County agrees to Highway 60 corridor plan
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Sep 18, 2012 | 1399 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bradley County Commission approved a corridor management agreement for Highway 60 during a voting session Monday.

“The purpose of this agreement is to provide framework for the agencies involved — Bradley County, city of Cleveland, Cleveland Urban Area and Metropolitan Planning Organization and the state of Tennessee — for the management of State Route 60,” 7th District Commissioner Bill Winters said.

This agreement is part of a pilot program by the state in which Bradley County has been chosen to participate. The pilot establishes a committee to discuss the future of the designated stretch of road.

Winters said he lives in the area and felt it was needed.

“What they did on North Lee Highway is a miracle and we need something like that on our end of town,” 1st District Commissioner Terry Caywood said.

The plan was approved unanimously.

However, before the vote some commissioners voiced initial concerns about the agreement.

First District Commissioner Ed Elkins said he wanted to make sure the county was not giving up any rights regarding land use and zoning through the agreement.

Corey Divel, county planner, and County Attorney Crystal Freiberg said input on future projects would not be jeopardized.

“I have asked, and we will have representation, and Corey will represent us there to give input,” Winters said.

Entering into the agreement means more collaboration on planning and development moving forward, he said. He said the area around Cleveland Middle School was of concern and something needed to be done.

Fourth District Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones said if collaborative advanced planning had been used in the past, then traffic in the area would not be as troublesome as it is now.

Fourth District Commissioner J. Adam Lowe said he would like to see a study submitted to the Commission at the end of the pilot to see how successful it was.

n Also during the meeting, the Commission approved a budget amendment for Bradley County Fire- Rescue to increase revenues to pay for needed trucks and equipment.

The trucks will be used at the three new fire stations being built to provide improved coverage to the former fringe area. The Commission will borrow money for the trucks and equipment through a bond issue.

This is possible because the fire tax provides the department with a direct revenue stream, according to finance committee chairman Connie Wilson.

Bids on the vehicles and equipment were approved Monday based on the recommendation of the Fire Board.

The bids for the vehicles and equipment came in higher than expected, but this cost will be offset by money the county is saving on construction of the fire stations through a FEMA hazard mitigation grant, 3rd District Commissioner Jeff Morelock said.

Elkins also pointed out that the department is saving money by buying the vehicles and equipment from the same place.