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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Future Flooding Concerns City Council

A steady stream of residents has approached the Cleveland City Council since the record rainfall in September flooded homes all over the city. The flow of concerns continued unabated Monday when homeowners on Holiday Drive and Blythe Avenue took complaints before the Council.

In a discussion of the issue, Vice Mayor Avery Johnson asked if he understood correctly that nothing could be done until spring 2012.

“Next to a fire, flooding problems are the worst thing you can have,” Johnson said. “I just don’t see how we can put these people on hold that long.”

City Manager Janice Casteel said hiring at the Public Works Department has been frozen in order to deal with the $900,000 the city will lose from the fire contract as Bradley County continues toward building a fully independent fire department.

“We just don’t have the staff we need,” she said.

Johnson said something needs to be done, even if it means hiring a contractor.

“We approved the plans to do the building across the street and now they’re flooded through no fault of their own,” he said. “Conditions have changed. We just really need to do something to help these people out.”

Casteel said, “In order to avoid a property tax increase, we’re trying to prepare for losing the $900,000 in next year’s budget, and that’s the only way I know to do it.”

Areas discussed during the Sept. 26, Council meeting will be discussed at the Nov. 14 Strategic Planning Workshop. Those areas include Westlake Drive, Arlena Drive, Gail Drive, North Ocoee Street at McIntire Avenue, Village Oak Circle, Centenary Avenue, Pineview Drive, Anatole Lane N.W., and Mohawk Drive.

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