Municipal projects: paving, widening, junctions

Budget includes stormwater work

By LARRY C. BOWERS Staff Writer
Posted 7/31/17

Municipal staff and the Cleveland City Council are in the process of taking steps to address concerns of community residents for the coming year.

Several projects are underway and funded in …

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Municipal projects: paving, widening, junctions

Budget includes stormwater work

Posted

Municipal staff and the Cleveland City Council are in the process of taking steps to address concerns of community residents for the coming year.

Several projects are underway and funded in the council’s approved budget. Most of these projects are in answer to concerns of community residents expressed in a recent survey campaign and community meetings.

Concerns are documented in survey results released last week and placed on the city’s website.

Action being taken include:

• Reducing the city’s street paving cycle from 27.5 years to 20 years;

• Doubling the city’s annual sidewalk investment;

• Construction of an improved Mouse Creek Road/Paul Huff Parkway intersection;

• Construction of an improved Peerless Road/Paul Huff Parkway intersection;

• Construction of an improved Peerless Road/25th Street intersection;

• Construction of an improved Georgetown Road/25th Street intersection;

• The Norman Chapel Road/Peerless/Adkisson Drive widening project;

• The Candies Creek stormwater project; and

• Actively pushing the Tennessee Department of Transportation for early completion of the Highway 60 (Georgetown Road) widening project.

The Georgetown Road widening will be from just prior to the entrance to Cleveland Middle School to the Hopewell community at the Highway 60/Freewill Road/Eureka Road intersection. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has also approved plans for future spot improvements from the Hopewell intersection west to Highway 58 in Hamilton County.

Other city projects include the addition of 12 new police officers over the next two years, development of a crime suppression unit, construction and operation of Fire Station No. 6 in South Cleveland to service the new Spring Branch Industrial Park, a new Fire Training Center, $285,000 in additional Police Department equipment, and $400,000 for additional Fire Department equipment.

The city is allocating $50,000 to complete a plan for future facility improvements, and to develop a strategy to provide a higher level of customer service for residents and businesses.

The city would like to create a “One-Stop Shop” for transactions.

Next year the city will attempt to implement new mechanisms to measure project completion timeliness, which will allow more frequent updates for community stakeholders and elected officials.

The city is also in the process of redesigning its website. Staff hopes the new creation will be more attractive and inviting, ensuring an improved first impression for residents and the general public. It is hoped the new site will be more engaging, easy to navigate, mobile and tablet-friendly.

Additional training of staff is also planned.

The city council has already taken action downtown. Members have created a Whirlpool/Downtown Redevelopment Fund, are exploring a possible purchase and redevelopment of the Cleveland Summit Apartments (old Cherokee Hotel), working on plans for Inman Street, working to create a business-friendly environment, working on a plan to have 400 to 500 new residential units in the downtown area by 2025, and a streetscape plan for Church, Edwards and Parker streets.

Areas of concern include maintenance of walking trails, construction of new walking trails, the quality and number of the city’s parks and facilities, maintenance of athletic complexes, youth athletic programs, fees being charged for recreation events and facilities, and the quality of swimming pools.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department continues to work on a master plan, is ready to begin $1 million in renovation and new construction at the Tinsley Park tennis complex, is constructing a new Blythe/Oldfield Park, and will spend $100,000 in new developments at the Blythe-Bower School Park.

Around $200,000 will be spent for partial renovation of Deer Park, and there is a plan to transition the park’s old tennis court into two pickleball courts. Continued expansion of the Cleveland/Bradley Greenway is also planned.

Priorities of the mayor and council this coming year include construction of the new Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary School on Georgetown Road, the new fire station, implementation of police study recommendations, lowering the street paving cycle, traffic congestion and intersections, funding downtown redevelopment, and implementation of the city’s employee compensation plan of 3.5 percent step increases.

These scheduled projects, and tentative projects, have been influenced by Cleveland’s growth of 16,196 residents since 1960 to around 45,000 people. It is expected the city’s population will be 50,000 by 2020, and around 60,000 in 2030.

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