Drainage project in the works for Cleveland's historic district

Drainage project in the works for Cleveland's historic district

February 13th, 2014 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

Cleveland Police Chief David Bishop, left, introduces Mark Gibson, captain of the police department's operations bureau, to the Cleveland City Council. Gibson, a 16-year veteran with the Cleveland Police Department, was promoted to the position on Feb. 1.

Photo by Paul Leach /Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Cleveland Public Works officials want to begin a drainage project, intended to relieve flooding problems in the city's historic district, in early March.

In a recent meeting with the Cleveland City Council, Public Works Director Tommy Myers described the proposal, which seeks to address standing water on residential properties, roads and sidewalks in an area bordered by Centenary Avenue, Bowman Avenue and Eighth Street.

Myers said the first phase of work calls for the installation of a new network of drainage tiles measuring 36 inches and 30 inches in diameter underneath portions of roads and properties in the area.

The smaller, second phase involves running a 24-inch drainage tile from Centenary Avenue to Ocoee Street, where a new catch basin will be installed, he said.

The project has taken a number of environmental, safety and aesthetic factors into account, Myers said.

He said the new tiling will eliminate a large catch basin that residents have identified as a possible danger to small children and pets.

Crews will take extra care not to harm the large trees along Centenary Avenue and Ocoee Street, Myers said. Also, the recently paved surface of Bowman Avenue will receive a cosmetic makeover once work on the road is complete, he said.

The city is approaching final negotiations with property owners on right-of-way concerns, Myers said. Once they are complete, the matter will come before the Cleveland City Council for approval.

In other business, city officials discussed the potential adoption of recent changes to international building and fire codes.

"The whole intent of adopting the International Building Code of 2012 is to bring us within state law," building official Mary Baier said. "In Southeast Tennessee, we're the last one to change code."

A majority of the changes have already been incorporated into practice with a number of residential contractors, as they have had to comply with code changes adopted by Collegedale, Chattanooga and Athens, Baier said.

Regarding fire codes, many of the changes involve making codes more or less stringent or restructuring their placement within the code chapters, Cleveland Fire Marshall Ben Atchley said.

Changes listed byAtchley included the requirement to install sprinklers in new schools for every 12,000 square feet instead of every 20,000 square feet and placing "exit" signs near the bottoms of doors so crawling people can see them.

The City Council also gave an official welcome to Mark Gibson, who recently was promoted to captain of the operations bureau of the Cleveland Police Department.

Gibson, a 16-year veteran of the department, last served as a lieutenant over the special investigations unit, police Chief David Bishop said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.