Hartsville council discusses leaf pickup and city road repairs
By Stephan Drew, Editor
A road in need of repair and the collection of leaves around the city dominated the Hartsville City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 11th, 2023. Recent changes have been made to the City’s yard debris collection system. Hartsville has instituted a brown rollcart pilot program because the amount of yard debris far exceeds the garbage tonnage. It has received positive feedback but, it is still a work in progress and, there are some aspects of the introductory program which still need adjustment.
Mr. Clyde Stuckey questioned council about a large number of bags he had seen beside some streets and possible implementation of a vacuum truck or a vehicle with other mechanical equipment (like a collection arm), which might make the collection of these bags a swifter process. Council member Bobby McGee told Stuckey, “We had a vacuum truck here as recent as 2016. We sold it in 2017. People would put their piles outside and, instead of just leaves, they would put bricks and everything else in there. We started spending more repair money on the vacuum truck. It was down all the time.” Stuckey stated that other municipalities instituted fines for any non-leaf material in the piles and council stated they would consider that option. Council is looking at several different options including another vacuum truck and an “air burner” (basically a small furnace which heats the debris and compresses it). McGee told Stuckey, “We’re trying to find a long-term solution that is sustainable.”
City Manager Daniel Moore stated that there were over 800 households within the city using the rollcart/bag system and they seem to be pleased with it. He reported that he has been contacted by several residents and been sent pictures of how clean College Avenue is.
Martha Serrano of Norfolk, Virginia, spoke to council regarding her sister, Hartsville resident Mildred Reynolds and her desire to have council institute “Angel Recognition Day”. This is a day, usually in the month of August, which is set aside to recognize those people within the community who have gone above and beyond volunteering of their time and talents. Speaking about her sister, Mrs. Serrano said, “She has done a lot for Hartsville and many already think of her as an angel.” Mrs. Reynolds lives on Wilkes Circle and Mrs. Serrano requested that the pothole in front of her house be repaired. “It’s horrible,” Serrano said, “an ambulance would turn over in that hole.” Council member Kenzie Delaine echoed her claim when he said, “I drove down there recently. It’s not a pothole, it’s a crater.”
Some council members questioned whether Wilkes Circle is a public road or privately-owned. The City Manager explained that part of it is state-owned (State Roads 882 & 883) but told Mrs. Serrano he would do a title search and contact her with the results so they would know how best to move forward.
The City Manager also reported that a $3.3 million project for development of a 10+ acre parcel of land near Walmart Complex is approaching a decision deadline. The Hartsville Public Development Corporation (HPDC) owns the property and is working with the city on plans to develop it for commercial use which will be beneficial to Hartsville. Thirteen interested parties have submitted bids for construction projects and the city is helping HPDC to formulate plans, contact financial lenders and checking zoning requirements to ease and quicken the process. He reminded council that tentative deadline was February and a decision needs to be made soon. Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Johnny Andrews stated, “There’s 10 ½ acres sitting there that’s a natural extension of your downtown. Let’s get a plan that makes sense on that.”
In other business, council held the final reading on Amending Ordinance 4446, which will allow for a minimum spacing of 10 feet between principal buildings in a cluster housing development. Currently, a space of 20 feet is required. This would only apply to detached, single-family dwellings of approximately 700-1100 sq. ft. in high-density areas of the city. It does not apply to townhouses or apartment buildings. The measure was approved by council.
Council also approved several resolutions. Resolution 01-23-01, which approves of the creation of the Main Street Hartsville Advisory Board and approves the boundaries of the Main Street Hartsville District. Resolution 01-23-02, which is a yearly renewal and allows the Hartsville Police Department to access the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Automated License Plate Reader System. Resolution 01-23-03, another yearly renewal which allows the Hartsville Police Department to work with the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office. Resolution 01-23-04, which allows joint grant applications (between Coker University and the City of Hartsville) to the state historic preservation office for historic structure preservation projects.
Council then went into Executive Session. The next meeting of Hartsville City Council will be Feb. 14 at 10:00 a.m.