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Property Abandonment Still Big Concern
by Ashley Murphy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nicholas Lillios came before the City Council during their work session to present an offer. Lillios stated that he understands from reports there is "both a lack of available space in either governing bodies current facilities to hold the entire group and that there is a lack of funds for such facilities until which time the economy returns city income to higher levels." Leading him to propose to both the city and county to take a piece of property located on Church Street for 12 months rent-free in order to combine the Bradley County and Cleveland City Planning Departments.

Lillios offered three different pricing proposals for review, however, Mayor Tom Rowland stated that this would have to be a joint decision between the city and the county and that a meeting would have to take place in order for the two entities to discuss all terms.

Three new police officers have joined the Cleveland Police Department. Mayor Rowland swore in Julius Q.L Porter, Christopher C. Allen and Darin L. Strong during the council's regular meeting. After reading their Oaths of Office, Chief of Police Wes Snyder gave a brief background on each incoming and officer and officially welcomed them to the department.

The city's consent agenda consisted of several Resolutions and board appointments and reappointments. The consent agenda passed unanimously without any changes.

In unfinished business, the council revisited the issue of abandoning a piece of property along Frontage Road and Paul Huff Parkway. Again, Dale Hughes, the requestor, or a representative was not present to discuss this matter with the City Council.

Council members have concerns about abandoning this property and making it an asset that will be a burden on the taxpayers of Cleveland. An estimated appraisal for the property has been named at $42,000, yet the lot is not a usable lot. Mayor Rowland asked if someone else would possibly bid on it if they were to put it out there. Councilman Bill Estes then asked, "Can we put something out to bid if we don't hold the deed on it?" City Manager Janice Casteel responded, "You can't bid it because it's not a legal lot."

The council then asked if they could be compensated for this property due to the impact it could have on the city since the property cannot be used. Kimball suggested that an appraisal be obtained, then hold a meeting with Hughes to discuss the matter. It was suggested to let this roll over to the adjourned session for next week, however, Councilman Richard Banks made a substitute motion to allow himself and Hughes to come up with an offer for the city regarding the property by Monday, August 30th at Noon. The substitute motion passed.

The council has approved Consolidated Technologies, Inc to perform engineering services for the additional work to design and install an alternate liner in the East Street detention pond to correct erosion issues. That amount has now been revised to $11,800.

Under new business, bids were received for additional material for the Waterville Golf Course totaling $153,769.40. The amount was approved with Councilwoman Bambi Hines and Councilman Banks voted against the bid.

This meeting was the last for 1st District Councilwoman Hines. All council members reminisced with Hines and thanked her for her service. Before ending the meeting, Mayor Rowland requested the Tree Board plant a tree in dedication of Councilwoman Hines. Due to Hines' adamant disapproval of golf course funds, council members joked the tree should be planted down from one of the fairways. Hines requested the tree be placed on the greenway.

The Cleveland City Council will have a continuation to the adjourned session on Monday, August 30th at Noon. Their next work session and regular meeting won't be until Monday, September 13th.