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City and County Hold Joint Meeting
by Ashley Murphy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Cleveland City Council and Bradley County Commission met in a joint session Wednesday afternoon to discuss many aspects of the community and how to better it for the citizens.

The major concern of both government entities was the need to work together to serve the citizens and make Bradley County a better place to live. Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said that these joint meetings started taking place about 12 years ago in order to better the relations between the city and county. While business between the two governments is better Davis said there are still times when "we have to agree to disagree."

The issue of the fire contract was visited once again and Bradley County Commissioner Jeff Yarber stated that it is the "elephant in the room" when the city and county come together and the matter is still open to be discussed and decided upon.

Davis provided that he was under the impression the fire contract issue had been solved, but repeatedly bringing up subjects and continuing discussion is all part of the process. Commissioner Adam Lowe reminded everyone that this issue will be brought back up in January 2011 per a vote at a recent commission meeting.

City Manager Janice Casteel added that she hoped a reasonable decision could be made, because she believed separating the fire departments and allowing them to stand on their own would not be in the best interest of the citizens.

The current contract is set to end in July 2013. During the first 2 years, Bradley County is to pay over $1 million to the City of Cleveland each year for services the city provides to urban fringe residents; the third year would be a single payment of $941,000.

Each government body also heard a presentation regarding to the BCC 2035 Joint Strategic Plan. This plan looks at possible population, household and job growth, then plans accordingly to help make the city flow better due to the increased volume. This is an open plan and ongoing.

If you wish to read more about the BCC 2035 plan and how it could affect your community you can visit
to see more information.