The city of Cleveland has committed to contributing $3 million if Bradley County would pitch in an equal amount, which the county has not done. The total cost of buying and developing the Jones Lakeland property is $6 million.
Estes suggested the city and county each contribute $2 million.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, who is a member of the utility board, said the offer will be discussed at the board’s August meeting in a couple of weeks.
In return for the $2 million, Wheeler asked for 25 acres in the park for a future operations center for its electrical division.
Estes said it was his understanding the county would reap $14 million in the next five years from Wacker, Amazon and Whirlpool.
“I think the county is missing out and Cleveland will be missing out if we don’t develop this land as soon as possible to bring in even more revenue,” he said. “It’s not in the county budget. It should be there. We’ve gone on record for $3 million and this is a wonderful overture by the utility board. I think we need to thank them for that, change our offer to $2 million, and ask the county for $2 million.”
He said the Cleveland/Bradley Industrial Development Board, Economic Development Council, the Cleveland Board of Public Utilities and Cleveland City Council are all on board with the industrial park.
“Where is the county? Where is the leadership in Bradley County to go forward with this project?” he asked.
Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Gary Farlow said he was very pleased with the offer, stating, “It softens the impact on the city and the county.”
It would cost approximately $5 million to buy the former Bob Zeige farm at its appraised value. The property is part of about 1,050 acres incorporated into the Cleveland Urban Growth Boundary in September 2010, and has since been annexed into the city. A concept drawing shows nine buildings representing about 2 million square feet of roofed space. The buildings range in size from 30,000 square feet to 600,000 square feet.