Cheraw Town Council unanimously approved a landscaping plan Tuesday evening, designed by Kenneth B. Simmons Associates, to enhance the entrance way along the Great Pee Dee River. The plan, however, “is only the first step of a long process,” said Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram.
Now that a plan is in place, Town Administrator Mike Smith will be able to apply for grants to actually pay for the landscaping. According to Smith, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) accepts grant applications through out the year. The entire project, from now until completion, “could take up to two years,” said Smith. “Hopefully, the most we may end up paying would be maybe 20 percent in matching funds.”
“The landscaping job, alone, should take only two or three months once it’s started,” said Simmons. The plan, he also said, must be approved by SCDOT and the Town of Cheraw must sign an agreement to maintain the area once the landscaping has been done.
Scott Laney, director of ground and maintenance for the Town of Cheraw said, “We’ve been maintaining that area ever since we put up the welcome sign down there.”
There were a few questions concerning council members about the time and money it may cost to maintain the area, but Simmons and Laney agreed the approved plan is designed to be as low maintenance as possible.
Councilman Fred Harris expressed concern as to what may happen to the landscaping efforts when, or if, there is ever a new bridge. “It should be understood,” said Laney, “anything they tear up they’ll have to replace.”
Maintenance at Laney Landing was also on Tuesday’s agenda. Council unanimously approved the lowest bid of $39,000 from Furr Grading and Paving Company to grade and pave the parking lot at Riverside Park. And in the same evening, council learned that, technically, the town does not own the parking lot at Laney Landing.
Just this week, Ingram said he received a call from Kent Wagnon of SCDOT explaining that “DOT owns that parking lot.”
Ingram said town officials have been under the assumption the parking lot, like the rest of Riverside Park, has been the responsibility of the town since the park was first established in the 1970s. “But, it’s not going to be a problem,” said Ingram, as measures are under way to see that the property is properly assigned to the Town of Cheraw.
Council also turned down the opportunity to acquire a piece of property just off Chesterfield Highway. Dr. Agnes Schultz offered to donate a parcel of land in the neighborhood directly behind her new office with the stipulation that it be used “as a neighborhood playground area.”
“The town simply does not have the funding available to develop this property into a playground,” said Councilman John K. Melton. “Although the Parks and Grounds superintendent has a playground improvement plan in place, it is to renovate existing playgrounds and there are no current plans to develop new playground areas.”
In other business, the council approved the second reading of three different ordinances: regulating sale of motorized vehicles in front yards, regulating vicious or dangerous animals, and amending the business license ordinance provisions for insurance companies.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.