County to name veterans facility
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Oct 23, 2012 | 912 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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The Bradley County Commission will be voting on a rezoning request and submitting a name for the proposed Veterans Home on Westland Drive during the next voting session on Nov. 5.

The request is to rezone a piece of land on Georgetown Road near Freewill Road from Rural Residential to Rural Commercial. The land is adjacent to the Bradley Veterinary Hospital and will be used to expand the facility, according to Bradley County Planner Corey Divel.

Approval for the rezoning was recommended by the planning staff and the Bradley County Regional Planning Commission.

The Commission placed a resolution on the agenda to submit the name “Cleveland Bradley County State Veterans Home” for the Westland Drive project to the Tennessee General Assembly for approval

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said it is the name the city, county, state and the anonymous donor have agreed to.

The donor had asked that the facility not be named after a person.

First District Commissioner Ed Elkins said he thought those involved had already agreed to call it the Southeast Tennessee Regional State Veterans Home.

The mayor said this had been an unofficial name given to the project, now the project is to the point of needing an official name.

Commissioners also discussed the possible consequences of the sales tax litigation should the case be decided in favor of the city. This issue had been discussed at the last finance committee meeting where it was stated that the county stands to lose approximately $3 million annually in revenue if past sales tax agreements are deemed invalid.

To replace about $3 million in county revenue would require a 16 cent increase in the property tax rate.

Losing this annual revenue would make jointly funded projects difficult. Davis said the loss of revenue should the city win the lawsuit would put a strain on being able to work with the city on funding projects because the funds simply would not be available.

“If you take away the funding for two or three (jointly funded) projects, that still doesn’t get us back to the $3 million that we would be losing,” Elkins said.

Fourth District Commissioner J. Adam Lowe is compiling a list of projects the county jointly funds with the city — and at what amounts — for consideration of what could be decreased or eliminated. Lowe plans to complete the list before the Oct. 31 joint meeting of the Commission and the Cleveland City Council.

“I have requested that all my friends on the city (Council), they’re all my friends, if you need more money to operate the city, raise city property taxes. If the county were to lose the lawsuit and have to increase property taxes, the city taxpayers will be getting a property tax increase that way,” 3rd District Commissioner Jeff Morelock said.

Also during the meeting:

- Elkins brought up a concern from a resident from McDonald about the use of jake brakes on a particular curve on Highway 411. He asked if the road committee could look into installing “no jake brake” signs on the particular curve

“The road committee has discussed that subject with the road superintendent. His position is since a jake brake is a safety device it is not reasonable to put up something telling people not to use something they might need for their safety,” 6th District member and road committee chairman Mel Griffith said.

- The Commission placed a recommendation from the insurance committee on the agenda for the voting session on Nov. 5. The recommendation is to authorize the mayor to sign an insurance contract.