‘Mini boom’

The Cleveland Town Council met last Thursday for its regular monthly meeting.

Mayor Jerry Jones reported the local business discussed in last month’s meeting for failure to pay sales taxes is now “caught up and current.” Jones explained there is “no favoritism or bias” with collecting taxes. It is the responsibility of the mayor and council to make sure taxes and fees are collected. The town needs the funds “to survive” since it has no ad valorem taxes as do most other jurisdictions, he said.

Jones tried to clear up confusion caused by signs the county erected to designate areas the county road department will maintain. He explained that, regardless of signs, any county road is to be maintained by the county, even if part of that road is in the town limits. There are a few exceptions that have been worked out over the years; however, the new signs have created a lot of questions. Councilman Tommy Swindle offered County Highway 1 as an example. Part of the road is in Cleveland, but maintenance is the responsibility of the county road department, not the town. Jones said he is going to follow up with the county commissioner Nick Washburn to address the issue.

The mayor noted there is something of a “mini boom” going on in Cleveland in terms of new construction. It has necessitated the need to follow through with hiring a part-time building inspector as discussed, but not consummated several months ago. Jones said he has made an agreement with Oneonta’s mayor and city manager, Ross Norris and Ed Lowe, which will allow Cleveland to utilize Oneonta’s building inspectors and reimburse Oneonta for the time, if the council agreed. Motions to allow the arrangement and also adopt the Southern Building Code for construction both passed unanimously.

Jones and utilities superintendent Steve Pass asked the council to approve the purchase of six new fire hydrants at a cost of $4,000 each. Pass said they would be used to replace some old ones that date back to the 1960s. He said replacement parts are no longer available. The council agreed without dissent.

Pass presented a request to purchase a small tilt trailer from Terry Sligh Chevrolet for $5,864.58. He explained the new trailer is small enough to be pulled by a pickup, but heavy duty enough to carry the water department’s 8,000-to-9,000-pound excavator. The council agreed to the purchase without dissent.

Daniel Gilliland, candidate for District 4 county commission, was on the agenda to introduce himself to the council and those present.

Mayor Jones and councilmen Swindle, Sherry White, James Bynum, and James Sullivan were present. Doug Hill was absent due to illness. The council’s regular meeting is the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the town hall.