Sweetwater recognized for recreation efforts

Jamison Sliger, center, from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, presents the city of Sweetwater with a certificate recognizing the city’s efforts to upgrade its recreation facilities. Pictured are Commissioners Sam Moser, Ed Lee, Mayor Doyle Lowe, Sliger, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Lamar Hughes accepting the certificate, Commissioners Bill Stockton and Billy “Buster” West and Recreation Department Director Tim Crawford.

The City of Sweetwater has put a major emphasis on improving it parks and recreation facilities.

At Monday’s regular monthly workshop, Jamison Sliger from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation presented the city with its Tier 1 Benchmark Certification through then end of 2024. That certification is very valuable when it comes to applying for future parks and recreation grants.

“Sweetwater has done an excellent job,” Sliger said of the city’s efforts to promote recreation and provide recreation facilities for the community.

Sweetwater has received grants for a multi-phase improvement project for Engleman Park and is currently working to build a large splash pad at that park. There is still a lot of paperwork and the need for good weather to get the project going but city officials think the process will be worth it.

“We hope to have it ready this summer for the kids to enjoy it.” Parks and Recreation Commissioner Lamar Hughes said this week.

Mayor Doyle Lowe said the late Julian Walton, who was commissioner over the Parks and Recreation Department, worked hard to get the improvements started for the parks system and Commissioner Hughes stepped in and has carried on with that work.

During the workshop on Monday, Lowe announced the names of the city’s new Tourism Advisory Council for the city, appointed by himself and Commissioner Sam Moser, who oversees tourism efforts for the city. The council is made up of East Tennessee Tourism Director Dave Jones, The Lost Sea General Manager Lisa McClung, Rodeway Inn owner Kevin Mistry, Main Street Director Kassie Kelley-Watson, Dianne Allison from the Dinner Bell, The Advocate & Democrat General Manager and Editor Tommy Millsaps, Sweetwater Tourism Department Head Chuck Whited and City Recorder Jessica Morgan.

The Tourism Council serves in an advisory role and reports to the City Commission. Its first meeting is March 12. A tourism study recommended the city form a tourism advisory group and Street Commissioner Billy “Buster” West said last fall he would like to see the city put that recommendation into action.

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