The Cleveland landlord took his plea to the City Council during Monday’s early afternoon work session.
“We have a little problem about being overlooked for being paved,” the Huntington Court apartment complex owner told councilmen at the Municipal Building. Hodnett told city leaders, “ ... I don’t know where else to turn.”
Hodnett said the street leading to the 45-unit complex hasn’t been repaved in 30 years. Over the years it has been patched and re-patched to the point that now it has become an eyesore and a safety issue, and the dilemma is making it more difficult for him to rent apartments.
“I would like to find out what I can do to get it (repaving) done,” Hodnett told councilmen.
City Manager Janice Casteel told Hodnett the municipality hasn’t done any significant paving in the past two years because of budget constraints. However, this has now changed. In 2010, the city is spending some $1 million to repave approximately 11 miles of city streets. Although the Huntington Court street is not included in this year’s rotation, she said the Department of Public Works has indicated it is on the repaving priority list for 2011, effective July 1.
City staff suggested Public Works crews might be able to make some minor repairs to stabilize the street’s condition leading up to the 2011 paving work, but that additional money is not available in 2010 for expanded paving work. The budget allotment has already been committed.
Mayor Tom Rowland sympathized with Hodnett’s problem.
“I have driven that street and it does need it (repaving),” Rowland said.
Hodnett reminded councilmen he has made his request previously.
The businessman said he feels he is repeatedly being put off year after year. He pointed out the loss of leasing is not only hurting his business, but is also negatively affecting the city due to lower property values.
In a related development, At-Large Councilman George Poe said he recently received a complaint from a Hiwassee Avenue resident about the same issue. Hiwassee Avenue runs adjacent to the Huntington Court complex.
In other developments Monday during the 2 p.m. work session and 4 p.m. voting session, the City Council:
- Heard comments from Councilman David May acknowledging Lee University as being one of the 10 largest employers in Cleveland and that school employees spend $1.5 million each week in the Cleveland community. He said he feels Lee’s value to the community is sometimes overlooked.
- In response to his question, Councilman Poe was told a traffic study is being conducted near the 17th Street and Harle Avenue intersection to determine what can be done to better protect a private residence in the area that has been hit by vehicles three times. He also reported a complaint from a Sunset Drive resident concerned about a dilapidated vacant building whose roof has collapsed. City staff will investigate.
- Councilman Bill Estes praised the work of Capt. Wesley Snyder and the Cleveland Police Department for their assistance in providing a safe route for 1,500 marchers last Sunday representing Cleveland First Baptist Church who were traveling 4.5 miles from the church’s downtown location to its new facilities on Stuart Road.
- Rowland reminded councilmen of four upcoming special sessions involving the City Council. They include 1) a planning session Oct. 7 at 11:30 a.m. at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce with the Cleveland Board of Education to discuss procedures for finding a new director of schools to replace the retiring Dr. Rick Denning; 2) an information-sharing session with the Cleveland Board of Education on Oct. 12 at noon at the Mountain View Inn; 3) a joint session with the Bradley County Commission on Oct. 13 at noon at the Mountain View Inn; and 4) a Fall Strategic Planning Session on Nov. 1 at 11:30 a.m. in the Council’s Chambers at the Municipal Building.
- Vice Mayor Avery Johnson reported on a complaint he has received from a church on Blair Road near Norman Chapel Road about motorists speeding in the area. City staff will investigate.
- Johnson also told council peers he is concerned about attendance rates of some members of the Cleveland Municipal Planning Commission. “It’s time we audit the attendance of the planning commission,” Johnson said. He said the city should consider replacing planning commission members who have poor attendance rates. The city manager will oversee an audit.
- Reappointed John Kimball as Cleveland city attorney.
- Reappointed Bill Moss as Cleveland municipal judge.
- Passed on final reading Ordinance No. 2010-30, which grants a right-of-way abandonment on Paul Huff Parkway N.W. at Frontage Road N.W. to Cleveland businessman Dale Hughes. Pursuant to City Council’s previous invitation, Hughes offered to purchase the small strip of right-of-way for $10,000. The Council approved the purchase offer on a 6-1 vote. The lone dissenting vote was by Councilman Richard Banks. Prior to the vote, Councilman Bill Estes said he understood Banks’ concerns, but that he did not believe two recent requests for right-of-way abandonments constituted a developing trend. Banks previously had said he feared granting the abandonment request would “open the gates” for future right-of-way abandonment requests.