Charleston gets major funding for playground
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Oct 10, 2012 | 1148 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city of Charleston has been awarded a $75,000 matching grant to make improvements and build additions to the city park’s playground.

“We are going to use the grant to buy playground equipment for the park in the children’s area,” said Charleston Mayor Walter Goode. “The brunt of the money will be used for equipment and buying a new surface for the playground.”

A check for $75,000 will be presented to Charleston on Monday in Nashville. Goode encouraged City Commissioners Donna McDermott and Larry Anderson to attend if they so wish.

Workshops concerning the new playground will begin soon after the check presentation. Caroline Geren, city manager, said studies may need to be completed before construction begins.

“Sometimes, something like an environmental study will need to be completed before we can do anything,” Geren said. “The workshops will focus on what must be completed before new equipment arrives.”

Members of the Charleston City Commission congratulated representatives from the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society for a job well done on the Cowpea festival.

“I was very, very, very impressed by the Cowpea Festival,” McDermott said. “It was not good, it was great. I know I am going to be so amazed by what continues to happen with the festival.”

McDermott said she has given mini-history lessons to Charleston residents concerning the history of the cowpea. Goode said the expectations for the festival will continue to grow.

“We figure about 3,000 people came to the Cowpea Festival,” said Faye Callaway, CCHHS representative. “We netted $5,900 for the historical society and Heritage Center.”

Callaway said the society will continue to carry a $5,000 loan to the Chamber of Commerce at 1 percent interest for the next year.

“This will give us a little bit of money to use on the center, because we really need to get it up and running” Callaway said. “... In 2011, there was $11 million brought in to our county through tourism. The Heritage Center can bring in a lot more money to Charleston.”

According to Callaway, as the festival continues to grow, a couple of matters must be considered: spotlights to be placed in the park for performances after dark, and permits for individuals selling food in their front yards.

Society representatives and board members congratulated city workers for the work completed on the park.

“I think our park looked beautiful,” Callaway said. “I want to commend you all on what a great job you are doing.”

Goode spoke to Resolute Forest Products officials to discuss the issue of logging trucks coming through Charleston. He said both parties were able to reach an understanding.

“We cannot keep logging trucks off of the highway. I asked if we could kindly curb some of the traffic coming from Highway 58, and the few who do run I-75. This would limit the amount coming through town,” Goode said.

The Beer Board will meet every second Monday of the month to discuss old and new business. Those seeking a permit to sale beer may apply for one at such a meeting.