Park progress, tax issue

Town of Cleveland

The Cleveland Town Council met Oct. 10 for their regular monthly meeting.

In the FY2020 budget that was adopted last month, the water and sewer rates were raised by 3 percent. For that increase to go into effect, explained Mayor Jerry Jones, the council must pass a resolution. A motion was made and passed unanimously.

Jones brought the council up to date on the progress of the new park. He said landscaping and pond work performed by the town’s employees had been done very well and commended superintendent Steve Pass and his crew. The work had been accomplished within the amount allocated from last budget. Going forward, Jones asked the council to appropriate another $20,000 for this fiscal year to continue the project. The council agreed to the outlay for the coming year. The immediate expenditures he presented were quotes from Aqua Services, Inc. for:

• vegetation control spraying in and around pond with a fish friendly substance ($710.35).

• purchasing and planting shrubs, bushes, and trees including tubes to protect the young plants ($3,930).

• stocking pond with fish ($1,000).

In other park business, Jones said the new batting cages have been installed.

The mayor told the council that the county commission is buying eight solar powered lights that will be placed on the King’s Bend Scenic Overlook and commissioners asked if Cleveland could purchase three additional lights at a cost of $1,700 each. Jones said he agreed with the need for the lights and the council approved the purchase of three.

Jones asked the council to consider raising Alissa Haynes’ salary to $14 an hour. Currently she handles renting the community center and the park’s pavilions. She is also learning the water clerk job. A motion to raise her salary was passed without dissent.

Jones informed the council that Jay’s Café, a restaurant in town, is four months behind in paying its sales taxes. He explained it is not only the town’s taxes not being paid, but the county’s and state’s as well. Jones said he and town attorney Alex Smith met with the owner and proposed an arrangement to bring it into compliance. The owner will pay $350 per month in addition to current taxes being collected until the past taxes, including interest and penalties, are paid. If a payment is missed, the business license will be pulled, according to Jones. The council voted to move forward with the payment plan.

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