Daphne Rogers, the newest member of the parks and recreation board, made the request during a recent work session of the commission. The commission recently appointed Rogers to fill a vacancy left by Linda Prater who resigned from the board because of health reasons.
“First, I would just like to thank you for appointing me to the parks and recreation board of Cherokee County,” said Rogers.
“I really appreciate the confidence you have shown to me.”
Rogers noted that the park board has the full support of Congressmen Mike Rogers, Robert Aderholt and many others who are interested in the park and recreation board’s projects.
“I recently visited Cherokee Rock Village for the first time,” said Rogers.
“I didn’t know what to expect. When we pulled in, there was a tour bus there and 14 other cars in which I counted license plates. You wouldn’t believe how far away those folks are coming to see this place. All that is out there are four porta pots and a parking lot. And people are coming from all over!”
“It is beautiful,” said Rogers. “The view speaks for itself. It is absolutely amazing.
“We are working tirelessly to see the projects from Cherokee Rock Village come to fruition, come to something we can all be proud of as citizens of Cherokee County. And I applaud the vision of this and both previous administrations to acquire and develop this beautiful real estate.”
Through a bond issue provided through President Obama’s Recovery funds, Cherokee County recently received $900,000 for development of Rock Village, Rogers said.
“This afternoon, I am here to make you aware of our operating budget needs,” said Rogers.
“Last year, our project, Rock Village was in the planning stage. This year, however, we are moving very quickly and in the construction phase of Cherokee Rock Village, while we are still working to maintain the other parks. This budget the board is requesting reflects the growth and continued development of each of these projects.”
“As for our needs this year, we are going to need office space,” said Rogers. “In the past, it has been all right to do a lot of the work being done and paperwork out of board members’ home, cars, wherever. But we have a lot of paper work, we have a lot of maps, deeds, official documentation and it is just no longer appropriate to keep those things in one person’s home.”
“We also have hired a maintenance person, John Gladden, and I regret he couldn’t be here today,” said Rogers. “He is doing such a wonderful job. He is doing that with one man and one weed eater and he has hundreds of acres that he is maintaining. He is to be commended, but obviously with what we are expecting to happen, we are going to need more than one man and one weed eater.”
Rogers noted there are also surveys, engineering and other costs that need to be factored in as well.
“This local project has gained national attention,” said Rogers. “We have commitments from our U.S. Congressmen and our U.S. Senator and many others who have placed their faith and expectation in this board to carry out this enormous task and surely you understand, gentlemen, that we as the board do, that the time to act is now, when we have the commitment of so many.”
“The board is prepared to continue this project for a time with volunteers,” said Rogers. “We give your our time freely and gladly for the sake of seeing the project before us. We are now asking for your help and consideration of our budget of $158,500 so that we may continue our efforts without the limitations of lack of funding and support.”
“Surely, gentlemen, like everyone I have met over the last three weeks, you can see the importance of the project we have undertaken, the potential for future tourism for our county which will benefit us all and the jobs that will certainly be created when that happens,” said Rogers. “Please help us continue the work we are doing by fully supporting our budget and appropriating our request.”
Rogers stressed that the board has worked to prepare the budget to meet their “bare necessities” and that the budget is not something they have taken lightly.
“I know this commission will take into full consideration the request that has been made,” said Cherokee County Commission Chairman/Probate Judge Melvyn Salter. “You have done an excellent job of putting this proposal together and I want to commend you.”