Bradley mayor talks about growth, budget pains

Bradley mayor talks about growth, budget pains

March 1st, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Staff Photo by Randall Higgins/Chattanooga Times Free Press Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis reviewed the county 's industrial achievements Monday before MainStreet Cleveland and discussed "growing pains'' ahead.

CLEVELAND, Tenn.-Bradley County is facing some growing pains after two years of blockbuster industrial announcements, County Mayor D. Gary Davis said Monday.

"But that's a good thing," the mayor said, speaking at the meeting of MainStreet Cleveland. "We could be like some other counties, or surrounding states, and crying our eyes out over things a lot worse than growing pains."

After announcements by Wacker Chemical, Olin, Whirlpool and others, it may have escaped public notice that these world corporations could have located, or relocated, anywhere in the world, Davis said.

Add Amazon and Volkswagen in Hamilton County, and Southeast Tennessee becomes a hot industrial location for everyone, he said.

"There are really no city and county lines when we talk about industrial recruiting," Davis said.

Volkswagen is as good for Bradley County as it is for Hamilton County, he said, while Wacker will offer jobs to McMinn County residents as well as those in Bradley.

Bradley has had steady growth for 10 years, Davis said.

"I believe it will continue to be steady growth but at a faster pace," he said.

But while the county juggles needs, from schools to a new industrial park, Davis said local government is living on "a fixed income."

"This year is the first year we can truly say we have budget cuts," he said.

Davis' remarks follow Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland's address to MainStreet Cleveland in January.

Meanwhile, MainStreet is planning its own moves, Executive Director Sharon Marr said.

"We have created a First Street Square events committee which is looking at several events for the new city park space," Marr said.

Announcements will be coming this spring about outdoor events for First Street Square, including the season opening of the Five Points Market on June 9, she said.