Lamar preps for Christmas and Neighborhood Watch
By Samantha Lyles
Lamar Town Council met Sep. 14 for their regular monthly session, and even though summer temps are only now beginning to cool, the locals are already making plans for the holiday season.
Citizen Danielle Wilkes, spearheading community efforts to kindle the Christmas spirit, wrote a report to council proposing regular meetings for interested volunteers, and outlining several events for December. Council member Inez Lee read the report aloud.
“We would like to host a Christmas festival and parade titled ‘Christmas on Main’ on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. … This would consist of community churches and businesses coming together to provide family-friendly holiday entertainment and fun for the whole town,” Wilkes wrote.
Events would include a story time with Mrs. Claus at the Lamar Library, pictures with Santa Claus, letters to Santa at the Post Office, ornament decorating, giveaways of books, sweets, hot chocolate, and possibly a live nativity scene.
A night parade would follow this festival, featuring cars, floats, golf carts and other vehicles decorated with Christmas lights.
Wilkes is also working with town attorney Gene Warr to establish an official 5013(c) non-profit Christmas Committee Foundation to fund yearly holiday activities.
Also at this meeting, Chief of Police Carl Scott gave an update on the Neighborhood Watch program, saying it has “built a foundation” of four captains and several volunteers, and has gained some traction with the community. Scott added that the group has adopted a covenant of conduct to govern their behavior as they patrol, keep watch, and interact with their neighbors, and this covenant has been approved by the town’s attorney.
A map of the town’s four zones is available at www.lamarsc.org/lamar-neighborhood-watch/, as well as contact information for each area’s watch captain. The official launch date for Lamar Neighborhood Watch is Oct. 1, and Chief Scott encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to contact the Lamar Police Department at 843-326-5554.
In other matters, consultant Jannie Lathan discussed the ongoing partnership between Lamar officials, SC DHEC, and state rural water agencies to get the town’s water and sewer system back on stable footing. She spoke about plans to conduct GIS mapping, which will provide electronic drawings of all underground utilities – specifically the water and sewer lines.
“That’s going to be very critical because right now we don’t have that comprehensive mapping system of our infrastructure,” said Lathan, adding that a start date for the mapping project should be coming soon.
Council member Lee said that efforts continue to establish a process for identifying water leaks and notifying customers whether those leaks are on the town’s side of the meter or on the property owner’s side. Lee said efforts are also underway to streamline the water billing process to make it easier for customers.