Congratulations to our Zoning Administrator Chris Clauson. Last week he graduated from the Leadership Lexington County program as part of the Class of 2016. Leadership Lexington County is a vital leadership development program in our county, which provides hands-on learning opportunities that inform participants of the resources and challenges in our region. It also promotes community action through the adoption of a local service project. The Class of 2016 adopted the Village Square Theater for its community project, and Chris was actively involved as co-chair of the construction committee which helped with renovations to the facility and the installation of a new sign. I thank him for his participation and fine representation of the Chapin community.
Tuesday evening we will have a public hearing at 5:45 pm to review several proposed ordinances and zoning amendments related to stormwater enforcement, mobile food and retail vendors, unified development fee schedule and changes to the business license ordinance. This session will be followed by our regular monthly council meeting which we hope to keep brief so that council members can go over to the public hearing on Columbia Avenue (S-48) which will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Our Lady of the Lake Church. It will be exciting to hear the feedback on the preferred recommended routes to alleviate traffic in Chapin. I got a preview last week and want to add a big Thank You to the many engineers and staff who have been working on this massive projects for the past several years – especially Jennifer Necker with SCDOT, Jeff McNesby and Wrenn Barrett from Lexington County, and Berry Still and Zack Haney with Mead & Hunt.
During our council meeting, I will be giving my annual State of the Town message to highlight some of our successes and challenges in 2016, as well as offer suggestions for a strong 2017. We will also consider adopting the Municipal Association’s 2017 Advocacy Initiatives, which include five priorities: 1) encouraging business growth and development, 2) providing quality services, 3) increasing law enforcement training, 4) repairing roads and 5) reducing blight. Of course, having steady and reliable funding is critical for towns to be able to address many of these issues, and we will need cooperation from our General Assembly to ensure a positive quality of life for our citizens and continued economic prosperity.
Last week I attended the Chapin Elementary School Improvement Council meeting, and Rep. Nathan Ballentine highlighted the aforementioned issues as legislative priorities, too. Brian Klauk with SCDOT also provided updates on the progress of the Carolina Crossroads project to address traffic and safety concerns on Interstate 26 and on the progress of the Murray Lindler roundabout. It’s always informative to attend these SIC sessions, and I am grateful that such collaboration occurs with our local schools to keep everyone informed of things happening in town and nearby.