Cleveland Utilities officials say they see improvements in local economy

Cleveland Utilities officials say they see improvements in local economy

March 4th, 2013 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

Ken Webb

Ken Webb

Bart Borden, electric division manager for Cleveland Utilities

Bart Borden, electric division manager for Cleveland Utilities

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Officials with Cleveland Utilities may be seeing signs of improvement in the local economy.

Late last week, the heads of the utility's financial, electric and water divisions each had something to report about possible indicators of an economic uptick.

Water and sewer access fees, which are a gauge of new connections, are better than projected for January and an increase over last year, said Ken Webb, vice president of the financial division. The numbers are part of a seven-month trend, he said.

"I continue to believe this is a good sign of development and building in the area," Webb said.

Cleveland Utilities also installed 20 water meters in January, said Craig Mullinax, vice president of the water division. The meter recipients were primarily residential, encompassing several townhomes and apartments.

The electric division has received preliminary plats and site plans for Mouse Creek Village and a townhome development on Weeks Drive, said Bart Borden, vice president of the division. Mouse Creek Village calls for a six-lot cluster just north of Mapleton Drive; the Weeks Drive project entails eight buildings with four units each.

Borden also cited a mix of new residential and commercial projects near completion.

Installation of underground power conductors is nearly finished for the second phase of the Spring Creek development near the eastern limits of 25th Street. Commercial works in progress include a Longhorn Restaurant and an Orbit station, both located near Paul Huff Parkway and exit 27 to Interstate 75, Borden said.

Utility officials also discussed industrial projects.

A new exit on APD-40 -- built in preparation for the proposed Spring Branch Industrial Park in southern Bradley County -- will require the relocation of water and sewer lines, Mullinax said. The project is in the design phase, and preliminary plans have been submitted to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Another TDOT project -- the widening of the road network supporting Cleveland's new Whirlpool site -- also will require some relocation work. Power poles on Benton Pike and Durkee Road will be moved, and so will more than 5,000 feet of water lines.

Traffic signals also will be upgraded at the intersections of Highway 64 and Durkee Road, Benton Pike and Durkee Road and Benton Pike and Michigan Avenue as part of the Whirlpool project, Borden said.