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Council Receives Update on Strategic Growth Plan

by Tonya Brantley

Monday, January 11, 2010

The following are highlights from the regular session of the Cleveland City Council held on January 11, 2010.

Greg Dale, founder of McBride Dale Clarion Consultants updated the council on the Strategic Growth Plan. The long range plan will address projected population growth, employment projections, transportation needs, common goals, land use, future infrastructure needs, schools, and utilities, to name a few. The strategic growth plan is a joint project of  the City of Cleveland, Bradley County, Cleveland Utilities, Volunteer Electric and the Chamber of Commerce. According to Dale, the plan will seek to capitalize on the community's location as well as its many resources and opportunities and serve the important function of helping the city and county manage the cost of growth by guiding the difficult decisions that must be made. It will also help officials set priorities brought about by industrial and economic growth. A community task force has been put in place to ensure that citizens have input into the growth plan. The final draft is expected to be complete and presented to the city and county governments in about six months. The council unanimously voted to appoint Vice Mayor Avery Johnson  to the Strategic Plan Task Force.

The first resolution of the new year, Resolution 2010-01, passed unanimously to give recognition to Danny Murray and The Voices of Lee for putting Lee University and the City of Cleveland in the national spotlight. The resolution also recognizes their talents and positive Christian influence and acknowledges them as this City's greatest ambassadors.

Councilman Richard Banks presented a resolution recognizing Forrest Preston and his company, Life Care Centers of America on celebrating the 40th anniversary of that company's establishment in the City of Cleveland.

The council discussed Resolution 2010-14 outlining a policy on residency requirements for city council appointments to committees and boards. Some appointments are determined based upon State law and/or the City Charter, while others are left to the discretion of the mayor and city council. Vice Mayor Avery Johnson stated, "I feel if you serve on a city board, you need to live in the city and be a qualified voter." The council chose the following paragraph to include in the resolution which states: Any individual who is not a resident of the City of Cleveland and who does not meet the voter qualification requirements who is currently serving on a board or committee must be a city resident to be re-appointed to the board or committee after the effective date of the resolution, January 11, 2010. With the addition of this paragraph, the resolution passed unanimously.

A bid update was given to the council on protective vests for the police department. After further review and confirmation from the State and the National Institute of Justice Standards, the Level II vests from Protective Apparel from Jacksboro, TN do meet specifications as well as having a higher standard of protection than the Level IIA vests previously recommended. The council unanimously voted to accept the bid with a unit bid price of $433.50 each.

The council unanimously voted to amend the animal adoption fee schedule and procedures. The fee schedule contains the procedure that the veterinarian or the veterinarian association bills the City of Cleveland up to $90 for each animal spayed or neutered under the city's adoption program. The City of Cleveland will remit $10 to the Veterinarian Association for each rabies vaccination administered at the Cleveland Animal Shelter. The city charges a $50 adoption fee for approximately one year, or until the city is no longer able to subsidize the adoption program from the city's spay/neuter deposit account. As part of the procedure, the adoptive owner will take the animal to the veterinarian for its scheduled appointment. If they fail to keep the appointment, the veterinarian will notify the shelter and city staff will repossess the animal. If they fail to keep the appointment and the animal is repossessed by the city, the $50 fee will be forfeited to the city's spay/neuter deposit account.

The council unanimously voted to accept the city's first ordinance of 2010 adopting rates for solid waste and refuse collection. The sanitation user fee is set at $7.04 monthly per unit, the commercial rate is set at $1.83 per cubic yard, the commercial recycling rate is set at $1.60 per cubic yard and the commercial/residential rate for small businesses which are picked up like a residence is set at $7.25 monthly per unit.

The Cleveland City Council meetings are open to the public each month at the Municipal Building on Church Street on the 2nd and 4th Monday with the work session at 2pm and the voting session at 4pm.