Society Hill ushers in new year

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

A whole year has gone by for Mayor Tommy Bradshaw, and as he reported to council and community members in attendance, “We’ve slowly made progress…it takes time.”

At the top of the meeting, Bradshaw asked council’s approval for awarding part time town clerk, Brenda Nettles, with a 10% raise, giving her an increase in her hourly wage of $12 to $13.50 per hour.

“She has been exemplary,” said Bradshaw. “And I feel we ought to reward her for that.”

Sharing that Nettles has been the part time clerk for six months, and has been instrumental in helping the council find ways to trim the budget even further as they worked to become fiscally conservative.

Bradshaw reported that since hiring part time police officer Dwayne Gillespie, revenues from speeding tickets have risen dramatically, “which pays for not only the police protection, but assists the town in general.”

Chief Matt Hill reminded council members and the community in attendance to adhere to stop signs, stating that he witnessed two 18-wheel trucks recently that barely slowed down for stop signs in the town limits.

An update on the Depot project was presented to council by builder Bill Segars of Segars Construction Company who was the low bidder for the project. He outlined the restoration project, stating that the project may be completed by September.

Lease agreements for the town’s rental properties, both the car wash location near St. David’s and the riverfront property are being prepared by the town attorney- Senator Gerald Malloy.

In new business, council member Michelle Steen told council that the roof over the rescue and fire EMS buildings are leaking, resulting in lost equipment.

Fellow council member Denise Douglas urged, “We need to move on this,” stating that this issue has come up in previous council meetings.

Steen said that they may be eligible for storm damage from the insurance provider, since the leaking got markedly worse after the snowstorms last February.

Council woman Deborah Harrell, who is the town member representative on the Darlington County Council of Aging, shared the ideas of fund raisers to benefit the Society Hill site; ideas included a Catfish Tournament at the town boat landing, and a golf tournament.

Carolyn Oliver addressed council with the winners of the Christmas Decorations Contest Winners. There were three judges, who awarded $50 to three homeowners; Southern Elegance Award was presented to Judy Byrd for her lovely display of white Christmas trees and beautiful use of local cotton; Most Creative was awarded to Nolan Keith for his whimsical “Whoville” themed decorations; and Best Use of Christmas Lights was awarded to Rhonda and Richard Gary.
“My hope is that this will grow each year so people will drive to Society Hill to see our beautiful displays,” said Oliver.

Oliver surprised council by telling them that she had a solution to the leaking roof issue; “While y’all were talking, we had a Catfish Festival Meeting, and decided to donate funds to fix the roof,” said Oliver, who was seated by board members Cora Byrd and Judy Byrd. “We had planned to replace the windows at St. Davids, but they are too costly for us to do at this time. We’d like to help repair this roof.”

The community members and council broke into spontaneous applause.

Oliver, as of last week, was the only town resident to file for the Town Council seat left by the resignation of former council member Chuck Spring, who resigned due to work obligations in Washington D.C. Confirmation will be made by the Darlington County Voter Registration office this week, and printed in next week’s issue.

The next Town Council meeting will be held on February 10, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

Author: Jana Pye

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