Cleveland City Council Taking Action On Bowman Avenue Water Problems; Business Owners Ask That New Life Community Kitchen Be Moved Out Of Downtown

Monday, October 28, 2013 - by Hollie Webb

Several Cleveland residents from the Bowman Avenue area on Monday petitioned the City Council for help with the dangerous flooding problem on their property, stemming from the city drainage system. The problem was discussed in detail at the 1 p.m. agenda meeting, and a motion to add extra drain pipes to the area was passed unanimously during the 3 p.m. session.

One woman said that every time it rains, the water in her backyard becomes knee-deep. In her front yard, she said that the water rushes from the drain pipe in such a strong current that a pet or small child could easily be pulled under. Another woman said that the surge of water had even caused sinkholes in her yard.

Another property owner in the area, Scott Kanavos, said that not only was the water dangerous because of the fast currents, but also because of the debris and trash it brings. He said that items like saws and hypodermic needles had come in with the stormwater. He said, “We need the city to step in.” Mr. Kanavos speculated that part of the problem was the age of the infrastructure, saying many of the tiles were constructed in the 1930s and 1940s.

Tennessee water law uses the Natural Flow Rule, meaning that the natural flow of the water is not to be changed, it was stated. When discussing putting in new pipes, Councilman Richard Banks said “We aren't changing the natural flow of the water. The city in the past did change the natural flow, and it caused the Bowman people problems.”

The City Council decided to send out letters to all residents in the area who will be affected by the repairs. 

Also, Mr. Kanavos, who is a Cleveland defense attorney, suggested to the council that the New Life Community Kitchen, currently located on South Ocoee Street, be moved away from the downtown area, as a way of preventing crime. 

Mr. Kanavos and several other business owners in the area said they have noticed many of the homeless starting to congregate around the soup kitchen at all hours of the day and night. He said that the area has become more littered, including two buildings that he owns. He told of one particular homeless man who had been living out of a vehicle and had been spotted multiple times dumping trash and human waste onto the street and sidewalk.

Mr. Kanavos also said that what he had started witnessing from his downtown office window was "beyond shocking." He said he had seen “altercations, fornication, and sexual acts,” between the homeless all during the work day.

He said that his biggest fear was that one of the altercations would escalate to a homicide, describing the situation as “a perfect storm for trouble.” He pointed out how hard the city government and police force had worked to keep the downtown area safe and clean, calling the area the “jewel of the city.” He explained that he did not want this to become more of a public safety issue where people would be afraid to walk downtown.

Measures such as parking limits have already been passed to dissuade anyone from residing in their vehicle in city parking spaces, but this has also affected business owners and their clients, it was stated. Downtown business owner Doug Caywood said that the nearest place he could now tell his clients to park was approximately four blocks away.

Other ideas discussed were parking permits for business owners and creating an ordinance requiring cars parked longer than 24 hours be towed. Nothing was decided, but the discussion will continue in the next Cleveland City Council meeting. 



Man Charged With 2000 Murder In East Ridge Is Returned To Chattanooga

A man charged in a murder in East Ridge that happened over 16 years ago has been returned to Chattanooga. Jason Kirk Sanford, who is now 43, is set to appear in the courtroom of Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz on Sept. 8. Sanford, who had moved to Westland, Mich., is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2000 death of Sarah Lea Davis Perry. Ms. Perry was 21 ... (click for more)

Raymond Facing Multiple Charges After Car Break-In At Rainbow Lake Parking Area

Kenneth Edward Raymond is facing multiple charges after a car was broken into at the Rainbow Lake parking area. James Bryan Miller was also charged. Raymond, 47, of 6719 Hickory Trace Circle, is charged with burglary of an auto, vandalism over $500, identity theft, attempted theft over $500, four counts of theft under $500, three counts of attempted theft under $500, and seven ... (click for more)

Jonathan Welch Is To Be Commended For His Leadership On The School Board

Dr. Jonathan Welch has faithfully served the Hamilton County Board of Education, representing District 2, for the last four years. He ends his time on the school board as chairman, a role he stewarded well during a tumultuous time in our school system as we prepared to search for a new superintendent.  Jonathan has served our school system and represented ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Georgia’s Weak Attacked

The United States Attorney’s Office and our nation’s Justice Department just thrust an unwelcomed spear into the heart of the state of Georgia. And while I am scared to death the same war party is now headed into Tennessee and other states, I wish the DOJ had stopped in Chattanooga for lunch and a quick visit at our Orange Grove Center before filing last Tuesday’s lawsuit against ... (click for more)

Lookouts' Bullpen Failure Leads To Come-From-Behind Win For Suns Sunday

The Lookouts were in control of  Sunday  afternoon's game up until the eighth and ninth inning when the M-Braves scored three runs to beat Chattanooga, 5-4. Chattanooga's offense jumped out to an early lead after being sparked by leadoff hitter Zach Granite. Granite started the home half of the first with a base hit to right field, danced on and off of first base ... (click for more)

Mocs Volleyball Sweeps Chattanooga Classic

The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team completed their fourth 3-0 sweep of the weekend on Sunday afternoon against California State at Fullerton as part of the Chattanooga Classic – presented by Hampton Inn & Suites - held in Maclellan Gym. The Mocs came out swinging by winning the first set 25-11 and then went on to win 25-18 and 25-17 in sets two and three, respectively. ... (click for more)