The Cleveland Town Council held its regular monthly meeting last Thursday.
Barbara Andersen, the new executive director of the Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce, introduced herself to the council and gave a brief run down of upcoming events the chamber is working on. These include the Dinner Downtown program in Oneonta on Oct. 22 where one of the featured restaurants will be Cleveland’s Woodfire Grill, and the Covered Bridge Festival on Oct. 27. Mayor Jerry Jones asked if the chamber was working on ways to increase tourism. Andersen said the chamber has been doing so and pointed to the tourist brochure the chamber produced and distributed. “We want people to come and enjoy what we have here,” she said.
Town attorney Alex Smith presented the council with a draft of the new dog ordinance. He explained that instead of continuing to amend the old ordinance to make it compatible with the livestock ordinance passed last month, it was better to adopt a new ordinance. The new ordinance, which passed unanimously, states:
• All dogs in the town’s limits must be vaccinated and wear the vaccination tag.
• It suggests, but does not mandate, that contact information for the dog’s owner be attached to the collar.
• A dog not on the premises of its owner must be on a leash. The penalties for violating this begin with a written warning, followed by a fine of $25 for a second offense and $100 for a third. If there are subsequent violations, a complaint will be filed with the Blount County District Court where, if found guilty, the violator will be subject to the court’s penalty.
• Anyone walking a dog on public property, including the park, must clean up the dog’s excrement.
• A premises can have a maximum of only six dogs. An exception is made for puppies under the age of six weeks. Violators will be warned and given 14 days to comply; however if they do not do so, they will be fined $25 per day until they do.
• A person who allows a dog to bark or howl in a way that disturbs neighbors will be fined $25.
• A dog or any other animal suspected of having rabies will be confiscated by the county’s animal control officer and confined.
The mayor reported to the council that progress is being made on the new telephone/radio project. Councilman James Bynum is working to get cost estimates for the project.
At the mayor’s request, town clerk Mary Newsome reported the park board netted $5,579.59 from food sales at the recent Labor Day festival. She said it was an increase over last year.
Jones and utilities superintendent Steve Pass informed the council of the poor condition of the truck used by the park’s employee. The consensus was the truck had outlived its usefulness and needed to be replaced. At the mayor’s suggestion, the council agreed to purchase a new truck for the utilities department. The cost of the truck, a 2018 Ford F-250, to be bought via the state’s bid site, is $30,000. The town will also purchase a utility bed for this truck for $5,000. The utilities department will transfer ownership of its current truck to the park board. Finally, the current park board truck was declared as surplus and will be advertised for sale through bids.
The council also agreed without dissent to the following:
• purchase a camera for the town’s use for $172.
• have Nolen Insulation and Glass of Oneonta install new windows at the town hall for $4,140.
• purchase a new hammer drill for the street department for $300.
Councilman Doug Hill was not present for the meeting due to a health matter, according to the mayor. All other members – Jones, Bynum, Sherry White, Tommy Swindle and James Sullivan – were present. The council holds its regular meeting the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the town hall.