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Council Hears Airport Budget Update
by Jamie Ramirez

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

During Monday's City Council meeting David Kelley came before the councilmen and councilwoman to request the expansion of the Family Resource Center at the old Blythe Elementary School. Currently there are other programs taking up space at the old school such as Boys and Girls Club, a Head Start program and the New Hope Pregnancy Center. A modular would be placed on the property until something more long-term could be implemented. The purpose for this modular building at the Family Resource Center is to help pregnant teens get the assistance and education they need. They can go to school while their own children go to school in the same place and there would be no need to send them somewhere else. Kelley stated the project must be completed by Fall of 2010, per government granting request.

Councilman Bill Estes was very concerned about the time constraints on this project. He felt like it was too much for too little time.

Kelley made clear that the modular is only temporary until somewhere better can be established. Estes and Kelley spoke amongst themselves in the meeting about the issue. The agreement was on a 2 year commitment for how long the modular would be placed at the old Blythe Bower building, and the approval was unanimous.

Eventually Kelley wants to move the project to high school campuses and have a couple of resource centers in the area. Right now only 72 families are going to be able to participate in the program, but more will be able to be served in the future.

Melissa Woody, vice president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau for Cleveland/Bradley Camber of Commerce proposed the Cherokee Chieftain be moved from Johnston Park to the front of the Museum Center at Five Points on Inman Street. The Cherokee Chieftain is part of a group of sculptures done by the artist Peter "Wolf" Toth called the Trail of Whispering Giants.

Woody showed great concern because the Chieftain has been neglected and abused where it is now. The location is bad because people don't even know it's there and it can't be seen. The area in front of the Museum Center gets a lot of traffic, not just from people driving by but it also serves as a Welcome Center.

Lisa Simpson Lutts, with the Center, is very excited to have it in their front yard and will take proper care of it. They would like to invite Toth back to Cleveland for the moving of the sculpture. Public Works director Tommy Myers thought there shouldn't be a problem with moving the sculpture but there might be some issues with the pedestal. This would be the only major cost in the moving of the statue; however, Woody stated that if there is a cost problem they can get donations and sponsors. The project is planned to start July 12th

A proposal to restore the spring house at Fletcher Park came up. The estimated cost for this project is $32,100. The committee also discussed having a seating area which would be another $29,000. Grants for this project have not been applied for. Concentration so far has been on the trail in the park. David May asked for an update when it comes.

Lynn DeVault, Chairwoman of Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority gave updates on the budget of the new airport and discussed plans for it concerning revenue. DeVault explained how Chattanooga is getting money for storing Bradley County planes. Also, instead of renting out the land and letting people put their own hangers on it, the suggestion was made to go ahead and put hangers on the land and letting people rent those. It will have more uniform architectural look and bring in revenue as long as it's open. $16 million or 38% of the budget comes from the FAA; 34% or $14million comes from the state and 26% or about $10 million will come from the city and private investors which are about half and half. The local community has been confused over where the funding comes from and how the FAA could have such large amounts of money for such projects. These sources include an airliner fuel tax and ticket tax. Sources do not include Federal Income Tax dollars paid by individuals.

Bids have been put in for the police department ATVs. A summary of this was handed out during Monday's meeting. The topic had been put into unfinished business. The two bidders are Dal Kawa Cycle Center, Inc in Hendersonville, NC and from Griffith's Kawasaki in Cleveland. The bids were on a 2009 and 2011 model from Dal Kawa and a 2010 model from Griffith. The committee recommends Dal Kawa Cycle Center and the choice has to be made on either the 2009 model or the 2011. The ATVs are being purchased with grants from a local company.

The City Council will meet again on Monday, July 12th at 2 p.m. for their work session and 4 p.m. for their regular session. The meetings will be held in the Municipal Building.