18-Cent Property Tax Hike On Its Way In Cleveland; City Will Not Accept Stray County Animals

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - by Sarah Ruf

The Cleveland City Council approved the proposed 2014 budget Monday, essentially guaranteeing a 18.5-cent property tax increase for the upcoming fiscal year.

Nearly half of that increase will pay for maintaining and adding police and fire officers to their respective forces. The city will add six new police officers.

“I think that’s money well spent to make sure people are safe in their homes,” said Councilman Richard Banks, in favor of the budget.

The council voted 6-1 to pass the budget. Councilman Charlie McKenzie voted no in opposition to the tax increase.

The debate continued regarding Bradley County’s decision to modify its animal control contract with the city.

The council rejected the proposed three-year contract from Bradley County to accept animals into its city shelter while eliminating the county’s vehicle-related expenses.

Councilman Banks motioned to send back a new proposal offering a one-year contract, with the amount of animals assisted to be determined based the previous year’s audited numbers.

That measure failed 3-4.

Now the county will stop its pickup service after July 1, and the city shelter will not be able to accept animals from the county. Rescuers will have to provide proof they are city residents or that the animal was found in the city.

“We are really messing up our goal of a no-kill shelter. It’s a shame,” Mayor Tom Rowland said. “It’s a sad day for animals in our community.”

“It could be a good day for animals if Bradley County steps up and does what they are supposed to do,” Councilman Bill Estes said.

The council also voted 5-1 to rescind their two-week-old approval of a bid by BB&T after some confusion with the language of the bid and listening to representatives from BB&T and Bank of Cleveland. 

Commissioners discussed the options of locking in an interest rate for the whole year or one adjusted more frequently.

“This doesn’t smell right, it doesn’t sound right,“ Councilman Estes said before he voted no.  Speculating on what interest rates will be in a year is like navel-gazing, he said.

Councilman McKenzie abstained from the vote.

All four original bank bidders will come to the June 26 meeting to present their bids once more.

City Attorney John Kimball told the commission he recommended staying with the already-approved contract with BB&T, keeping in mind a 90-day clause available to use if the council wanted to readjust interest rates in the next few months.

In other news, Mayor Rowland suggested it is time for an audit of the two cable providers in the city, ATT and Charter.

The next council meeting will be June 17 at 3 p.m.

You can reach Sarah Ruf at sarahruf@yahoo.com.



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABLES, BRANDY L  9621 DAYTON PIKE SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FAILURE TO APPEAR --- ALLMON, MELISSA LYNNE  1608 NORTH CHESTER ROAD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION ... (click for more)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Nomination Of Rex Tillerson To Be Secretary Of State With Corker Backing

Senator Bob Corker on Monday joined a majority of committee members in  voting to favorably report the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State to the full Senate for consideration.   “I personally have no doubt that Rex Tillerson is well - qualified,” said Senator Corker. “He's managed the world's eighth largest company by revenue with over 75,000 ... (click for more)

Proud Of Chattanooga And The Women's March - And Response (2)

I was very happy to participate in the Women’s March on Chattanooga yesterday afternoon. The diversity and the sheer numbers of women, men and children were incredible. One estimate was at least 3,000. Standing together with all of these like-minded souls was overwhelming and humbling.  I have rarely been so happy and so proud of my town.  One question is, why is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Puzzling Women

After Rhonda Thurman left the “Enlightment” meeting of the Hamilton Country School Board Saturday afternoon, she must have been catching up on the news when she posted this message on her Facebook page: “I am really trying to understand. I am a woman and I cannot think of one "RIGHT" I do not have. Can someone enlighten me?” Not one person enlightened Rhonda because nobody could ... (click for more)

Big McClendon Curtis Leads Central Past Hixson

Central coach Rick Rogers knew this would be a long season for his Purple Pounder basketball team after his top seven players graduated last year. He’s exactly right, but things are headed in the right direction for Rogers as his team improved to 5-10 overall and 3-6 in District 6-AA with a heart-stopping one-point win at Hixson Monday night. That’s two wins in a row and the ... (click for more)

Father Ryan Rallies To Beat Soddy Daisy

The Soddy Daisy Trojans may have been embarrassed over a lopsided whipping they took at the hands of the Bradley Bears Thursday night in Cleveland, but they came out with fire in their eyes Friday night in a dual meet with Father Ryan. The host Trojans had a seemingly-comfortable 32-22 lead with three matches remaining, but the Purple Irish won all three -- including two with ... (click for more)