Bradley County panel backs funding plan for industrial park

Bradley County panel backs funding plan for industrial park

September 1st, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis sits at his desk.

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis sits at...

Photo by Randall Higgins /Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Bradley County soon may be taking part in a funding plan for a new public industrial park.

The County Commission's Finance Committee voted Wednesday to make the recommendation to the full commission when it meets and votes Tuesday.

Commissioner Mel Griffith cast the only "no" vote. Commissioners Connie Wilson, Jeff Morelock and Ed Elkins voted yes.

The proposal has the city of Cleveland, Bradley County and Cleveland Utilities contributing $2 million each to buy property just south of APD 40 (the U.S. 64 bypass) and along Interstate 75 from exit 20.

Cleveland would issue bonds for the city and county portions of the money. The county would repay the city $2 million plus costs beginning in three years when tax revenue from Wacker Chemical begins to come in.

If the commission agrees, the City Council would vote.

The plan would require no property tax increase, County Mayor D. Gary Davis said, answering a question from Finance Committee Chairwoman Wilson.

"This tells the Industrial Development Board to go ahead and be working toward a [state required] certificate of public purpose," Davis said, a preliminary step to the purchase.

Cleveland Utilities offered to pay one-third of the purchase price two weeks ago.

Doug Berry, Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce vice president for industrial development, said the rule of thumb for the total cost would be double the purchase price. That would set the bottom line for purchase and partial development at $12 million.

The resolution for Tuesday includes the Industrial Development Board paying back the city and county from future land sales in the park once some infrastructure is installed.