U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials are “conducting several tests” at the old Delta plant in Wallace, Cheraw Town Administrator Mike Smith told members of Cheraw Town Council at Tuesday’s briefing meeting.
And while the agents are here, “they have contracted with our police department for off-duty officers to watch their equipment during the night,” Smith said.
The property, which was annexed into the town of Cheraw several years ago, has been the victim of prolific property damage.
Council members have been talking about the possibility of handing the property back over to Marlboro County in light of several facts. Not only did a prospective new business there fail to come to fruition, the property has become a liability because of vandalism.
As the taxes on the property remain unpaid, said Smith, it is possible, closer to the end of the year, “that we may be able to de-annex that property.”
“We’re keeping an eye on it,” Smith said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
As bids go out this week for the demolition of a portion of the Cheraw Complex, Cheraw Town Councilman Billy Wallace Jr. continues to shake his head on the matter.
“I’ve been pretty quiet lately,” said Wallace, “but you know how I feel about this thing. We paid $640,000 for the building, and now we’re tearing it down. It just don’t make sense.”
Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram met with representatives of Chesterfield General Hospital recently concerning prospective new owners for the facility. Earlier this year, it was announced that the current owners and operators of the hospital would not re-new their contract.
Ingram said there have been many inquiries from prospective buyers, including McLeod’s hospital system, which is currently “waiting on a packet.”
“Hopefully, something will happen soon,” said Ingram.
The ACL Neighborhood Project is beginning to move along, said Smith. Engineers are currently in the process of conducting title searches to begin the demolition of about 12 abandoned houses along the railway.
Cheraw Town Council member Jacqueline Ellerbe-Shannon expressed concern about local businesses or property owners in the area that may profit from federal grant money during the process.
“We want to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Ellerbe-Shannon.
Ingram will attend the Chesterfield County Mayors Association meeting this week to work with other town mayors on a proposal for a county sewer authority. To have a collective sewer authority for the county could help gather more grant money to put the service in place, said Ingram.
“The idea is to get sewer services to the west end of the county,” said Smith, “to help attract industry to the area.”
“To have that system in place would be of economic interest to the entire county,” said Ingram.
Council members also talked about dreams for the future. The idea of a splash pad, similar to the one the town of Hartsville opened a couple of summers ago, resurfaced this week.
“I’m not at all opposed to the idea,” said Ingram. “As I recall, the costs and regulations, we were told when we researched this a few years ago, were all the reasons not to do it.”
“But if it is the wish of council, we can look into it again.”
Ellerbe-Shannon requested speed limit signs be placed near the entrance to Riverside Park along Church Street.
“There is a lot of traffic in that area, and lots of pedestrians; especially when something is happening at Pee Dee Baptist Church or at Teal’s Restaurant,” she said.
There will be a back-to-school bash, sponsored by the Blessed Beyond Measure organization, at Centennial Park Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The town will not be involved with the event this year, said Smith.
A National Night Out is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 7.
— Reach Staff Writer Karen Kissiah at 843-537-5261.