Charleston, Tenn., seeks to annex parts of Bradley County

Charleston, Tenn., seeks to annex parts of Bradley County

June 15th, 2012 by Paul Leach in News

Charleston, Tennessee, Mayor Walter Goode

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

CHARLESTON, Tenn. -- Charleston officials are preparing to review a proposal to annex a limited number of Bradley County residences west of the city.

This week the Charleston City Commission announced it would hold a work session at 1 p.m. Monday in the municipal building to go over the plan. Afterward the annexation proposal would be reviewed by the city planning commission, with public hearing dates to be determined, officials said.

"I believe the biggest advantage to annexed residents will be free garbage pickup," Charleston Mayor Walter Goode said.

No one has aired any negative comments about the city's plans to annex about 270 county residents who live in the area behind Charleston Elementary School, Goode said.

The biggest and most immediate advantage to the city will be increased eligibility for federal grants once Charleston's population reaches 1,000, officials said. If this initial phase of annexation occurs, it is expected to put the city within 25 to 75 people of that goal.

City officials would like to expand farther west and have received requests to incorporate farther south, according to earlier statements by Goode.

In other business, a number of changes may be in store for the city park.

The Charleston City Commission agreed Tuesday to proceed with a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation 50-50 matching grant for $150,000 to make over the park.

Charleston officials have reviewed the park's future with state consulting representatives and are trying to determine what changes will be made to equipment, buildings and sidewalks.

Looking toward the city's growth, Charleston City Commissioner Donna McDermott said she would like to set closing times for the park as a matter of safety.

"I feel like if we do it now, it would put us in position where we would be in front of situations that may come," McDermott said. "You can't say that gangs and drug trafficking and all that kind of stuff would never come to Charleston."

Officials agreed to discuss the issue further at the Monday work session.

Other proposed changes to Charleston's infrastructure already are in the works.

In February, the City Commission approved a plan by Calhoun-Charleston Utilities to pursue a new concrete water tank through a community development grant.

The proposed 350,000-gallon reservoir nearly doubles the capacity of Charleston's existing 200,000-gallon metal water tank, which will require $192,000 in refurbishing, according to utility officials.

The grant, if approved, would allow the utility to buy the larger concrete tank for $273,000 -- about $80,000 more than it would cost to sandblast and paint the old metal tank.

The increased tank capacity would allow the utility to support a larger Charleston community and provide it with a greater back-up water supply, according to officials.