotiations to be bought from current owners for an industrial site has fell through. The current owners were not satisfied with the offering price and search for additional property is continuing.
Using brownfield sites was also an option. Brownfields are areas of land that have, in the past, housed industrial and commercial buildings and facilities or properties with buildings or housing that have fallen into disrepair, deterioration or have been abandoned. The projected idea is to clean up these sites and conserve, re-use and re-develop the land for future growth. One such site is the Bendix project. The current structure is in the process of being torn down and will soon be a vacant lot with railway access that can be re-developed for a future business.
Also hitting a snag is the Local Interstate Connector project. There was considerable concern that the City would have been unable to attain the goal of reaching Harriman Road with the LIC extension of Stone Lake Road. Greg Thomas, City MPO Coordinator, has been working with TDOT to improve the interchange design that will be located on APD40. This new design would lessen the length of the LIC project, yet the City believes that it can achieve the link to Harriman Road within the $ 4 million that has been approved available for the project.
The Economic Development Council will meet again on Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 4 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce located at The Village Green.