Cleveland Council Says City Taxpayers Paying More Than Their Share For Ambulance Service

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - by Hollie Webb
Erik Jones, Grant Gasper and Deanna Dawson, from left, took their oaths of office Monday as the newest officers with the Cleveland Police Department.
Erik Jones, Grant Gasper and Deanna Dawson, from left, took their oaths of office Monday as the newest officers with the Cleveland Police Department.

The Cleveland City Council passed a motion Monday afternoon to draft a resolution to ask the Bradley County Commission to provide more support for the ambulance service.

Councilman Richard Banks said that city taxpayers pay approximately 60 to 70 percent of the money that goes into the county commission's general fund. Because of that, he said city taxpayers are also paying more for the ambulance service.

He said, "I call on the county commission, as a taxpaying citizen, to address that concern.

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According to estimates, the cost of maintaining the ambulance service is around five dollars in tax money per year from each resident.

Councilman Bill Estes said, "I'm proud of the citizens of Cleveland...for being willing to fund these things."

He said, "In my mind, ambulance services are essential. 911 is essential. Schools are essential."

He continued, "The city taxpayers are funding the ambulance service right now about 70 percent...I think it's appalling the ambulance service has to ask for money when it's $5 a year."

Mayor Tom Rowland said, "We need to sit back and smile at our brothers and sisters on the county side and do what's best for our community...We've got to turn a new page. We're all one, it's not 'them and us.'"

During the agenda meeting, an update on the Cleveland High School Raider Arena was also given for the council.

Director of Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff said good progress has been made due to the past few weeks of decent weather.

Excavation has been finished, the footers are completed and the east wall is up. It was also noted that a special fitness room funded by a donation will be designed by Upland Design Group.

It was also announced that Bradley County High School freshman Crystal Stander won a design logo contest for a recycling project that the city received a grant to fund.

Ms. Stander said, "I don't want our world to go to waste...I feel like our world needs to be cleaned up and everybody needs to do their share."

New police officers Deanna Dawson, Grant Gasper and Erik Jones were also sworn in during the meeting. 

  

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