Salem residents are asking for the Upson County Commissioners to lend a helping hand.
Maurice Raines, spokesman for the community, addressed County Commissioners Tuesday night.
“We try to be one voice and one community,” he said. “We just have a few concerns that we want to solicit your help with.”
Raines brought three issues to the commissioners' attention including lights for the covered bridge, trees that need to be removed and a recreation department program. One issue seems to be resolved already.
The covered bridge on Allen Road has no lights. Raines said for three years the lights were provided by Upson EMC, but have now been removed. Upson EMC CEO Johnny Brodnax said he was willing to work with the residents.
“The covered bridge is a tourist attraction and brings people to our community,” Raines said. “We would like for the County to get with EMC and fund the lighting for the bridge.
“Not only is it a tourist attraction, but a safety concern for us. We still have an unsolved murder in our community and any kind of lighting is needed. We would like for the County to consider three lights for the bridge.
“People are still on edge because of the murder, which makes lighting a very important issue.”
Another concern are trees around the same area on Allen Road that are on the County's right-of-way.
“They are going to fall and they need to be removed,” Raines said. “We would like to see them removed before anything happens.”
Commission Chairman Glenn Collins said he was familiar with the trees in question.
A concern over a recreation program appears to be resolved . The issue is a Christmas time tour of the City of Thomaston and Upson County for the children of the Salem Community.
For over 15 years the Recreation Department has budgeted $175 for a holiday tour of the community, but Raines said it was no longer in the budget.
“We feel we don't ask for a whole lot from the Commission but we would really like to see this put back in the budget,” he said. “It's just $175 and it gives us as a community a chance to come together.”
The Recreation Department hires a bus to transport any residents who wish to participate around Christmas Lane and Triune Village.
Recreation Director Mindy Daniel said the item had not been removed. Instead the item was just a coded issue.
“We don't have a summer program for the Salem area and provide this instead,” she said. “When we wrote the check for the tour it came out of our summer program. Questions were raised for why we were writing a check for a summer program in December.
“The tour is in our proposed budget. We have no plans on cutting that item out.”
Salem resident Lorenzo Wilder said he would appreciate the County's help in patrolling the area.
“Recently, we have had several break-ins on Allen Road,” he said. “We would like to see some presence of deputies in our area from time to time. We don't get to see that.”
Collins said he felt all the concerns were legitimate and thanked Raines and others in attendance for bringing them to the Commissions' attention.