Taylor Spring Park committee to request help

By LARRY C. BOWERS Banner Staff Writer
Posted 2/16/17

The Taylor Spring Park Committee, appointed by the Cleveland City Council, is aggressively moving ahead with plans for the new downtown park with a history theme.

A majority of committee …

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Taylor Spring Park committee to request help

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The Taylor Spring Park Committee, appointed by the Cleveland City Council, is aggressively moving ahead with plans for the new downtown park with a history theme.

A majority of committee members met Wednesday at the Jones Management offices in The Village Green, discussing the recent fundraiser held at the home of businessman and entrepreneur Allan Jones in Anatole subdivision.

Around 200 invited guests attended the fundraiser, but most committee members expressed disappointment that only a little over $30,000 was raised. The committee has targeted the amount of $250,000 in funds needed for the park, recognized as the birthplace of Cleveland and Bradley County.

Committee members discussed the possibility of getting Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, and the County Commission, more actively involved in the process of building the new park along with the City Council.

“The spring is the birthplace of the county, as well as the city of Cleveland,” said committee member and City Councilman Richard Banks.

With that thought in mind, committee members are planning to approach county officials to participate.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the committee came up with a tentative date for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new park. That date is Monday, May 1.

Plans for the program are still to be made, as well as the people and organizations who will participate in this kickoff of the construction phase of the project.

The date will also be a cutoff for one of the project’s more popular fundraisers. A majority of funds raised at the recent gala came from the purchase of engraved bricks, which will be used in the construction of the park.

The bricks are $100 each, with three lines of type (up to 22 characters per line) on the bricks. The bricks can be a permanent signature for your children, a memorial to a loved one, a veteran, or even friends or acquaintances.

Jones, a member of the committee, has proclaimed, “Everyone in the city should purchase at least one of the bricks. They’ll be here forever.”

Other purchase opportunities include trees and benches, but they are limited. Eight trees and three benches have already been purchased, and the remainder will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Joining Jones on the committee are Banks, Cleveland historian Bob George, Cleveland Public Works Supervisor Tommy Myers, and former county commissioner Jeff Morelock. Assisting the committee are contractors Dee Burris and Dennis Black, Toby Pendergrass of Jones Management, City Manager Joe Fivas, Assistant City Manager Shawn McKay, and Barrett.

Barrett emphasized the Community Foundation is a public nonprofit organization which assists community entities. The foundation recently coordinated fundraising for the Cleveland Dog Park.

“We coordinate events where many donors join together to make the community a better place for today and future generations,” Barrett said.

She added that the foundation is made up of a collection of charitable funds established by individuals, families, businesses and other nonprofits and foundations. “We are committed to serving and understanding donor needs, handling complex charitable gifts, managing charitable funds, and leveraging community knowledge to increase the charitable impact.

Anyone interest in the Taylor Spring Park project, or wanting more information about the foundation, can contact Barrett at cbarrett@clevelandbradleyfoundation.org, or at www.clevelandbradleyfoundation.org.

Committee members also discussed other fundraising opportunities, and plans, at Wednesday’s meeting. Their plans are to contact community leaders who may have not been able to attend the kickoff fundraiser, and they will also visit with community businesses, industry.

It was also pointed out that civic organizations, clubs, churches, and even schools and school groups, might want to participate.

The historic downtown park will be located on property where the law offices of late Cleveland attorney Jim Webb was located. Webb donated the building and property to the city, and the building, which covered the spring, was later demolished.

The city purchased an adjacent parcel to the east, and Jones bought a parcel to the west and presented it to the city.

A tentative design and plans for the park were draw up by students at the University of Tennessee, and Burris has volunteered his time, expertise, and some funding to the project in coordinating the overall design.

The park project was launched through the efforts of Jones, a local businessman and amateur historian who is extremely interest in the history of the city and county, and the preservation of that history.

A follow-up meeting of the park committee will be scheduled in the near future.

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