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Cleveland City Council Meeting 01-24-23

Cleveland City Council Work Session 1-23-23
Cleveland City Council Voting Session 1-23-23
Cleveland City Council Voting Session 1-23-23

Cleveland City Council Meeting 01-24-23

The Cleveland City Council on Monday initially voted 4-3 to turn down a deal offered by Cleveland billionaire Forrest Preston for a long-vacant former bank building on Raider Drive across from Cleveland High School.

After a recess, there was a new motion that passed 7-0 that has the city buying the building for costs totaling around $800,000, then giving the Cleveland City Schools until March 1 to reimburse the city’s costs. The city is also asking that the Cleveland City Schools going forward pay the city $18,000 per year – the amount of current taxes on the building.

The Cleveland City Schools have indicated an interest in refurbishing the building as a new school headquarters.

It was also noted that Mr. Preston, the founder of Life Care Centers of America, in 2016 offered the building to the city at no charge.

Dr. Russell Dyer, city school director, said the current headquarters on Mouse Creek Road was overcrowded with items being stored in portable units. He said central office personnel currently are in five different locations.

The Preston property includes eight acres and is by the greenway. It has 45,000 square feet of space.

Cleveland city officials said they are expecting a surge in illegal dumping as prices to take items to the Bradley County Landfill rise.

Joe Fivas, city manager, said he was advised that the landfill had raised the price for accepting a tire from $1.50 per tire to $10 a tire. Landfill officials said Monday that the tire cost had gone back down to $4.50 per tire.

Mr. Fivas also noted that the cost to dump a mattress at the landfill has gone from $20 to $50. Landfill officials said the $50 rate still stands.

Mr. Fivas said the city is in the process of overhauling its provisions regarding tire storage and hauling. He said some tire stores “have mounds of tires outside.” He said there will be a requirement that they be placed under cover.

For those who haul tires on a regular basis, they will have to display some type of sticker. They will have to post where they obtained the tires and where they are taking them.

SK Foods, which announced the largest investment in the history of Cleveland, is set to receive a PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes tax break) from city officials.

The firm announced a $205 million investment in the city of Cleveland that will provide 845 jobs.

There are to be 371 new full-time positions in Phase 1, 342 new full-time jobs in Phase 2, and 132 new direct jobs in Phase 3 with an average annual weighted wage of approximately $44,000.00 for all employees and a benefit package including health insurance, performance based bonus programs, paid time off, 401K match, long-term and short-term disability insurance, and education assistance/scholarships. 

The property tax break is to be 50 percent starting with the first full year of occupancy through 2040. 

There will also be a tax break on personal property (equipment) for a six-year period for each phase starting in the first full year of occupancy and continuing through the year 2036.

Officials said, notwithstanding the PILOT arrangement, the project will result in the payment of in lieu of tax payments to the city of Cleveland in an estimated amount of $8,559,537 over the term of the PILOT arrangement.