CHARLESTON, Tenn. — Charleston's proposal to incorporate 135 acres and about 270 people living southwest of the city will take effect May 9.
Earlier this week, the Charleston City Commission held its second public hearing on the annexation plan for the Maplecrest subdivision and Mustang Drive.
Response to the proposed annexation has been consistently positive since it was announced early last year, said Mayor Walter Goode. Only two people voiced opposition to the incorporation during the February reading of the plan of services for the area.
Charleston officials are working to boost the city's population closer to 1,000 residents, which is a major benchmark for qualifying for more federal grants, Goode said. The annexation is expected to bring the city to within 40 residents of that number.
Officials said that despite paying city taxes, the new residents are expected to come out better financially.
Incorporated residents owning property valued at $131,000 could save as much as $200 annually due to the benefits of city garbage pickup and possible fire insurance discounts, according to a Municipal Technical Advisory Service study.
Goode also said the city plans to replace City Commissioner Larry Anderson, who abruptly resigned just before the commission meeting in March.
"We want someone interested in seeing the city progress," said Goode, who asked that candidates mail their inquiries to City Hall. Applicants must have lived in the city for at least six months.
In other business, officials addressed quality of life issues.
Charleston has been approved for a $150,000 grant to improve its park facilities, said City Recorder Janet Newport.
The 50/50 matching grant requires the city to provide $75,000, which can be offset with volunteer hours, she said. The money, which must be spent in two years, will go toward upgrading the park's playground facilities, new signage and paving.
The city also is seeking volunteers for a Cleanup Day, in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, on May 11.
The Rev. Harrill Millsaps of the First Baptist Church of Charleston said he had received volunteer commitments from four other churches.
The event, said Goode, is intended to clean Charleston's streets and public places. If successful, the city will consider budgeting for it in the next fiscal year. This year the city will provide lunch for volunteers.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.