Council eyes Amateur Radio Club request

By LARRY C. BOWERS Staff Writer
Posted 8/15/17

A big issue at Monday’s Cleveland City Council meeting was the attempt to provide assistance to the Cleveland Amateur Radio Club.

Club President Steve Weber was at Monday’s meeting, and …

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Council eyes Amateur Radio Club request

Posted

A big issue at Monday’s Cleveland City Council meeting was the attempt to provide assistance to the Cleveland Amateur Radio Club.

Club President Steve Weber was at Monday’s meeting, and had sent the council a letter from the club.

The radio club has a 20-year lease from the city on property along Johnson Boulevard, where the club building is located. The club has grown in its 37 years, and is considering expansion of the building.

A prospective donor of construction funds is urging the club to secure ownership of the property, before approval of funding. Club officers are asking the city to transfer the property to assure these funds.

City Attorney John Kimball pointed out city policy denies the ability to give away property, except to another governmental entity. Policy and the city charter could be amended, but that would take some time.

Council members appear in agreement, with a little disagreement from Councilman Bill Estes on the language of the current lease, that they would like to assist the club.

Another issue is that Bradley County Emergency Management Agency has a cell tower on the property, and Director Troy Spence wants to maintain that property and accessibility. He agreed that the radio club is a huge benefit to local emergency responders, and has worked well with the EMA.

Weber said there is no question of the working relationship with the EMA, although members would like to continue parking near the tower as they have in the past.

Kimball pointed out that the lease with the radio club, which expires in 2032, can be renewed, or the property will be put out to bid. Estes says this language ties the city’s hands in what it can do with the property, and he would like to see it changed so the city continues to control the property.

There is not just the radio club and cell tower on the property. It is more than 12 acres, which includes the city’s old landfill.

The mayor and council urged Weber to see if the proposed donor would consider a long-term lease on the property, with the option of renewal. This lease, because it is not exclusive, could perhaps be 40 years.

Weber and the council will continue to discuss the options.

In other council business:

• Charlotte Peak and Lake Mantooth of the Ocoee Region Builders Association are seeking some early morning assistance for builders and roofers.

They are wanting the council to consider a change in the hours of the city’s Noise Ordinance. They say the current hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. does not give the workers an early enough starting time.

They would like to see the hours extended to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. They say contractors have to dodge the weather and time constraints with projects.

Mantooth said it has been difficult since the severe hail storm in March, with more than 3,500 roof projects in the community. He and Peak say there is also a health and safety issue, since roofers are limited in the time they can spend on a roof.

Councilman Tom Cassada said he has a problem with the proposal, and early morning disruption to city neighborhoods.

Cassada’s motion to delay action the request to the next council meeting was approved.

• Three public hearings were conducted, and later approved.

Two requests were concerning abandonment of a portion of unopened right of way from Fernwood Drive and Hays Drive to Robinhood Drive N.W. Two residents, Clifford Plemmons and Randy Moore, were on hand to support these requests.

The third public hearing was the rezoning of .43 acres on Ellis Circle from High Density Residential to PUD 16.

• Two items were approved on the consent agenda. One was the acceptance of a bid for .22 acres of surplus property on Hill Street. The second was authorization for the city to participate in the Pool’s Safety Partners Matching Grant Program.

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