published Monday, November 19th, 2012

Cleveland, Tenn., seeks 'clean and green' grant

  • photo
    Cleveland, Tenn., City Manager Janice Casteel is seen in this file photo.
    Photo by Randall Higgins /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Cleveland officials have proposed a project intended to get residents actively engaged in recycling and cleaning up the city.

City Manager Janice Casteel announced last week that Cleveland would submit an application for a special Tennessee Department of Transportation litter program grant to achieve those goals.

"It is our responsibility to recycle, to keep Cleveland clean," she said. "That is a quality-of-life goal of our city."

The "Clean and Green Cleveland" project, if funded, will amount to $68,000, according to the grant proposal. Of that amount, state grant funding will be $54,400 and $13,600 will be the city's matching funds requirement.

The project proposes to improve the city's cleanliness and green living through public education, encouragement and participation.

"Clean and Green Cleveland" encompasses advertising, city website and social media marketing and logo-bearing items such as T-shirts, stickers and water bottles. On-the-ground reminders will come in the form of recycling bins in public places with a history for high traffic and littering, such as parks and the city greenway.

Finally, the project will implement greenway cleanup events that will be worked by local schools and university groups, school recycling competitions and a themed 5k run.

The special TDOT anti-litter initiative intends to disperse up to $1 million in grants to local governments and organizations that seek to do more with the money than provide routine maintenance. Each awarded grant will be between $25,000 and $100,000, with the recipient providing 20 percent in matching funds.

In other efforts to rejuvenate Cleveland, officials are preparing to review redevelopment ideas for the eastern stretch of Inman Street at the city's strategic planning session on Jan. 14.

While the proposals are not ready for public review, they will touch upon rezoning and possible partnerships with the state, said Jonathan Jobe, director of Development and Engineering Services for the city.

Discussions on the area, which stretches from the downtown railroad bridge to the APD-40 connector, likely will involve how far businesses will need to be set back from the road, officials said.

"It's time that we ... take a look at this as a council in the next few months about changing that entrance to Cleveland," City Councilman Bill Estes said. "While you don't want to use rezoning as a tool, here's an example of how it could be used to foster business and growth in that part of town."

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