They live in an area that the city of Cleveland will annex effective Oct. 27.
The couple has a house and a farm in the area and they are upset at the thought of annexation.
"We really don't want to move,” Stanley Stanich said. They used to live in larger cities and moved to Cleveland precisely because it was smaller and the people were friendly. “We love it here.”
They say they both love the quiet, the turkeys and the deer. And they aren't really planning on moving, but the thought has crossed their minds.
The couple is concerned about losing everything they love about where they live.
They are concerned that the long-range growth plans by the city will gobble up what makes this area so special to them.
At the Economic Development Council meeting Thursday, the couple voiced their concerns as members of the board were given a status update on the BCC 2035 Joint Strategic Plan.
Doug Berry, vice president of economic development for the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce, attended Thursday’s meeting, but addressed the couple’s concerns today.
“(The Stanichs) appear to be misinformed about the current growth boundary and annexation authority granted by the Growth Coordinating Committee for Bradley County to the City of Cleveland. The City of Cleveland has completed its authorized annexation in the McDonald area and the southern most municipal boundary is at least 1 to 2 miles from their home,” Berry said.
The Stanichs also are concerned so many monetary concessions are being given to the companies that are being courted to move to the area. They are afraid the taxpayers will have a gigantic bill to pay.
“Who will pay for this? ... How much more debt before things topple?” DiAnna Stanich asked.
Berry also addressed these concerns.
“At no time has the county or city government given away all of its potential tax revenue to an incoming or expanding industry,” Berry said. “If you look at the Whirlpool incentive package alone, the community is protecting approximately $722,000 a year of existing property tax base and adding over the next 20 years another $472,993 a year in property tax payments. Added to that is the tax revenue generated by employee expenditures in the community for their homes and personal goods purchases which are projected to generate an additional $906,000 a year in residential property taxes and $580,000 a year in local sales tax generation. The alternative could have quite possibly been the loss of current revenue streams and employee tax generation.”
Four possible strategic growth plans were delineated for the members of the board and visitors by Greg Thomas, community development director for the city.
Some intense changes are in the offing, Thomas said. And, yes, one of the major considerations when putting together possible growth plans is balancing economic growth with enhanced livability.
The current four strategic growth possibility plans vary in the percentage of growth in the city versus the county, as well as greater growth in one area over another balanced with where employment opportunities will increase.
Scenario One is based on past growth changes. It anticipates 30 percent of residential growth will be in the Cleveland area and 70 percent in unincorported areas of Bradley County. And those areas highlighted the most include east of Cleveland in the U.S. 64 Corridor, north in the South Mouse Creek area and along Dalton Pike in the Blue Springs area. Job growth will be north near Charleston and south in the McDonald/S. Lee Highway area.
Scenario Two's growth areas are the opposite of No. 1. About 70 percent of residential growth is anticipated for the city of Cleveland and 30 percent in the county. This growth pattern could make use of the current sewer main capacities and other infrastructure. Employment growth in this scenario is southeast in the APD 40 area, as well as north in the Exit 33 area.
Scenario Three is similar to No. 1 in the percentage of city versus county residential growth ratios. Redevelopment in the city, as well as development in the Dalton Pike, Mouse Creek and U.S. Corridor areas are the anticipated highest growth areas in this scenario, but just at a lower rate.
Scenario Four, the blended growth possibility, is basically a mixture of Scenarios Two and Three, with a more moderate development in the unincorporated areas of the county. In the city of Cleveland, growth would be around 45 percent with 55 percent in the county. Employment would be concentrated to Exit 33, near the airport, and in the McDonald/South Lee Highway areas.
Balancing growth versus services was Barbara Gilbert’s concern. She is concerned about sustainable growth, but needs more information than what she currently has heard.
“It’s a Catch 22,” Gilbert, one of the three taxpayers in the audience at the Council's meeting, said. The blended scenarios explained at the meeting are just statistics to her. She wants to know what impact it will have on real people. “We need to have 3,000 sitting here.”
The Stanichs are concerned that despite these written plans, they can also change “overnight.” They are also concerned that the city's long-range goals will gobble up the entire area. For example, one big specific fear on their part is that a highway will be put in in front of their house and part of their property will be taken by eminent domain.
“It's starting to change the town,” Stanley Stanich said. “We may have to move if it keeps getting bigger.”