Banner Staff Writer
The Charleston City Commission set a date for a public hearing on the plan of services and annexation ordinance at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“We are setting Feb. 12 at 6 o’clock at the municipal building as the public hearing. It is the time of our regular meeting, so we will come prepared to answer questions,” said Charleston Mayor Walter Goode.
The resolution is posted in the post office lobby, at Charleston’s pharmacy and at the city municipal building. A map of the planned annexation can be found at each locale. According to Goode, the post office lobby stays open 24/7 and the resolution is posted in the municipal building’s window.
Goode encouraged Charleston residents and those who will be impacted by the annexation to come out.
“They can come and ask questions to see if they want any part in the annexation or not. When people come to the hearings it gives us a feel for whether we should continue the annexation or not,” Goode said. “We have been talking about it for a year and a half to two years.”
Another public hearing will be held Jan. 18 to discuss the water tower grant.
“The hearing for the water tower is for those folks who do not realize how bad our water system really, really is,” Goode said.
Charleston’s Community Development grant to build a new water tower was denied in late 2012. The particulars of why the grant was turned down are still unclear. Goode said he believes a lack of community involvement was a key factor.
He said he would like to see more participation from Charleston residents.
“I think if we had an influx of people signing up and asking questions, then maybe a difference would be made,” Goode said. “We only had three names signed on the last proposal.”
Goode once again encouraged community involvement through residents joining the recreation board. A meeting will be held on Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. in an effort to revamp the board. There are currently three members, with spots for four more.
Only two annual civic activities currently take place in Charleston. The Commission would like to see an increase in city gatherings.
“We just want to try and get residents more involved. We are hoping to find people who want to join in and contribute,” Goode said. “You do not need to live in the city limits to be on the recreation board.”
Recreation board members were encouraged to get creative in their approach to increasing activity.
“An active recreation board means increased revenue for the city, an opportunity to bring the community together and provide fun for the kids,” Goode said. “You may only have a seven-member board, but little committees can be added.”
The Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society recently received a $9,579 foundation grant from the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Melissa Woody said the grant was written specifically for the Heritage Center’s flooring cover and HVAC unit. She said the grant covered both projects.
A number of Bradley County residents and companies have helped with the Heritage Center renovation.
“We worked out a deal with Cleveland Plywood where they are matching what we spend there up to a certain amount, about $4,000,” Woody said. “Eric Morris has finished with the roughing in of the handicapped-accessible bathroom for a donation.”
Added Fay Callaway, “Wheeler Technology came and took all of the old computer and security wiring out of the building. They are also going to install of the new monitors we need for free, and they are going to monitor our systems.”
A date has been set for this year’s Cowpea Festival, Sept. 14. Woody also announced there would be a re-enactment of a Civil War battle which took place in Charleston 150 years ago. The event is planned for Nov. 8 and 9.
“All this was around the Battle of Chickamauga. There were thousands of troops all over the Chattanooga area. We were a part of the battles and skirmishes leading up to Chickamauga,” Woody said.
The next City Commission meeting will be a public hearing over the annexation at the city municipal building on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.