Monday, January 14, 2013
Summerville Mayor Bill Collins touted the progress the town has made in the past year and promised more to come during a “State of the Town” talk at Wednesday’s council meeting.
Two of the town’s highest-profile problem areas are being worked on, Collins said.
He said people should see workers surveying the Sawmill Branch Canal in the next few weeks to gather information for the town and S.C. DOT’s mitigation plan, which if approved will allow the Berlin G. Myers Parkway to move forward.
The final phase of the parkway must be built, Collins said.
The Heritage Square shopping center at the corner of U.S. 78 and the parkway shows less visible signs of progress.
The town is enmeshed in litigation over its order to the owner to either tear down part of the center or repair the roof, and Collins said the town is committed to pressing forward in the courts.
Collins also thanked council for working in a collaborative fashion to help move the town forward.
Among the other accomplishments cited by Collins: The town renovated the interior of the Cuthbert Community Center, is finishing a new building for the parks department, let the contract to build a new fire station, let a contract to replace concrete streets with asphalt, purchased 10 police cars, moved the municipal court to the old council chambers, has had the garbage contractor pick up recycling the same day as garbage so that more people are recycling, moved its elections to Novembers, expanded the historic district, paid off the $3.5 million garage construction debt, purchased a new communications system for the police department, which should be operational by the end of the month, and is in the process of annexing the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site.
“Once that happens we will be one of a handful of cities in the United States with a historic site dating to 1696,” he said.
The town intends to use hospitality tax money to promote a reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle fought at the site, he said.
“This will bring tourists to town – and hopefully they’ll bring a lot of money with them and leave a lot of it here,” he said.
Collins noted the town’s spot on a list of the top places to retire and said more people will be moving here, which will necessitate more roads and infrastructure.