Bradley County Commission Votes Support For New Lake Forest Middle School; Gets More Flak On Brymer Creek, Animal Issue

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Bradley County Commission voted 13-0 on Monday to support replacing the academic portion of Lake Forest Middle School.

However, the projection is that the funds to cover the debt will not be available until the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The vote was to cover $12 million, instead of the $14 million amount listed earlier for 57 new classrooms.

The motion by Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones specified that the furniture and fixtures for the school be covered by the school board.

Commissioner Jeff Morelock, who earlier sought unsuccessfully to get a tax increase passed in order to start the work now, said he was seeking a way to use excess funds in the rainy day fund to get started earlier.

However, County Mayor Gary Davis reiterated that it would not be until 2017 until current commitments are paid off and new money for bonds is available. He said excess fund balance would not be an adequate revenue stream for debt service.

The commission again heard complaints about muddying of Brymer Creek and about the lack of a place to take stray animals in the county.

Attorney Pam O'Dwyer said there has been "escalating damage from erosion and escalating cost" at the Harriman Road project to construct a new industrial park.

She said the site "should be a park, not an industrial park. It's not too late to reverse yourself."

Another citizen said he was "appalled" by the amount of erosion at the site. He said, "It's a project that's going to fall on its face."  

Commissioner Ed Elkins said he had not been aware that the grade was being changed at the site, "but now we are being asked to pay half of a change order."

Rachel Veazy, an animal advocate, demanded to know what strategy the county had for dealing with stray animals in need of a home. Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber said, "The truth is we don't have a plan."

While Ms. Veazy was at the podium, another woman in the audience said, "This is a tremendous problem and needs to be handled now."

Ms. Veazy said a non-profit animal rescue operation does not have room for more dogs and cats. She said one person currently has seven puppies and nowhere to take them.

Commissioner Adam Lowe again suggested that a local non-profit be started to meet the need. He said that would be more effective and efficient than a government operation. Ms. Veazy said that is not feasible.

Ms. Veazy said she has over 350 names on a petition urging a solution. Commissioner Elkins said many of those signing are not from Bradley County and three are "from another country."

Commission members reiterated that they had offered the city of Cleveland $180,000 to accept county animals, but the offer was turned down twice.

Commissioner Mark Hall said, "The problem is you have two governmental bodies that refuse to get along, and that's a shame. This skirmish has been going on for 30 years."

Vice Chairman Yarber termed it "a p---ing contest between the city and county."



    



Just 4,380 Have Voted In The City Election After 9 Days Of Early Voting

Just 4,380 Chattanooga voters have cast ballots after nine days of early voting leading up to the March 7 city election. One day just 48 people showed up at the Northgate voting site. Only 88 went to the most popular early voting site - the election office off Amnicola Highway the same day. The high turnout thus far has been 199 at the election office on Tuesday. The ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Man Finds Possible Rival's Hat While Delivering Gifts To Girlfriend; Man In Underwear Fussing With Neighbors

A man said he came by a house on Alabama Avenue in St. Elmo to give his daughter and his girlfriend gifts. While there he found a hat belonging to his cousin and he now believes that they are cheating on him. The girlfriend said that this was not true and did not want him there anymore because of his behavior. He agreed to leave and left walking. * * * A Brainerd woman ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)

Amazing Bradley Builds 32-0 Lead, Routs Cookeville 69-35 In Region 3-3A Tournament

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley Central’s top-ranked Bearettes went into Friday’s Region 3-3A quarterfinal basketball game against Cookeville with several thoughts in mind. Sending a message was one of them. Stamp it delivered. The Bearettes, now at 30-0 with the tradition-rich program’s third-longest winning streak in its history, overwhelmed the Lady Cavaliers with a ... (click for more)

Macon County Ends Season For Signal Mountain Girls

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles entered the first round of the Region 4-AA basketball tournament as the District 7-AA champions and riding high on a seven-game winning streak. The Macon County Tigerettes came to Signal Mountain Friday night for that first-round game on a two-game losing streak and still hurting after finishing fourth in last week’s District 8 gathering. But ... (click for more)