Mayor offers glimpse into town issues

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Once you learn to ride a bicycle, you never forget. I got my first bike at Christmas when I was 5 and remember to this day that first ride I wobbled wide-eyed down a hill alongside our house. I didn’t know how to stop the bike and didn’t make the right turn; consequently, I slammed into the house just below the kitchen window where my mother was watching. I got a bit skinned up but learned the importance of brakes.
For 30 years I wrote a weekly column for this paper as its publisher and editor. I hope I’ve not forgotten how and know when to stop. Once a month I will write to let Summerville residents know what’s happening in town. I welcome your comments at bcollins@summervillesc.gov
(1) First, let me tell you that mayor and council held a planning retreat Jan. 25th to talk about our priorities for Summerville. A blind poll was taken and the number 1 priority was infrastructure – more roads. The state Department of Transportation plans to synchronize lights on Main St. in the next few weeks to help move traffic better. The town is working on a plan to build a new road from the new Sheep Island interchange into Summerville that will connect to Maple St., cross Richardson Ave. and tie into Parson’s Rd. This should make it easier for folks who live in Pine Forest and White Gables to commute without coming down Main St. Another spur will tie into the Parkway. Public safety and safety of our children ranked second and annexation was third.
(2) To better serve residents and accommodate staff the town is constructing two new buildings – a fire station on Butternut Rd., and a Parks and Recreation Building off Gahagan Rd. The storm water department is renovating its facilities also.
(3) In the next few weeks you’ll hear about a new “Birds on Main” project for the downtown area. A collaborative effort between Sculpture in the South, Audubon South Carolina, DREAM and the town will install about 20 life-sized bronzes of native birds on balconies, windowsills, shop signs and rooftops. Residents and tourists alike will enjoy strolling the downtown and looking for the birds.
(4) Council gave final approval this month to annexing the Colonial Dorchester site on the Ashley River into the town. We will work with the state Parks, Recreation and Tourism department to promote tours of this historic fort and Revolutionary War battle site. If you’re interested in learning to be a volunteer docent at that site, give me a call – 851-4209. Colonial Dorchester should enhance our tourism draw. It’s a hidden treasure dating to 1696.
As mayor I cut a lot of ribbons and attend enough groundbreakings to know that business development continues here. Last week ground was broken for MWV’s four story, 100,000 sq. ft., Class A office building in the Nexton development at I-26 and Hwy. 17-A. As Nexton builds out people will be able to live, work, shop, dine and exercise in this planned community.
Until next month, be safe and enjoy living in Summerville.
Bill Collins is the Mayor of Summerville and the former publisher and editor of The Summerville Journal Scene.

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