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. 



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ASHWORTH, JESSE ANDREW  1267 LEASIDE LANE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 30 years old Arresting Agency: Federal Marshall Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BALLEW, JEFFERY LAMAR  1506 MULBERRY STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Worker Dies At M&M/Mars Plant In Cleveland

An employee of the M&M/Mars plant in Cleveland, Tn., died on the job on Thursday night. The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration was investigating. The plant is on Peerless Road. (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tipping The Preacher

I got an unusual telephone call the other day from someone I love who asked my help in solving one of life’s delicate mysteries. It is a tough question: “How do you tip a preacher?” In the first place, you never tip a preacher. It’s the preacher who gives out the tips, helping to keep you on the straight-and-narrow in your quest to waltz through the Pearly Gates. But there are ... (click for more)

Memorial Service For Lynn Trent is Sunday June 26

 “To all who knew Lynn this (his death) is truly sad news. My friendship with Lynn goes back to the 70's.I was always the better for having seen Lynn on any trip home and know no one more dedicated to or who loved the Mocs any more than Lynn.” UTC Alum and Actor Dennis Haskins   We have lost a friend. Actually a great friend. One who was dedicated ... (click for more)

Red Bank Stays Unbeaten With Win Over Waterdogs

The Red Bank Gators are now a win away from claiming first place in the White division of the Chattanooga Area Swim League. Facing the Waterdogs from Cleveland in a battle of unbeaten teams at Red Bank Thursday night, the Gators clinched at least a tie for first place with a 403-366 victory in a meet that was much closer than that 37-point margin might otherwise indicate. ... (click for more)