The city of Charleston is preparing for an Easter Egg Hunt and cleanup inside the city is an ongoing discussion with Charleston City Commission members.
During their monthly meeting held at the Hiwassee River Heritage Center, Commission members announced the Easter celebration will be held in Charleston City Park April 19, beginning at 2 p.m.
According to Brad Wallace of SunTech Transport, his company and First Baptist Community Church are teaming up to hold the event.
“At present, we have 5,000 eggs that will be filled with prizes,” Wallace said.
Goody bags will also be distributed, and filled with candies from Mars and other items.
Wallace said other activities are also being planned for the Easter egg hunt.
There will be three age groups; 0-3, 4-5, and up. Wallace also said snacks and drinks will be available.
Invitations to area families and children are to be distributed at Charleston and Calhoun schools.
Bradley County Fire Chief Troy Maney reported 14 calls were answered by his department inside the city of Charleston during the past month.
Those calls included one motor vehicle crash, medical calls and brush fire responses.
Maney also said a recent OSHA inspection at the Charleston station passed with “flying colors.”
The Public Works Department officials have been tasked with cleaning ditches in the near future and essentially maintaining the Charleston Park and other areas of attraction.
Officials reported new basketball goals have been installed and are being used by visitors in the park.
A piece of damaged playground equipment also raised concern.
According to City Manager Carolyn Geren, she directed Public Works to check with the company that the equipment was purchased, to see if the city making repairs would be possible and not void the warranty.
Officials discussed possibly fining visitors to the park who used equipment which is age-appropriate for children, not adults.
The new playground was just recently completed and opened to the public.
Commission member Frankie McCartney advised heavy trucks continue to travel some streets in the city and especially across a culvert on Wool Street.
Officials have directed contact with Tennessee Department of Transportation to find out who established the street as a truck route in hopes of making changes.
McCartney also inquired about future street paving.
Commission member Donna McDermott raised the question regarding obtaining roadway paving grants, as well as wanting an explanation of new annexation laws recently enacted by the state.
“Residents in neighborhoods have to approach us now,” said Mayor Walter Goode.
“Under the new law, we can’t annex without referendum,” he added.
Officials did indicate one neighborhood group is actively petitioning to be annexed into the city of Charleston at present.
The Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society will also revisit a recent National Park Service Charette presentation.
It will be held Monday, April 21, at the Heritage Center. The program will begin at 6 p.m., according to member Melissa Woody, who also is vice president of the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“The Charleston or other interested Bradley County residents who want to view the program for future plans for the historic Fort Cass/Charleston area are invited to attend,” Woody said.
McDermott raised the question regarding another viewing of the program, indicating there were several residents who did not attend the publicized meetings by both the NPS and the CCHHS officials.
Planning is also underway for the annual Cowpea Festival to be held later this fall.
Woody also noted grant submission for the first phase of the NPS Interpretive Trail of Historic Fort Cass/Charleston, will be submitted Thursday. She thanked Commission members for their cooperation in working with CCHHS to file paperwork and get signatures.
Last but not least, Darlene Goins announced a dedication ceremony to be held Sunday at Calhoun Community Cemetery, where a number of War of 1812 soldiers’ graves have been newly marked.
Laura Spann has been working on the project to mark the graves, and new stones have been placed by Boy Scouts. The dedication will take place at 2 p.m.
“The markers are for some of the first prominent citizens of our area who fought in the War of 1812,” said Goins.
Goode also asked Charleston Police Chief Johnny Stokes to question railway officials as to why rail crossings are sometimes blocked for long periods of time. A switching yard travels north to south through the city, and if crossings are cut off to through traffic, it can become a public safety issue for fire and other emergency vehicle traffic.
Stokes told the mayor he would check with officials.