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From countertops to cow pies: Rossville continues playground fundraising efforts

From countertops to cow pies, the Rossville community is continually working to raise funds to build a new playground.

An online auction for granite kitchen countertops last month added $5,500 to the $8,000 previously raised, council member Michael Hicks said. The latest effort, cow pie bingo, will take place Saturday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hicks, who is spearheading the Operation Rossville Playground fundraising effort and design selection for the new playground, has said that the city may not complete the playground by the end of the year, but he feels compelled to try to meet that deadline because area children need things to do and a safe environment where they can play.

City officials seek to raise between $80,000 and $90,000 to build the new playground. When fundraisers began their efforts, the playground account balance was just shy of $2,200, Hicks said.

Rossville City Council, in March 2020, authorized demolition of the city’s playground at the city park on Ellis Road because the equipment was dilapidated.

In 1999 the city raised funds to build and maintain the playground, and it lasted for the anticipated 20-year lifespan of such playgrounds, City Clerk Sherry Foster has said. As the maintenance funds dwindled, the city anticipated the expense of building a new facility.

Cow pie bingo

The Operation Rossville Playground Facebook page explains how the bingo fundraiser will work.

Tickets must be purchased prior to the date and time of the event, and the winning player/ticket holder need not be present to win.

Tickets will be sold for $10 each/per square.

To purchase squares, contact the Operation Rossville Playground Facebook page, go to Ideal Self Storage at 829 Chickamauga Ave., Rossville, or call Ideal Self Storage at 706-866-8956.

Checks should be made payable to the City of Rossville and note in the memo line funds are for the Rossville Playground fund. The alternate date in case of inclement weather will be Saturday, Sept. 18.

Chickamauga school board proposes property tax hike

The Chickamauga City Board of Education Aug. 11 announced its intention to increase the 2021 property taxes it will levy this year by 9.32% over the rollback millage rate.

“The tax increase due to the reassessment is minimal, approximately $4 per month for a home with a fair market value of $100,000,” Chickamauga City Schools Superintendent Melody Day said.

The school chief stressed the increase is not an increase in the millage (property tax) rate and has nothing to do with any need within the school system. The increase is “solely for the purpose of meeting state law and will result in over $1.2 million dollars in funding from the state to the school system,” she said.

The board of tax assessors is required to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the city. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the city indicate there has been an increase in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.

“Recent reassessment of property in Chickamauga resulted in increased values of many properties in the city,” Day said. “This is a positive indicator for the city digest and means the same tax rate will actually bring more money into the school system.

“However, even though the millage rate will remain at 14.25 mills, this is considered a tax increase, due to the fact that more money will be collected,” she said. The millage rate has been 14.25 mills since 2015.

When the total digest (list of taxable property within the district) is prepared, Georgia law requires that a rollback millage rate must be computed that will produce the same total revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.

“In 2015, the state made changes to Georgia law requiring school systems to increase the effective millage rate or lose equalization funding,” Day said. “At that time the millage rate for the city of Chickamauga was 12 mills and had been since 2010.

“It was necessary to increase the millage to 14.25 mills to continue receiving equalization funding from the state,” she explained. “The Chickamauga City School System will receive in excess of $1.2 million in equalization funding this school year and must ensure the millage rate meets the state requirement to maintain this state funding.”

Before the Chickamauga City Board of Education recommends a final millage rate, Georgia law requires three public hearings to be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Chickamauga City Board of Education Central Office, 402 Cove Road, Chickamauga, on Thursday, Aug. 26, at noon and 6 p.m. and on Monday, Aug. 30, at noon.

6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe has new museum coordinator

The 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe has hired Jamie Taylor as its museum coordinator.

The non-profit museum, which opened in 1981, is committed to “sharing history for all” as it preserves the rich military history of the Fighting Sixth Cavalry and the Army Post at Fort Oglethorpe (1902-46). The museum coordinator position was made possible by a generous grant from the George R. Johnson Family Foundation.

Originally from Savannah, Ga., Taylor grew up in Southwestern, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. While at UC, he interned at Manifest Gallery and Research Center, a nonprofit international art gallery learning to design and manage exhibits and the handling of art. Taylor also interned at Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council assisting with arts and culture projects and grant writing.

Taylor brings a broad base of experience with the research and management of art and antiques, cataloging, administration, and client relations as an inventory assistant with Case Auctions and Appraisals in the Chattanooga office. Taylor and his wife Valerie live in Chickamauga with their two children.

“The museum is excited to have Jamie join our staff and to see how his broad base of experience and love of history can help enhance our exhibits and programs and add to our visitor’s experience,” said Chris McKeever, museum director.

Bike through Chickamauga military park

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Outdoor Chattanooga will continue offering a series of free, historical bike tours through Chickamauga Battlefield. This year’s tours are scheduled for Aug. 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16, beginning at 9:30 am, at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center.

Ride length is approximately three to four miles on flat to moderately-hilly terrain. The rides are appropriate for adults and children ages 8 years and older when accompanied by an adult. Children must be able to ride confidently without training wheels. All participants are required to wear helmets. The public is invited to bring their bicycles (recumbent or handcycles are appropriate) and join in the leisurely-paced historical rides, which takes approximately 2.5 hours.

National Park Service rangers will talk about the history while Outdoor Chattanooga staff and volunteers provide ride leadership and support.

Keep in mind that participation in group activities puts participants at risk for exposure to and transmission of communicable diseases and all risks cannot be entirely eliminated.

Loaner bicycles will be available for riders 5 feet tall and over at no charge, thanks to sponsorship from the National Park Partners and the Chattanooga Bicycle Club.

The number of loaner bicycles are limited and reservations for them are required by visiting or by calling 423-643-6888. For those who bring their own equipment, no reservation is necessary.