Taylor Spring Park funds OK’d by Finance

By BRIAN GRAVES

Posted 12/5/17

Taylor Spring Park is a step closer to reality.The Bradley County Commission Finance Committee approved by a 4-1 vote sending a resolution committing the county to $100,000 over the next four years …

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Taylor Spring Park funds OK’d by Finance

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Taylor Spring Park is a step closer to reality.

The Bradley County Commission Finance Committee approved by a 4-1 vote sending a resolution committing the county to $100,000 over the next four years to the full commission for a vote.

The park is a joint effort between the city of Cleveland, Bradley County and private donors.

In a letter from the Community Foundation of Cleveland and Bradley County, the history of the spring leads historians to believe the water source located near where Andrew Taylor built his log cabin in the early 1800s resulted in Cleveland being chosen as the county seat.

The foundation is the home of the Taylor Spring Park Fund, to where donations toward the construction of the park are being directed.

Taylor Spring would be the first new downtown park since the creation of First Street Square.

“The plan is for the park to be a place for people to see the historic spring, learn about the history of the site and to celebrate the birthplace of Cleveland in a natural setting,” the foundation says in its letter. “The park will be a great addition to all the history-related locations around town.”

Under the resolution to be sent to the commission, the county will make four payments to the park fund of $25,000 each over a four-year period.

The funds used to make the county’s donation will come from extra revenue from the hotel/motel tax, which is designated for economic development and tourism.

Finance Chairman Milan Blake said he had met with representatives of the foundation and “had my questions answered.”

“My original criteria was not to use property taxes and not use sales tax which mostly goes to education anyway,” Blake said. “The only taxes that were applicable, in my opinion, were the hotel/motel, and it had to be in excess of what the liability was on Spring Branch. They met my criteria, so I’m going to support it. The taxpayers of Bradley County are not paying this. That was my main criteria.”

Commissioner Dan Rawls was the only vote against the resolution.

The full Commission is scheduled to discuss the funding at its Dec. 11 work session. A vote could come as early as the Dec. 18 voting session.

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