published Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Hearing set for Charleston annex plans

Charleston, Tennessee, Mayor Walter Goode
Charleston, Tennessee, Mayor Walter Goode
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MEET AND LEARN

Water tower grant public hearing:

When: Friday at 6 p.m.

Where: Municipal Building

Recreation board special meeting:

When: Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.

Where: Municipal Building

Maplecrest annexation public hearing:

When: Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.

Where: Municipal Building

CHARLESTON, Tenn. — A public hearing on the proposed annexation of 135 acres southwest of Charleston is set for Feb. 12 at the municipal building, city leaders announced.

The annexation's plan of service will be posted at the municipal building, the post office and Preferred Family Pharmacy 15 days before the hearing, Charleston City Manager Caroline Geren said.

The proposed incorporation, which involves primarily the Maplecrest subdivision and the Mustang Drive area, is expected to increase Charleston's population by 50 percent, pushing it close to 1,000 residents. Population increase is the key benefit to the city, Mayor Walter Goode has said. Once Charleston achieves 1,000 residents, it can qualify for more federal grants.

Bradley County residents who are incorporated into Charleston are expected to receive a number of benefits, as well. In addition to having city police protection and garbage pickup, incorporated residents may save money on garbage disposal, home insurance and fire taxes, Geren said.

According to calculations provided in a Municipal Technical Advisory Service analysis of the annexation plans, a resident with property valued at $131,000 would save up to $200 annually between reduced garbage pickup costs and possible insurance discounts.

Officials also are pursuing infrastructure improvements and increased community involvement in Charleston's promotion and growth.

Goode announced the city will hold a public hearing Friday on its second try at a $500,000 community development grant for a new, 350,000-gallon concrete water tank. The grant would require matching funding of $273,000. An earlier attempt at grant funding did not score enough points to qualify, Goode said.

The concrete tank would alleviate water supply problems and better meet state water regulations than the city's current 200,000-gallon metal tank, Goode has said. Officials estimated the cost for sandblasting and repainting the old tank at nearly $200,000.

Goode said he would like to see more members of the public show an interest in their community and attend these kinds of meetings.

The mayor also said he wants to see sustained and widespread participation in the city's recreation board, and he has called for a special meeting for that group on Feb. 4. The meeting's purpose is to increase board membership from three to seven and to enlist support for the board from other interested members of the community, he said.

"Even if someone isn't a member of the board, we would like to encourage them to serve on some of the board's committees," Goode said. "The board may need to rely on help outside of its members to tackle some of its work. We want to revamp the recreation board."

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