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Annexation: Floating loans, flag lots, expanding UGB, new taxes, just to build an access road in Bradley County

In Agenda 21, Government on January 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

`That government can scarcely be deemed to be free, where the rights of property are left solely dependent upon the will of a legislative body, without any restraint. The fundamental maxims of a free government seem to require; that the rights of personal liberty and private property, should be held sacred.’ _ Justice Story

City Council moving to make the county happy! What in the world is going on in Bradley County! Annex this, don’t annex that! This is already in the Urban Growth Boundary but we will annex it any way! Whirlpool executives “watching the development closely!” Floating short term bonds at 2 to 3 percent interest for 12 to 20 years! Flag lots shooting out from main roads, creating costly and demanding land use regulations on it’s citizens! All of this over an access road to a plant! Good lord people of Bradley County and Cleveland! Can you believe this latest hellabaloo is over a road that gives access to a plant?

One road…..to pay for it we are borrowing our own money, financing it and we have no forseeable way of paying for it! What on Gods green Earth are we going to do when we have a real dilemma like the one coming up at the end of the month when a comprehensive growth plan is put into action! This albatross is going to cost us conservatively 6 to 10 billion and no promises it will stay that low! In fact no one knows what it will cost but one thing I can tell you is not one person has debunked that cost estimate yet!

You are seeing the dilemma we are having with one road thats going to cost the taxpayer about 20 to 30 million, this is one road! We have hundreds to build with a comprehensive plan! This one we are loaning the money out and placed on a payment plan for 12 to 20 years on your dime, this is borrowed money for one road!

Can you imagine the cost load on you the private citizen to pay for this huge comprehensive growth plan? Can you imagine what will happen to our local economy when we keep stacking layers of debt on top of each other? Can you feel the strain on our economy if our city and county mayors and planners have their way!

What we have done is disrupted the open free market! Instead of letting the market take care of itself by demand we have politically selected the businesses we want to survive and have forced an unnatural selection process!

We have decided forcibly who survives and who does not! The end result through this selective narrow process is we have placed the burden of this selection on you the taxpayer instead of letting capitalism run it’s course!

We have squeezed out the “little guy” by charting the course of the free market, which in turn it goes from being free to a being a pawn of local government! This is a disaster waiting to happen, an economy just waiting to hit the iceberg so to speak, much like the Titanic!

Our demise is near! Our Mayors are setting the course! Let their legacy be along with the council and commission they manipulate be the heirs solely responsible for our future collapse! Don’t listen to the premeditated talking points that this is good for our economy! Add it up for your self and you tell me if it is good for the economy! When you do the math, you know this is not better for you! Ask who this is really good for! The answer will not surprise you!

Sure we get a little grant money, guess what happens when the Federal grant money runs out? We are left holding the bag and the bag will be heavy! Proportionately with every new debt that our locally elected representatives place on us the greater the burden on you and your future generations! Our planners and mayors cam not be looking to the future with clear goggles! If they were they would take off in the other direction an run for the hills! The debt load on future citizens will be great and potentially one that will not be able to stand the load! So everytime you hear annexation, comprehensive Growth plan, new roads or schools think about that heavy load they must carry and consider this! Will it be worth it if our future generations cannot afford to live in it!

Council moving to annex property
by By DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor 5 hrs ago | 285 views | 0  | 1  |  | 
The Cleveland City Council has moved to help break the deadlock between it and the Bradley County Commission over how much each local government will pay for right of way acquisition for road improvements to the new Whirlpool plant on Benton Pike.

The city agreed to annex property along Durkee Road and Benton Pike already in the urban growth boundary in order for the city to share equally with Bradley County.

The Council will also float a short-term bond to pay for the project. The bond could either be variable or fixed rate. Options include a capital outlay note for 12 years for $2 million. It would be at a fixed rate at 2.39 percent. The other two proposals are for variable rate debt for 20 years, and for fixed rate debt set up to be amortized over 20 years, but required to be renewed after five or seven years.

Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel said she did not recommend the capital outlay note since the county will repay its portion within four years, which would leave the city with the option of doing the same.

The Council is expected to make a decision at its Jan. 23 meeting.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is funding 100 percent of the construction cost and 50 percent of property acquisition under the State Industrial Access road program. City and county governments must pay the remaining half of right of way acquisition before the state proceeds to widen Benton Pike (between APD 40 and Michigan Avenue Road) to three lanes and to widen the two lanes and shoulders of Durkee Road between Benton Pike and U.S. Highway 64.

Casteel said the annexation plan would affect property along the length of Durkee Road, including flag lots.

According to the financial website Bankrate.com, “Flag lots are so named because of the long, slender strips of land resembling flag poles that extend from the typically rectangular main sections of these lots — or the ‘flags’ — out to the street. Each ‘flag pole’ typically provides just enough frontage for vehicle access and is often shared by several neighbors.”

“[The annexation] actually takes in the boat company as well because it is a flag lot,” Casteel said. “You think of it as being on Highway 64, but technically, it’s a flag lot off of Durkee Road. The reason we’re looking at this so hastily is because if you would like to participate in the funding with Bradley County, then Durkee Road needs to be in the city prior to any commitment to sharing that funding.”

Through annexation, the Council would only pay for areas of the project within the city limits.

Mayor Tom Rowland said Whirlpool corporate officials in Benton Harbor, Mich. are closely watching the progress made toward getting the road built.

“They consider the city and county as the local governmental entity. They don’t look at us as two separate entities,” the mayor said. “They are very concerned and want us to get along with this project.”

The city will provide funds to TDOT in the amount of $1.998 million to purchase additional ROW and pay for additional utility costs. According to TDOT’s estimated costs as of Oct. 4, 2011, subject to the city’s successful annexation of the property and if the County Commission agrees to reimburse the city for its share of the costs, including proportionate fees including accrued interest on the county’s portion. Repayment is to be made within four years from the date funds are transferred to TDOT for the project.

The Bradley County Commission would also be required to amend the Minnis Road sewer agreement for Park View Elementary School. Under the amended agreement made June 24, 2009, the county would forgive the city of any further costs related to that project, which would be about $450,000.

The County Commission will vote on the agreement at a later date.
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