The Cleveland City Council heard from several business owners during their regular voting meeting Monday afternoon concerning a two-year TDOT road improvement project at the 25th Street (State Route 60) intersection at Ocoee Street (State Route 74).
A concern from a representative of the Surgery Center on 25th Street at Julian Drive was that during the road construction the easement used by TDOT will be extremely close to the building. Patient safety and losing approximately three parking spaces were other concerns.
George McCoin and his brother own the properties where Title Bucks and Ocoee Village are located on the corner of 25th Street and Ocoee Street. His concern was how this construction would affect his property. He said, “We have requested designs from TDOT and have been unable to get this information from them. We were told the design is subject to change. At least give me alternatives if any are available. Also, is this the most efficient use of public money? I also have to question if it is possible to change the timing on the lights. Is there a less expensive alternative that can be used in the meantime to adjust the traffic lights and the timing?”
Mr. McCoin asked if the council would delay the vote on funding. The Jim Rush Funeral Home on North Ocoee Street will lose approximately 24 parking spaces during construction and many of those would be permanently lost once construction is completed. Dr. William Stanbery owns property on both sides of N. Ocoee Street. He addressed the council saying, “Government is supposed to serve us. It’s not supposed to force us to do what it wants to do. It’s amazing to me that we can be at the point of voting this in when there is obviously people who aren’t sure this is what they want, but we’ve begged for Exit 20 for years and everybody agrees with that and we can’t get that done. That’s a problem with government. I think Mr. McCoin is entitled a few weeks to find out how it’s going to impact his business and it would be nice if he had a plan that wasn’t subject to change.”
The cost of the right-of way construction is $6.2 million with the city share being $1.2 million. The construction cost is $2.3 million with the city’s share being $460,000. The total project cost is $11.5 million.
Cleveland Utilities will also have expenses included in the cost. Councilman George Poe agreed with the traffic timing issue. Cleveland Utilities took over the timing of the traffic signals in 2011. Tad Bacon oversees the timing. He said, “At 25th Street and Ocoee Street there is too much volume for capacity. Signal timing alone would not fix the problem. Additional lanes would still have to be installed.”
Mayor Tom Rowland said, “Three businesses would basically be destroyed - the funeral home, the title loan at the corner and the Surgery Center. Should we not try to invest $2,000 for a traffic study in the intersection? I think it’s a small investment if it cures part of it.”
Councilman Richard Banks made a motion to table the resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a proposal with TDOT for the construction project for 90 days and spend $2,000 for a traffic study by Cleveland Utilities for traffic light adjustment at the intersection and to send a letter to TDOT requesting a construction extension. The motion passed unanimously.
In other new business, a resolution amending the animal adoption fee schedule and procedures passed unanimously.
The following two consent agenda items passed unanimously:
-Final passage- Ordinance No. 2012-14 amending Title 14 Chapter 2 to amend the site plan for PUD2 zoning district. The site plan for a grocery store lot and the boundary and road design at the corner of Peerless Road and Valley Head Road were amended.
-Resolution No. 2012-86 authorizing the City of Cleveland to participate in the TML risk management pool “Safety Partners” loss control matching grant program.
The Cleveland City Council will hold its next voting session meeting on Monday, July 23, at 3 p.m.