Charleston Mayor Walter Goode and commissioners Larry Anderson and Donna McDermott discussed the park and its needs during Tuesday’s City Commission meeting.
The Commission also approved a resolution to apply for a Community Development Block Grant not to exceed $500,000 for a new water tank, discussed the delay in annexation proceedings for an area behind Charleston School and heard a report from the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society on the new Hiwassee River Heritage Center.
The city hopes to get a state grant to help with renovation of the city park. If granted, it would probably be a 50-50 matching grant, but Charleston can use in-kind services from staff members and volunteers.
The city received a promise of volunteer help from Steve Norwood, coach of a new Southeast Tennessee rugby team. Norwood attended the meeting to inform the Commission his team will be playing its home games on the old Charleston High School athletic field.
Norwood is from Delano and helped coach at McMinn County last year. He has now formed a new team set to play in the East Tennessee Rugby League. “If you have a work day (at the park), our team will be there,” to help out, Norwood said.
Goode said there are some immediate concerns at the city park regarding the ADA. “We were written up for a number of small things,” he said. “We need to pave the area to the water fountains, for accessibility for the handicapped,” he said.
The state inspector also gave the city deficiencies for the restroom, picnic tables, some of the playground equipment, inadequate mulch, cross ties which need to be removed and needed parking lot paving.
“I don’t think we’re going to get it done in one year,” said Goode. “It’s going to take some time and effort.”
Goode said the city can apply for a state grant, and have a work day to get some of the preliminary work done. “We can also set up some signs to caution people about possible dangers,” he said.
The Commission had a chuckle when it was reported the state inspector suggested a governor be placed on the merry-go-round playground equipment so it wouldn’t go too fast.
Rugby coach Norwood said his team practices in Polk County, but will play home games on the Charleston field. The team opens the season Friday, Feb. 24, at McMinn. The team will play its first home game at 7 p.m. Friday, March 2, against Knoxville Bearden. It will play a second game in Charleston March 9 against Knoxville Central and close the season at Charleston, April 27, against McMinn.
Norwood said the team is open to any high school-age kids. For more information, call the coach at 423-744-4226.
Other Commission notes:
- Annexation public hearings have been delayed because paperwork has not been received from the Municipal Technical Assistant Service at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
The city is planning to annex the area around Charleston School, which includes Maple Crest subdivision. City officials hope the public hearings can begin in March.
The annexation is to get the city population above 1,000 residents, qualifying Charleston for additional grant money.
- Paul Archambault of the Southeast Tennessee Development District drew up the resolution to apply for the block grant for a new water tank. The Calhoun-Charleston Utility District will file the grant request before a Feb. 29 deadline and coordinate the project and construction of a 350,000 gallon concrete tank.
Goode acknowledge the city has some problems with its water supply and this construction will address the situation in the future.
- City officials approved a bid from D.A. Duggan to purchase a used offset mower from the city for $400. Another bid was received from Herschell Cooley.
- Ongoing street problems were discussed, including a culvert at a bridge. The city will use safety cones to call attention to the danger, and talk with the Tennessee Department of Transportation about possible repair.
- Anderson questioned why city workers didn’t get to be off for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. City Manager Carolyn Geren said the city has only six paid holidays and MLK Day is not one of the six.
- Anderson also questioned why he could not access city offices at certain times through the day to make photocopies. It was explained that the offices are locked when officers are on patrol because of confidential material.
Goode said this will be a moot point when city officials share space with the CCHHS at the new heritage center.
n The historical society will meet at 3 p.m. Sunday at Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s Green Chapel.