Questions raised over mowing priorities
by By Karen Kissiah
Rain, tall grass, and litter were the hottest topics of conversation at the Cheraw Town Council meeting Tuesday evening; other than the capture of the bank robbery suspect.
During council’s monthly briefing with each of the town’s department heads this week Parks and Grounds Director Scott Laney said, “with all this rain we’re just trying to keep the grass cut.”
Laney also said the River Hill entrance to town had been cleared recently, which took two days. “It’s pretty labor intensive down there.”
Like most everyone this summer, Laney said, “we have to wait for it get dry enough to mow.”
That’s when Councilwoman Jacqueline Ellerbe-Shannon asked Laney how it was decided which areas of town were mowed first. She went on the say that residents of her district have complained to her that they “see town employees picking up litter and mowing along Market Street, but not across the railroad tracks.”
“We pay taxes in that area too,” Ellerbe-Shannon said.
Laney told her the top priorities were the ball fields, “because the kids have to play.” And though he said the downtown area surrounding the Town Green was also a priority for the sake of tourism, there “is a rotation system in place.”
“Sometimes, especially with all this rain, the rotation can take weeks to complete,” said Laney. “If there’s a street bothering you, call me and we’ll address it.”
Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram said this was the wettest summer he could ever remember. And in reference to Laney, he told Ellerbe-Shannon, “He’s behind all over town. The town is not neglecting that end of town,” said Ingram.
“I don’t see the need for you to have that tone,” Ellerbe-Shannon said.
“Well, you keep referring to the other side of the track,” said Ingram.
“I’m not trying to insinuate, I’m trying to express the concern of the residents of my district,” Ellerbe-Shannon said. She represents Cheraw’s District 6.
“Maybe when we’re sitting down at budget again we should think about buying more equipment,” she said, if that’s part of the reason much of the grass is not cut as often.
Ellerbe-Shannon also said tall grass at some stop signs in her district needed attention as well.
“That’s a major safety concern,” said Laney. “Let me know anytime that’s a problem and I’ll take care of that immediately.”
Laney and Ellerbe-Shannon also agreed to work together, perhaps with volunteers from the community, to help solve some of the litter problems in her district and all over town.
In other matters, Chris Sellers has been named Cheraw’s new Fire Chief. He will take over Aug. 14, when John L. Melton’s resignation becomes effective.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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