The park has been inspected and determined to have a number of deficiencies, and the facility does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The playground is used regularly by children, but replacement of some equipment is mandated to bring it into compliance.
The old railroad ties placed around the playground are to be removed, as well as the old wooden structures. Other cleanup and renovation around the park is scheduled, including the upgrade of the restrooms at the centrally located pavilion. The restrooms and play areas must also be made handicapped accessible.
“We can use in-kind services as part of our match,” said Charleston Mayor Walter Goode. “There is a lot of stuff to do, but we can use our maintenance crew for much of it.”
In addition to the cleanup and fix-up, some signage will be improved around the park.
“The stage is fine, except for the need of a back railing,” the mayor added. “Mainly it’ll be the work on the playground and some new playground equipment.”
The grant must be filed by a June deadline.
The Charleston Commission met Tuesday evening. The meeting included updates on the new Hiwassee River Heritage Center; a debate on right of way infringement near a local antique business; reports from the Police Department, Road Department and Recreation Board; preliminary plans for April’s Easter Egg Hunt; preliminary plans for this fall’s Cowpea Festival; and the fact the city has received annexation planning from the Municipal Technical Assistance Service at the University of Tennessee.
n The Commission will meet in a called session at 5 p.m. Thursday to study annexation plans. The Charleston Planning Commission will also review the MTAS report.
Following a review of the plans, public hearings will be scheduled for residents in the planned annexation area.
Charleston will annex the residential area around and behind Charleston Elementary School.
This area is targeted because it will bring enough residents into the city to get the municipal population above 1,000 residents. “This will qualify Charleston for additional grant money,” said Goode.
n There was a heated discussion between City Commission members and local resident James Beard. Beard has installed poles alongside his property, to deter traffic on his property. The city claims the poles are on city right of way.
According to city research, the poles are located in the right of way of old State Highway 11. The state previously owned the right of way, but has bequeathed it to the city’s responsibility.
The mayor and two Commission members (Larry Anderson and Donna McDermott) say the poles are a hazard and have contacted Beard with directions to have them removed.
“I contacted my lawyer today and he told me not to move them until he contacts the state highway department,” said Beard.
“Citizens have complained,” said Anderson.
Goode added, “We’re just trying to enforce city laws and codes.”
“I just want to say they are hazardous,” said McDermott. “Those poles are right on the road.”
- The Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society will meet at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Heritage Center, located in the old First Tennessee Bank building.
A work day is planned at the new facility on March 31, and there will be many more according to Melissa Woody. Architectural plans are forthcoming for the facility, which will house the historical society and some city offices.
Woody said planning is ongoing for the Cowpea Festival Sept. 15, with a “name” entertainer contracted to appear at the first-ever event. The name of the entertainer will be released at a later date, along with a Festival logo.
- Upgrades to the city park will not be made prior to this year’s Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 7. The Recreation Board announced everything is in place for the annual event, and the board is also planning something for July Fourth.
- The city’s maintenance crew is planning repair work near a culvert along Worth Street, which has been closed to through traffic. The roadway will reopen once the washed-away area is repaired.
“Before we do the work we need to get the state’s recommendation in writing,” said City Manager Carolyn Geren.
Goode said there continue to be drainage problems on High Street, despite some ditching work done recently.
- It was announced the new Piggly-Wiggly Food Store in Charleston is shooting for an April 4 opening. The store is locating in the former IGA building on the south side of the city.
- Bradley County Fire Chief Dewey Woody discussed plans by the county agency, which oversees the operation of the Charleston Fire Department.
“It’s a busy time for us,” said Woody. “We’ve put out 170 (hiring) applications over the past two weeks. We’re building three new fire stations and adding six pieces of equipment.”
The county fire officials said his units, and other emergency response agencies, worked during severe storm conditions recently. “We pulled one woman from debris, but had only minor injuries,” Woody said.