Society Hill votes on grant anticipation note for depot

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

The Society Hill Town Council held a special called meeting on April 2 to discuss the grant anticipation note for the historic train depot restoration project.

Council voted to allow Mayor Tommy Bradshaw to sign a grant anticipation/construction/short term loan needed for cash flow purposes to complete the project. After paying, the DOT will reimburse the town up to the grant amount of $200,000.

The contractor on the project, Bill Segars of Segars Construction, agreed to wait for payment until April 10.

After DOT receives the paperwork, they may take up to 30 – 35 days to approve Carolina Bank in Society Hill offered a line of credit loan for $100,000 at a rate of 4.5%; according to Mayor Bradshaw, another bank said they “couldn’t beat that excellent rate”.

“We would only pay interest if we make a draw,” said Bradshaw. “I don’t anticipate it would be very long before our money comes in to pay them back. So, at a 4.5% per anum- on a daily basis, the most we’d have to pay would be $700 – $1000.”

The loan could be extended beyond December 31, 2015 if needed.

The Depot committee is hoping to receive more donations towards the project, to assist with details that are not covered by the grant, such as:

• Water meter; Bradshaw said an anonymous donor has volunteered to fund this.

• Sewer lines and septic tank

• Replace several of the cypress boards to the front dock that are not holding up as well as the older, strong cypress boards.

• Crusher run for driveway and parking lot; Bradshaw said he will request assistance from the Darlington County Council to request the use of county equipment to assist with putting down a layer of crusher run, leaving only the cost of materials.

Denise Douglas moved to allow Bradshaw to ask for an additional $5,000 to pay for the additional items needed to complete the project.
Vote was unanimous, with the only council member not present being Michelle Steen.

After the vote, Bradshaw asked council’s permission to spend up to $500 on repairing bathrooms at the town’s picnic area; they repeatedly freeze in winter, and Bradshaw recommended that they be repaired and insulated properly.

Council agreed the bathrooms need to be repaired.

IN other news, Bradshaw reported that after reading materials about the light pollution and environmental and health effects of LED lights for the town, and talking to the Mayor of Darlington about them, he and council have decided against switching to them for the lights in Society Hill.

“It’s a case of ‘caveat emptor’- buyer beware – and I don’t think they are what we want in our little town. We’d rather use something that doesn’t have that bluish glare, so we will hold off on switching over until we find something we feel better suits our town for street lighting.”

Author: Duane Childers

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