Chatsworth City Council kicked off the new year by swearing in recently-elected K.W. Gong as mayor and aldermen Jeff Cloer and Fred Welch.
Gong said he felt optimistic about the city’s growth.
“I see substantial growth in the next two to three years,” he said after the meeting. Gong cited growing business and industrial interest in the Appalachian Port in the northern part of the county. “A GE plant is being built next to (the port).”
Construction on the new industrial part may begin in the spring. The city purchased 500 acres for the park and can start building once the Environmental Protection Agency gives its approval based on soil erosion analysis. Gong said two lots already sold, but did not disclose who or what businesses had purchased them.
Gong said he was nervous at taking the helm for his first meeting as mayor. He served as a alderman for two years prior to resigning to run.
“(Former mayor) Tyson Haynes helped me a lot,” said Gong. “More than most will ever know.”
Terry Crump was worn in last month to fill the position vacated by Gong.
Parking concerns raised
The Chatsworth City Council raised concerns about parallel parking in front of the Post Office and asked for legal council to determine who owns the parking spaces and whether ordinances should be drafted limiting the parking time.
“They had some complaints from the public,” said Josh Etheridge, Chief of Police. “It’s a congested area.”
He stressed that those parking in the parking spaces for extended periods of time are not breaking the law or violating any ordinances. According to Etheridge, the city voiced their concerns to Post Master Yvette Hicks about the situation, after receiving several complaints, but it wasn’t resolved, prompting the city council to look into more official means.
A statement issued by the Susan Wright, spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service stated that employees will park on postal property while on duty at the Chatsworth Post Office.
The city is currently investigating whether the city or the Post Office owns the parallel parking spaces. If the city owns them, then they may consider ordinances.
In other Chatsworth news:
The council voted on several items related to the start of the new year, including approving the renewal of current malt beverage, wine, and liquor license, and appointing different positions.
The council voted to continue Steve Williams’ tenure as city attorney and Crowe-Mallette and Associates as the city’s auditors.. Council members approved a list of department supervisors, including Guy Baird, building inspector; Wilma Nolan, city clerk; Mike Baxter, fire chief; Ron Wilson, municipal judge; Josh Etheridge, police chief; Jody Henderson, street superintendent; and Dolley Flood, zoning administrator.