City ponders use of money savings
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Jul 09, 2013 | 630 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One Cleveland City Council member on Monday suggested giving some of the savings from the new waste contract back to residents while another wants to put the savings toward reducing flooding in the city.

The city is saving $314,000 on the new contract with Waste Connections. At-Large Councilman Richard Banks tossed about the idea of reducing the property tax increase from 18.51 cents to about 15 cents. Each penny of property generates about $107,000.

However, 4th District Councilman David May suggested using the money for flood control measures.

“I think we all got several phone calls,” he said in a discussion during the work session. “We have the Army Corps of Engineers doing a study. We kind of bit the bullet on pulling money out of the reserve to pay them. And, we have made promises to our citizens that when this study is complete, we’re not just going to put it on the shelf. We’re going to create a plan to address flooding.

“With the water we had over the weekend, I’m sure whatever we do, we’re still going to have some flooding, but I know we’ve got a serious problem that we’ve got to address,” May noted. “We can’t just look the other way.”

City Manager Janice Casteel said the money is designated to pay for equipment used in bulk trash pickup by Public Works.

“You do not have any funds available for the Army Corps of Engineers when they do come back with a recommendation,” she said.

“They’ve completed all the cross-sections on the bridges,” Development and Engineering Services Director Jonathan Jobe said.

According to city staff, the Army Corps of Engineers is ahead of schedule and expects to be finished by August.

He said the preliminary survey along Mouse Creek is completed and Candies Creek assessment is in progress.

“Since last Monday, we have had 8.6 inches of rain and 3.7 inches over the weekend,” Jobe said.

According to reports, rainfall is 17 to 20 inches above normal.

Councilman Dale Hughes, who served 26 years on the Cleveland Utilities Board, said he cannot remember ever having that much rain.

“We’re living in unusual times,” he said.

In another flooding related matter, At-Large Councilman George Poe said during the regular session that he wanted to make sure paving Bowman Avenue was a matter of record.

He said three people have complained to him for two years about paving. Last year, he gave them a paving list and assured them Bowman Avenue would be resurfaced.

“They called me back this year and said the paving list didn’t work out,” Poe said. “This is the third year. We need to address this, because we look pretty bad.”

Public Works Director Tommy Myers reported at the previous meeting that paving Bowman Avenue was halted by a drainage project.

Myers reported at the last meeting an undersized pipe in the ground needs replacing with a larger pipe. However, a pair of property owners stalled the drainage project affecting Ocoee Street, Bowman and Centenary avenues, and 8th Street. The two homeowners are opposed to granting the city a right of way through their properties.

The city does not have easements across the properties, which is typical in older neighborhoods.

Myers said he has discussed a temporary easement, but has not discussed purchasing the easements because that is generally not the city’s practice.