published Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Charleston prepares for annexation hearings

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CHARLESTON, Tenn. — City officials soon will review a final draft of proposed westward annexation plans and open the door to public hearings.

Mayor Walter Goode told officials last week that the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, a state consulting agency for local governments, had finished its review of the annexation proposal.

City officials agreed the next step would be to review the proposal with the planning commission, a meeting they scheduled for Thursday.

Annexation plans propose to incorporate a limited area near Charleston Elementary School and include 272 residents, Goode has said.

Residents asked whether newly incorporated properties that are less than attractive would be “grandfathered in” as part of the annexation.

Goode said the city will not be able to address such matters until the properties actually are annexed.

“We’re looking to annex them in,” he said. “We don’t want to pass [anything] on to the county because we don’t want to do what we’re not supposed to do.”

Residents and Goode also stressed the need to step up cleanliness and community pride within Charleston’s city limits.

In other business, city workers are wrestling with a hole in a culvert on Worth Street.

Last month, officials decided to close off the small creek crossing for safety reasons. Public Works officials said they sought advice and grant help through the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

TDOT will not be able to offer any grant assistance because the culvert, which is less than 20 feet long, does not qualify as a bridge, officials said.

However, officials said the underlying problem has been identified: stormwater flowing behind the culvert’s foundations has eroded the ground under the pavement. Bagged filler and poured concrete are expected to fix the erosion issue, they said.

Also during the meeting, law enforcement and safety officials reported on response to the March 2 storms.

Bradley County Fire-Rescue crews “were hammered” but performed well in the aftermath of the storms, Fire Chief Dewey Woody said.

Several members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency assisted local emergency crews through the crisis, Charleston Police Chief John Hank Hayden said.

He said a local policeman volunteered his own time to drive around with a chain saw and help residents.

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