published Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Cleveland, Tenn., rezoning bid fails

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CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- A request to rezone nearly an acre behind Grissom Funeral Home failed to get Cleveland City Council approval Tuesday.

The funeral home management had sought a zoning change for 30th Street at Julian Drive, and the city planning commission approved it. But neighbors did not, citing flood concerns and the creation of a commercial area in a primarily residential area.

The request died for lack of a motion by a council member to approve it.

"We are working with the Army Corps of Engineers for a flood study," City Manager Janice Casteel said. She asked a resident for photos and video of flooding in the neighborhood to aid that study.

In other business, Councilman George Poe said that perhaps the city should have its own 911 emergency dispatch service instead of the joint city-Bradley County service in operation for more than a decade.

"I think we would be better off," Poe said. Fire and police would be dispatching fire and police units, he said.

Officers temporarily assigned to light duty could be used as dispatchers rather than staying home, Poe said.

He asked Casteel "to look into it."

During the short voting session, the council also voted final passage for the city's budget and keeping the property tax rate that has been in effect since 2005. Council members also approved the annual street paving list.

City officials thanked budget director Michael Keith, who is leaving to return to his former budget post in Athens, Tenn. Keith has held the Cleveland position for five years.

Contact Randall Higgins at or 423-314-1029.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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