published Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Looking for growth in Cleveland

The former Whirlpool building sits off Inman Street in Cleveland, Tenn. City leaders are working up plans to refresh and refurbish the area.
The former Whirlpool building sits off Inman Street in Cleveland, Tenn. City leaders are working up plans to refresh and refurbish the area.
Photo by Jay Bailey.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Cleveland officials will spend Monday morning reviewing the city's strategic objectives of accommodating growth and improving quality of life for its residents.

Highlights of the session will include presentations on the rejuvenation of Inman Street east of the railroad overpass, extension of the city's greenway and future annexation. The Army Corps of Engineers also will provide an update for a flood study it is performing within the city limits.

The meeting will kick off with recommendations for redeveloping Inman Street, the eastern corridor into the city, stretching from the railroad to the connector with APD-40.

"It's time that we need to take a look at this as a council in the next few months about changing that entrance to Cleveland," City Councilman Bill Estes said in a recent meeting. "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."

Plans include rezoning initiatives and possible partnerships with the state, Jonathan Jobe, director of development and engineering services for the city, said in a recent council meeting.

Officials expect proposed rezoning changes likely will involve how far businesses need to be set back from the road and infrastructure improvements such as sidewalks and curbing.

City officials also will be considering in coming months what to do with the former Whirlpool plant site as part of an overall look at revitalization in South Cleveland.

City Manager Janice Casteel addressed several of the featured agenda items scheduled for Monday's strategy session.

"With the greenway master plan, we are looking for donations of property that will allow us to connect it to Inman Street," she said. "We will be looking at areas that could be developed as part of the greenway."

The southern terminus of the city greenway now is at Willow Street, about a mile from Inman Street. It extends northward along Mouse Creek, just past Paul Huff Parkway. Greenway officials also may look at creating other branches off the main line, Casteel said, citing a possible connection between Tinsley Park and Ocoee Crossing.

On annexation plans, Casteel said leaders will review very "long-term" planning that will look harder at where as opposed to when incorporation will occur.

"There's nothing etched in stone," she said.

Officials also will receive a status report on a flood study that involves the Mouse and Candies creek basins.

The Army Corps of Engineers study, which cost the city $525,000, was launched last fall in response to flooding and sewer overflows in the city that were especially acute after heavy rains from September 2011.

City leaders have suggested that Bradley County undertake a complimentary flood study that would involve not only Mouse and Candies creeks but also Little Chatata and Conasauga creeks.

"It [the study] can't stop at the city limits," Councilman George Poe said this fall. "Without the county, it's pointless."

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