Hartsville lauds champs, debates South Hartsville
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Hartsville City Council convened its regular monthly meeting Sep. 8 and began the evening by recognizing the championship effort of some young athletes.
Both the Hartsville Northern League Farm League and Major League teams won World Championships in 2015, and the boys and their coaches attended the meeting to receive an official ‘thank you’ from their hometown. Mayor Mel Pennington handed out certificates of recognition to all the players and coaches as their families and friends snapped photos and applauded. City Council member Billy Shirley pointed out that Hartsville now has more championship titles than any other city in the 13-state Northern League.
On the regular agenda, council held public hearings and final readings for two ordinances: No. 4208 amends the city’s comprehensive plan language to include Transportation and Priority Investment Elements, and include language stating the plan will be reviewed every five years; No. 4211 creates a standard of operation for the lease of land at the Hartsville Airport, which could help the city generate revenue from hangar leases.
Council also passed first reading of Ordinance 4214, adopting into the city’s Comprehensive Plant the South Hartsville Heritage Alive neighborhood strategy for community revitalization, which was developed with public input from South Hartsville residents.
Further along in the meeting, council approved a $500,000 grant application for the Community Development Block Grant Program to support South Hartsville revitalization efforts. The grant money, if received, would finance the demolition of the abandoned Lincoln Village apartment complex, described in the resolution extract as “a huge blight in the community.” A ten-percent city match would be required, plus overages which are estimated at an additional $50,000. City manager Natalie Zeigler said word of any grant award should come in December.
During discussion of this item, some on council took issue with the city’s priorities when it comes to funding South Hartsville revitalization projects.
“I’m wanting to know which is going to take first priority: Lincoln Village or South Hartsville?” asked council member Bernice Wilson. He cited several failed attempts by commercial developers to rehabilitate the apartment complex as possible causes why other community projects have been delayed.
Pennington replied that the Lincoln Village demolition and the South Hartsville Heritage Alive plan would proceed concurrently, adding that the Lincoln Village problem has needed fixing for decades.
“Both projects are going to be moving forward. What this will allow us to do is bring final resolution to a project that no one has been able to solve for the last 30 years,” Pennington said, explaining that getting rid of the blight property will clear the way for further investment and development in the South Hartsville community.
In other matters, a lease-purchase financing agreement for $710,000 to acquire 10 police and general service vehicles, 1 leaf vac truck, 1 backhoe, and 800 radios for city vehicles received unanimous approval.
Council also approved a bid award of $291,356 for Hybrid Engineering, Inc. to construct a Public Service complex.