TOP PHOTO: Caryville Cares Playground project chairman Brandon Johnson addresses the county commission.
By Charlotte Underwood
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Brandon Johnson, Chairman of the Caryville Cares Playground project, addressed the county commission on Monday evening asking for the commissioner’s support in sending a resolution to the state in protest of the playscape the state is replacing the pool with at Cove Lake State Park.
“Ultimately, I would like to ask this body to consider a resolution against a playscape at that park. I know this body has considered a resolution before or passed a resolution before about wanting our swimming pool back, and while we all may realize that might not be a smart use of tax payer dollars, I don’t think putting a playscape there is a smart use of tax payer dollars,” Johnson said.
He told commissioners it didn’t make sense for the state to put in a playscape when the community and county had already invested in one that was “all inclusive.”
“As you all know and as this body invested in, we have one of the largest, if not the largest investment of grass roots funds in Campbell County in the Caryville Cares Playground that will be right across the four-lane there,” Johnson said.
He reported the Caryville Cares Playground project would be done in the next two to three weeks and the hope was to have the “kids playing on it by the end of the year.”
“We applied for several state grants for that; everytime we applied for a state grant, they told us no. They were not willing to make an investment through any grant that we applied for in a playground for children with disabilities and I think It’s a pretty big slap in the face for Campbell Countians not only for them to take away our pool, but to put a playscape there that not only is just a poor substitution, but is also going to create a bigger divide in our community in the fact that we’re going to have a playground for kids of all ability levels on one side of the four lane and then a playground on the other side of the four-lane that’s not going to be inclusive. The state invests in the one where children who may use a mobility device like a wheelchair can’t play, and that’s where they want to put their funds. I think is a big slap in the face to all of us here, and I hope that the county commission will be willing to support a resolution against that,” Johnson said.
Commission chairman Johnny Bruce asked Johnson to get with the county mayor about drafting a resolution so that commissioners could vote on it.
Commissioner Rusty Orick said the commission had sent a resolution into the state trying to stop the closure of the pool previously, but to no avail.
Orick said he would carry the resolution at next Monday’s meeting. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/14/2023-6AM)