Cheraw Town Council members unanimously agreed Tuesday evening to spend $112,000 on land adjacent to Arrowhead Park. Accepting the recommendation of Fred Harris, as chairman of the finance committee, council plans to purchase 14 acres of land, at $8,000 per acre, from American Stainless, to add to the perimeter of the park.
Harris said the town had looked into purchasing this property several years ago, but there were some environmental issues. “Those environmental issues have now been cleared up by Cooper Tools,” he said. The money for this investment will be taken from the Hospitality Fund.
Council will not be spending money on the Old Fire Station, on Seaboard Avenue. But as proprietors of the building, they have agreed to allow volunteers to do so. Local interest in the history of Cheraw’s Fire Department has sparked the idea that the old fire station could be renovated and used as a fire museum.
According to Councilman Randy Butler, the lease for the current tenant at the station is up. Butler said he supports the newly formed Old Fire Station Restoration Committee and its intentions, but asked that the current tenant not be told to vacant the property until the money for restoration costs is in hand.
Council also agreed to provide assistance for writing grants in relation to the project, when the restoration committee reaches that point.
The first reading of two ordinances passed unanimously as well. One of these will regulate the parking of motorized vehicles in front yard property. Once this ordinance is in place, property owners will not be allowed to park more than one vehicle at a time with a for sale sign in the yard for more than 30 days.
The other ordinance, when in effect, will place more regulations on dog owners in town. Recent requests before council have asked for new laws concerning pit bulls, and other dogs considered to be vicious. Cheraw Police Chief Jay Brooks said, “we can’t legislate good sense, so we must regulate dog laws.”
Cheraw citizen Leslie Sipe approached council with questions about her terrier pit bull, that can’t jump over the four-foot fence she’s in. “Why should I have to build a six-foot fence?” she asked, as the new regulations will require.
“Any breed of dog is natured by the owner,” said Sipe. “Not all pit bulls are bad. Even chihuahuas can be vicious. Who will determine whether or not a dog is vicious?”
“A fence does two things,” said Brooks. “It keeps dogs in and people out.”
Brooks elaborated on the responsibility of the dog owners and agreed with Sipe that training determines a dog’s temperament. “But not everyone is a responsible dog owner.”
A new awning was approved for the Theater on Green. It should be in place before the Jazz Festival which begins Oct. 18. Council also approved the replacement of rotting floors and old carpet for the dressing rooms at the theater.
Steve Swearingin, owner and auctioneer for Krazzy Zacks Auction House at 111 Market Street, asked council to consider trimming some of the trees on Market Street that prevent customers from seeing business signs. “The trees are beautiful, don’t get me wrong,” said Swearingin, who is originally from Wadesboro, N.C. “I love Cheraw. It’s beautiful. That’s why I chose to open my business here. I just want people to be able to find my business.” Several businesses, he said, do not have visible signs.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at kkissiah@heartlandpublica tions.com.