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DeKalb Property Owners May Now Pay Taxes On-Line

October 27, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sean Driver

DeKalb County property owners may now pay their taxes by debit or credit card either in the Trustee's office or on-line at www.tennesseetrustee.com.

Trustee Sean Driver said many taxpayers have requested the service and he is happy to be able to offer it as an extra convenience. "I was watching as people would come in to the office and it was getting to be one in five people wanting to use that debit or credit card. I knew we would eventually have to go to it so for the 2010 tax year we're up and running. We are now offering credit and debit card processing through the Business Information Systems for the property owners of DeKalb County. You may pay your property taxes using a VISA, MASTERCARD, or DISCOVER card. It can be handled on-line, in the Trustee's Office, or by phone."

Driver explained that a 2.75% convenience fee will be added to your tax bill, if you take advantage of on-line payment, but the county does not collect it. "In no way is that 2.75% fee collected through the county. The Business Information Systems sets this up for us as Trustees throughout the state. Sixty four of the state's ninety five counties take advantage of this. So the convenience fee of 2.75% is added to your bill and collected by the Business Information Systems. You can pay your bill on-line but you can also go on there and select "DEKALB COUNTY" and look up your tax bill and your appraisal values."

"If you want to do those payments on line, it is fast, easy, and secure. On-line payments may be made at www.tennesseetrustee.com. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also pay your taxes in our office at 1 public square, room 206 in the DeKalb County Courthouse. Our phone number is 615-597-5176. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m."

Driver said 2010 DeKalb County property tax notices were mailed out on October 19th and taxes may now be paid without penalty through February 28th, 2011. "We mailed them out on the 19th. We received the cards on September 29th but it takes about two and a half weeks to work those so we mailed them out on the 19th and we have been working steady since."

Seniors, be sure to check with the office on the state property tax relief program. The income limit is $26,830 for single or combined household incomes.

Trustee Driver said Tennessee's tax relief program is state-funded and provides a rebate of credit for all or a portion of the property taxes on residential property owned and occupied by low-income elderly, low-income disabled, and disabled veteran homeowners and their surviving spouses.

"In order for the elderly to apply for tax relief, you must be age 65 on or before December 31st, 2010 to meet the elderly requirements. To be a disabled applicant, you must be 100% disabled as deemed by the Social Security Administration or some administration thereof. Disabled veterans can get a tax relief as well. They do not have to report their income but they have to be 100% disabled as deemed by the Veterans Administration. We can sign you up now through April 5th, 2011. Remember, whenever you get ready to pay your taxes, the taxes must be paid in full before we can ever submit your application to the state (for property tax relief).This year the income limit to apply, using your 2009 income including income from all owners, is $26,830. That's using all sources of income in 2009. You will be applying for 2010 tax relief using 2009 income."

According to Driver, the law now requires applicants to include their spouses income when seeking state property tax relief.

"This is a state property tax relief program through the State of Tennessee and this year, under new legislation passed by the state, if you are legally married and your spouse's name is not on the deed, you are still required to submit your spouse's 2009 income. In the past you did not have to do that but now if your spouse's name is not on the deed, whether living with you or not living with you, you are required this year to submit your spouse's income."

Driver added that all applicants previously approved for state property tax relief will get a little extra relief thanks to the county commission. "All applicants that are state approved will get a $50 county match off of their tax bill. This year all applicants are getting $91 off along with an extra $50 off for a total of $141. "

Property Tax Relief Eligibility requirements for Elderly Homeowners are as follows:

Must be 65 or older on or before December 31st, 2010
Must provide evidence of age (i.e. driver's license, birth certificate, marriage license)
Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence
Qualified applicants will receive property tax relief on the first $25,000 of their property's market value.
According to the deed of the property, Must have records of the combined 2009 income of all owners of the property not exceeding $26,830. Income (i.e. social security, SSI pension, etc)

Eligibility requirements for Disabled Homeowners are as follows:

Must have been totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or any other qualified agency on or before December 31st, 2010
Must provide evidence of age (i.e. driver's license, birth certificate, marriage license)
Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence
Must have records of the combined 2009 income of all owners of the property not exceeding $26,830

Eligibility requirements for Disabled Veteran Homeowners and/or widow or widower:

Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence.
Your disability must meet one of the following categories:
A service-connected disability that resulted in (1) Paraplegia, (2) Permanent paralysis of both legs and lower part of the body resulting from traumatic injury or disease to the spinal cord or brain, (3) Loss or loss of use of, two or more limbs, and (4) Legal blindness.

A total and permanent disability rating from a service-connected disability

A 100% total and permanent disability rating from being a prisoner of war.

The Veteran's Administration Office determines eligibility from the applicant's information in the Trustee's Office forwarded to the State of Tennessee.

If you meet these requirements you may apply in the Trustee's Office as soon as you receive your property tax bill. The deadline to apply is 35 days after February 28th, 2011 or April 5th, 2011.

If you have any additional questions concerning the tax relief program, come by the Trustee's office in the courthouse or call 597-5176.

Fire Destroys Bobby's Auto Sales Shop

October 27, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Firefighters at Bobby's Auto Sales (Photo by Callie Matthews)
Smoke Billowing from Bobby's Auto Sales (Photo by Callie Matthews)

A fire Wednesday afternoon gutted an auto body shop belonging to Bobby Johnson at 117 Yolanda Hills Road, known as Bobby's Auto Sales.

Central Dispatch received the call at 1:19 p.m.

County Fire Chief Donny Green said Johnson had been in the shop cutting holes in a piece of angle iron with a torch, but had stopped to go into the house to get something. When Johnson came back out, he discovered the fire coming from the area in the shop where he had a stack of papers.

Green said since the bay doors were open at the time, Johnson speculated that high winds blew the hot metal residue or slag from the torch cutting into the papers, igniting the blaze.

The fire spread quickly, destroying the shop and most of the contents including a golf cart, lawnmower, four wheeler, tools, and body shop equipment.

According to Chief Green, Johnson was able to get out a few things including a small four wheeler and a dirt bike.

Members of the Main Station, Short Mountain Highway, Midway and Liberty stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with a tanker truck and the Sheriff's Department and DeKalb EMS. No one was injured.

Chief Green said firefighters consider the shop to be a total loss.

County Commission Honors Girl Scout Troop 1146

October 27, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Girl Scout Troop 1146

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted a resolution to honor Girl Scout Troop 1146.

County Mayor Mike Foster read the resolution which states that "Whereas, it is fitting that the DeKalb County Commission and the DeKalb County Mayor should announce their pride, respect, and honor in the young people of our community who so capably fulfill their requirements and duties to reach lofty goals and levels of achievement."

"Whereas, the Girl Scout Bronze Award is the biggest award a Junior Girl Scout (4th and 5th grade girls) can earn. Requirements that Troop 1146 completed for the Bronze award were:

Caring for Children Badge
Choice is Yours Jr. Badge
Sign of the Star Patch
Jr. Aid Patch
Jr. Leadership Pin
Completed a 15 hour service project they named "Kiddie Kases" which consisted of collecting, sorting, and filling 50 tote bags full of basic supplies and comfort items for Foster children that are removed from their homes."

"Whereas, the DeKalb County Commission and the DeKalb County Mayor wish to thank Troop 1146, their families, and others who helped and their leaders for the honors they have brought to themselves and DeKalb County. Members of Troop 1146 are":

Chloe Cantrell
Neely Evans
Peyton Hensley
Makira Johnson
Sara Beth LaFever
Hailey Rowland
Lexy Spry
Emily Wallace

"Now, therefore, be it resolved by the DeKalb County Commission that October 25th, 2010 be officially named Girl Scout Troop 1146 Day."

"Be it further resolved that this accomplishment be spread across the records of the meeting and preserved as a lasting part of our appreciation to the Girl Scout Troop 1146"

Autumn Princess and Fall Fest Pageant Entries Accepted through Saturday

October 27, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Victoria Dawn Tatrow
Macy Elizabeth Hedge

Entries are being accepted through Saturday, October 30th for the Third-Annual Autumn Princess Pageant and 56th Annual Fall Fest Pageant to be held Saturday, November 6th at DeKalb County High School.

The Autumn Princess Pageant will be first at 5:00 p.m. featuring girls ages 7-10.
Click here to listen to Dessa Ray's public service announcement about the pageant.

The Fall Fest Pageant will immediately follow at 7:00 p.m.

The retiring Fall Fest Queen is Victoria Dawn Tatrow, the 16 year old daughter of Vickie and Corey Funk and the late Shanna Tatrow.

Macy Elizabeth Hedge, the reigning Autumn Princess, will also crown her successor. She is the 10 year old daughter of David and Trina Hedge of Smithville.

Entry fee is $20 for each pageant. Applications have been distributed to each school and are also available at the Smithville Review. Deadline for entry is Oct. 30. The pageants are sponsored by the Smithville Business & Professional Women¹s Club.

Off The Beaten Path Artists Open Studios for 10th Anniversary Tour

October 26, 2010
by: 
Mike Antoniak
Pulp Painting by artist Cherry Cratty to be given away
William Kooienga

Art lovers from across Tennessee and throughout the Southeast will be in DeKalb County this weekend, October 29 - 31, as the Off The Beaten Path Artists Studio Tour marks its 10th Anniversary.

This free three-day event draws thousands of visitors each year for the opportunity to experience the beautiful fall colors of our area and the Center Hill Lake region and tour the studios of some of the region’s leading professionals in fine art and craft.

“It’s a different tour every year as we keep it exciting with addition of new artists, new studios and our own work continues to evolve,” says Louie Colombarini, one of the founding members of Off The Beaten Path and member of it’s executive committee.

“People who take the tour are always pleasantly surprised to see what we do tucked away in the hills and hollows. It’s like a treasure hunt.”

The 2010 tour features 11 stops and ten working studios with more than 25 participating artists. Their varied work encompasses a full range of traditional and contemporary craft in wood, ceramics, fiber, painting, metal and jewelry making.

New stops include the studio/gallery of master woodcarver David Sharp, and the nearby Red Bow Studio of Cherry Cratty, pioneer in her patent-pending pulp painting technique. All visitors will have an opportunity to enter a drawing for this year’s art prize, the painting “Off the Beaten Path” donated by Cratty.

At each studio, guests can meet and converse with the artists and learn about the methods, material and environment which inspires their creativity. Visitors will also have an opportunity to purchase or commission original works by all participants.

Demonstrations of a variety of crafts are planned at several stops throughout the weekend: glass blowing at BareGlass Studio; wood and pumpkin carving by David Sharp; Raku firing of clay at From the Earth and Sea Originals; paper making at Liberty Paper Mill; weaving at Cosmic Clay studio; spinning and weaving at Beech Hollow Studios; and demonstrations of a wood fired kiln, blacksmithing and felt making at Creek Bend Pottery. Other participating studios include Fresh Chairs and Made by deMay in Smithville.

Although tour stops are numbered, the event is intended to be entirely self-guided, giving visitors the opportunity to drive from studio to studio in any order. Bright black and yellow signs will be placed throughout the county to direct them to each stop.

Stella Luna Gallery in Smithville is this year’s official tour hospitality center and also a showcase for the work of Off The Beaten Path members and other leading artists of Tennessee. There, visitors can pick up a copy of this year’s tour guide, plan the day’s or weekend’s itineracy and enjoy light refreshments.

“Our tour is a great reason to get out and see the work of all these different artists when our area is ablaze with color,” says Colombarini. “People who take the tour have never been disappointed.”

For more information, or to download a copy of this year’s tour map and guide, please visit the group’s website, www.offthebeatenpathtour.com.

DeKalb Angel Tree, Inc. Accepting Applications

October 26, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Angel Tree, Inc is accepting applications for the 15th Annual Angel Tree Project through Friday, October 29th.

Spokesperson Laura Stone said changes have been made to the application process for this year." Applications can be picked up October 25th through October 29th. You will still pick up your applications at the Department of Human Services, but one of the changes will be that the application must be returned in person the following week to the 303 Building."

"Completed applications will have to be returned to the 303 Building in downtown Smithville (the old Lavelle's Building) on one of the following days; Tuesday, November 2nd from 5 until 8, Wednesday, November 3rd from noon until 6 or Thursday, November 4th from 5 until 8. Applications not returned to the 303 Building on one of these three dates WILL NOT be accepted. There are no exceptions to the requirements of the application process", said Stone.

"Applications can only be picked up at the Department of Human Services on October 25th through October 29th and can only be returned to the 303 Building on the dates listed. In addition to bringing the completed application, applicants must provide photo identification of the person applying and social security cards and birth certificates for ALL children listed on the application. We will only be keeping the application; all other documents will be returned to the applicant. If an applicant cannot appear in person, their application can be submitted by a family member as long as all of the required information is presented."

"Eligible children must live in DeKalb County and be no older than age 12 by December 25, 2010. The Department of Human Services will only be passing out the applications. Nothing will be returned to them and any questions should be directed to Laura Stone at 615.597.5060"

Stone adds that "the Angel Tree has been such a tremendous success in the past and with economic times extremely tough for many in our area, we want this years Angel Tree to be no exception. The Angel Tree helps so many families who are struggling to make ends meet. It is sad to think about, but many of these children would not otherwise have a single present for Christmas. With the economy still struggling, we are expecting demand to be high."

DeKalb Jail and Annex Again Meet Minimum Standards for State Certification

October 26, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray

The DeKalb County Jail and Jail Annex have again met minimum standards for certification by the Tennessee Corrections Institute.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said the Tennessee Corrections Institute recently performed an inspection of the DeKalb County Jail and the DeKalb County Jail Annex. In a letter to Sheriff Ray, TCI Executive Director Jerry Abston, wrote that "the inspection revealed this facility meets all applicable minimum standards. This status shall be reported to the Board of Control at it's next meeting. After approval from the Board of Control, you will receive a Certificate of Certification. You are to be congratulated for attaining this degree of professionalism in your organization."

Inspector Joe Ferguson, in the report, wrote that "On June 3rd, 2010 the DeKalb County Jail and Annex were inspected. I looked at records and logs which appeared to be in order. Medical exams were up-to-date. The kitchen was clean and the dietician letter was current. The physical plant appeared to be in good state of repair and clean. I recommend continued certification for 2010."

The DeKalb County Jail and Annex have a certified capacity of 102 beds. The inmate population on the day of the inspection was 95.

Golden Charged with Setting Fire to Woods Near Indian Creek Boat Ramp

October 25, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jesse A. Golden
Michael Andrew Snyders
Scotty Randall Hendrixson
Gary Christopher Ponder
Priscilla Leann Roberts
Tara Leann Aughinbaugh
Steven Craig Banfield

A 29 year old Smithville man was arrested by the Sheriff's Department last week after witnesses saw him setting fire to the woods near Indian Creek Boat Ramp and then trying to run from the law.

Jesse A. Golden of New Home Road, Smithville is charged with setting fire to personal property or land, reckless endangerment, felony evading arrest, and driving under the influence.

Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that on Friday, October 22nd at Indian Creek Boat Ramp and parking lot, witnesses saw Golden setting several fires in the woods. An officer got behind Golden's automobile and turned on his emergency equipment signaling Golden to stop but he accelerated to speeds up to 90 miles per hour. The chase continued for about two miles. While running from the officer, Golden almost hit a county fire engine and another vehicle head-on before pulling over. The officer found an empty gas can and a package of matches in Golden's vehicle. During questioning concerning the fire, the deputy noticed that Golden was unsteady on his feet. He admitted to drinking beer and performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood test. The total bond for Golden is $16,000 and he will be in court on October 28th.

In other crime news, 47 year old Ricky Lynn Cantrell of Liberty is charged with leaving the scene of an accident. On Friday, October 15th, a deputy responded to an accident where the driver left on foot. After speaking to several witnesses, the officer learned that Cantrell had run out of gas on Highway 70 west. He pushed the vehicle into the parking lot of Crook's Used Cars, hitting another automobile. He then left on foot before an officer arrived on the scene. Witnesses said Cantrell appeared to be intoxicated. He was arrested on Saturday, October 16th. His bond is set at $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

29 year old Christopher Shawn South of Woodbury is charged with driving on a suspended license. He was arrested on Monday, October 18th. His bond is set at $1,500 and he will be in court on Wednesday, October 27th. South was operating a motor vehicle at Sonic Drive-In on South Congress Boulevard that matched the description of the automobile of another person who was wanted for questioning. A computer check revealed that his license were suspended for failure to pay child support on October 10th, 2009.

23 year old Austin Corley Wood of Dale Ridge Road, is charged with a third offense of driving on a suspended license. He was arrested on Tuesday, October 19th. Bond for Wood is $3,000 and he will be in court on October 27th. Wood was operating a vehicle on Highway 56 and was stopped for a traffic offense. A computer check revealed that his license were suspended for driving on a suspended license on April 6th, 2009 and other offenses that day and on August 20th, 2007.

41 year old Sherry Lynn Chandler of Page Drive, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in court on November 3rd. Sheriff Ray says Chandler was operating a motor vehicle on Midway Road on Tuesday, October 19th and was stopped for a traffic offense. A computer check revealed that her license were suspended for failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility on September 10th, 2010 in DeKalb County.

25 year old Michael Andrew Snyders of West Main Street Smithville is charged in five warrants for violation of probation. He was arrested on Wednesday, October 20th. He is also named in a sealed indictment from April 12th, 2010 charging him with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and two counts of violation of the drug free school zone. Snyders is under a $50,000 bond in the drug cases.

25 year old Scotty Randall Hendrixson of McMinnville Highway is charged with simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He was arrested on Thursday, October 21st. Hendrixson was a passenger of a vehicle on Cecil Hale Road, which was pulled over by an officer. A K-9 unit was requested to come to the scene. The dog indicated on the vehicle. A search was conducted and half of a dilaudid pill was found in the floor of the passenger side where Hendrixson was sitting. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

Meanwhile, 23 year old Gary Christopher Ponder of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Ponder was the driver of the vehicle in which Scotty Randall Hendrixson was a passenger. During the search, a loaded hypodermic needle was found under the drivers seat where Ponder was sitting. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

22 year old Priscilla Leann Roberts of Sparta Highway, Smithville is charged with introduction of drugs into a penal institution. Her bond is $5,000 and she will be in court on October 28th. On Friday, October 22nd, Roberts reported to the county jail to do 24 hours of drug court time. During a search prior to her being locked up, a correctional officer found two whole pills and sixteen half pills of xanax on her person.

22 year old Justin Andrew Cantrell of Adcock Cemetery Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. He is under a $2,500 bond and he will be in court on November 18th. On Saturday, October 23rd, Cantrell was operating a motor vehicle on Adcock Cemetery Road and was stopped because the officer had prior knowledge of his license having been suspended. A computer check confirmed that Cantrell's license were suspended for failing to provide evidence of financial responsibility on July 9th, 2010.

39 year old Shawn Edward Richardson of Salem Road, Lebanon is charged with driving on a revoked license. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th. On Saturday, October 23rd on Locust Street in Alexandria, Richardson was operating a motor vehicle and stopped for traveling the wrong direction on a one way street. A computer check revealed the his license were revoked for a DUI on August 24th, 2006 in Rutherford County.

50 year old Clifton Eugene Brown of Wesley Chapel Road, Sparta is charged with driving on a revoked license. On Sunday, October 24th, Brown was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 and stopped for failing to maintain his lane of travel. A computer check revealed that his license were revoked for a DUI on December 18th, 2009 in White County. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

33 year old Tara Leann Aughinbaugh is charged with simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $4,000 and she will be in court on November 4th. On Monday, October 25th. Aughinbaugh was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 70 and was stopped for erratic driving. She gave the officer consent to search and he found, in a change purse, a plastic bag containing methamphetamine and a hypodermic needle.

34 year old Steven Craig Banfield of College Street, Lebanon is charged with driving on a suspended license, simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Sunday, October 24th, Banfield was operating a motor vehicle and stopped for crossing the center line of the highway several times. A computer check revealed that his license were suspended for failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility. Banfield gave the officer consent to search and inside the back seat was a pill bottle containing marijuana and a pipe with marijuana residue. His bond totals $4,500 and he will be in court on November 4th.

27 year old Brandon Ross Bogle of Jefferson Road, Smithville is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on November 4th. On Monday, October 25th on Big Rock Road, the sheriff's office received a call that someone was knocking on a door of a residence. An officer responded and found Bogle on the porch of the complainant. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet.

The DeKalb County Jail and Annex has again passed certification for minimum standards for local correctional facilities for 2010-2011. The certification remains valid until next year's inspection.

Habitat Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale Friday!

October 25, 2010
Courthouse Gang Won Best Chili Award Last Year

Who makes the best chili in DeKalb County? Find out on Friday, October 29th when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 7th annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the 303 Building on the town square. You can purchase your bowl for $5.00, eat all the chili you want, and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Handmade pottery bowls will be available for $10.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches will also be for sale.

“We are looking forward to another great day of good food and fellowship at the chili cook-off,” said Tom Janney, president of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. “We just completed our third Habitat home in DeKalb County and are making plans for our fourth house to be built in 2011,” said Janney. “The proceeds from the Chili Cook-off will be used towards building our next house, so we hope everyone will come out and eat lots of chili for a great cause!”

At press time, the teams competing in the Chili Cook-off are “Blessed and Highly Flavored” from Allen’s Chapel Methodist Church; “Cauldron of Fire” from the DeKalb County Board of Education; “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; “Edgar Evins Chili Peppers” from Edgar Evins State Park; “Hale’s Bowls of Fire” from James C. Hale for State Representative; “Hillbilly Chili – It’s a Natural Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; “The Bean Counters” from Tom Janney, CPA and Associates; “Red Hot Kilowatts” from Smithville Electric System; “Hollywood Corpse Review” from the Smithville Review, and The Inn at Evins Mill.

Last year, “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials won the “Best Chili” award, and “Monster Mash” from the DeKalb County Board of Education followed in second place. In the decorating contest, the “Red Hot Chili Papers” from the Smithville Review won first place honors. The 2009 event raised approximately $3,500.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Pryor at 597-7370. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, call 215-8181.

New Dowelltown Playground Now Open

October 24, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ribbon Cutting Held for New Dowelltown Playground
Emily Burklow and Carlos Harris Trying out New Swings

A ribbon cutting was held Saturday morning to commemorate the completion of the new playground at Dowelltown.

City leaders, members of the DeKalb County Children's Service Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and corporate donors were on hand for the occasion.

Dowelltown Mayor Gerald Bailiff said the $30,000 project has been in the making for several years and was completed about three weeks ago. "We had a playground here that was actually from the old Dowelltown school but the state came in and looked at it and condemned it because it was so old. The school has been gone for several years. So they (state) came in and said it had to go so we had to have it removed. That's when we got started on this (project)."

"We've been trying to get all this together for going on five to six years now. We have six sets of swings, monkey bars, slides, and all kinds of climbing things here where the kids can play on.'

"We had fundraisers like sock hops, car shows, and bake sales. Of course, the Children's Service Council, DTC Communications, Liberty State Bank, and everybody donated to it to get it all going for us. We've put a lot of time and effort into it."

Clata Redman said the DeKalb County Children's Service Council was instrumental in helping raise funds for the project. "We were looking for some children projects to do here in the county and found that they needed some playground equipment in Dowelltown. The children were playing on the streets and needed a place so we decided we would help them.'

‘We did have to do fundraisers at different times. One of our largest contributors was Wal-mart. They were a very good supporter. We've also had people to give personal grants.'

"Our organization is a volunteer group. No one gets paid. We could use more physical hands to help us do more projects in the community. So we would like to ask anyone who has extra time on their hands to help us get projects for our children in the county."

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