Councilman Banks Says Cleveland Has Own School System; Does Not Owe Bradley County Schools On Liquor Tax

Monday, January 27, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
Mayor Tom Rowland swears in two new police officers
Mayor Tom Rowland swears in two new police officers
- photo by Hollie Webb

Cleveland City Councilman Richard Banks said Monday that, since Cleveland operates its own school system, it does not owe the Bradley County schools any more in connection with the liquor tax fund.

The Bradley County School Board has hired attorney Jim Logan, saying the Bradley Schools are owed over $700,000 by the city of Cleveland under a Tennessee statute regarding the use of funds collected from the tax.

The statute says, "Municipalities which receive alcoholic beverage taxes must use 50 percent for education purposes. Those municipalities not operating a school system must send 50 percent to counties for county school operations."

However, Commissioner Banks, who is an attorney, pointed out that this particular statue applies to municipalities not operating a school system.

He made a motion to invite the members of the Bradley County School Board to the next work session and said, "I would like for them to provide us with specifics as to why Cleveland, with a school system, should be obligated to provide them money."

The motion passed.

He said if the city gets into a legal conflict with the county, "in the end, the taxpayers lose."

Dr. Martin Ringstaff from the Cleveland School Board also spoke to the Council about getting funding for a new gymnasium project.

Councilman Bill Estes suggested they the schools use money from the school fund balance to pay for the costs of the architects and give the Council time to get money from bonds.

However, Dr. Ringstaff said it made him nervous to take money from the fund balance with no way of replacing it. The fund balance holds approximately three percent of the $40 million School Board budget.

During the meeting, two new police officers, Steven Warner and Corey Fox, were sworn in.

Also, Director of Marketing Mark Fidler discussed upgrading the Cleveland airport; 700 feet of additional runway space will be constructed. The one-year anniversary of the airport was Saturday. . Mr. Fidler said several public events were going to be held at the airport, including an exotic car show.

Public hearings were held to discuss the annexation of 27.8 acres to the proposed Veterans Home area and several zoning amendments; no one commented.

The following resolutions and ordinances were also passed:

Resolution No: 2014-07 – Authorizing the Mayor to sign an agreement with AT&T Tennessee for fiber cable attachments on the City’s ITS project.

Resolution No: 2014-08 – Authorizing the Mayor to sign a license agreement with TDOT concerning the installation and maintenance of landscaping along State Route 60 (Keith Street to Spring Creek)

Resolution No: 2014-09 – Approving of an electric vehicle public charging station to be installed near the Greenway restroom area on Raider Drive (To be purchased and maintained by Cleveland Utilities)

Resolution No: 2014-10 – Approving of a Subordination agreement relating to the Home program.

Resolution No: 2014-11 – Authorizing the Mayor to sign a reimbursement agreement with Appriss for crash reports.

Bid Extension – Extending the bid from Lee Smith for the purchase of a Knuckleboom

Resolution No: 2014-12 – Concerning the Plan of Service for the annexation of about 27.8 acres for the proposed Veterans Home Area located off Westland Drive (Planning Commission: Approved 8-0; 1 member absent)

Ordinance No: 2014 - 01 - Annexation and zoning of about 27.8 acres for the proposed Veterans Home Area located off Westland Drive (Planning Commission: Approved 8-0; 1 member absent)

Ordinance No: 2014-02 – Amending Section 3.3 of the Zoning Regulations to amend for exceptions to buffering requirements (Planning Commission: Approved 7-0; 2 members absent)

Ordinance No: 2014-03 – Amending Section 2.14.2 of the Zoning Regulations to allow the uses permitted within the Commercial Highway District as conditional uses within the Light Industry District (Planning Commission: Approved 7-0; 2 members absent) 

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