On behalf of everyone at Chapin Town Hall, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to Tish and Mike Clonts and their family on the passing of her mother, Iris Robinson last weekend. I attended the funeral last Thursday in Jenkinsville and enjoyed reminiscing with Mike and Tish. We have known each other for close to 30 years, and it is always sad to watch families grieve the loss of a loved one. I know they appreciate all the prayers and love that have been extended to them during this time and in the weeks ahead.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the key ceremony for Sgt. Robert Barber and his family on Saturday. What a delight to see the completion of this project and to be able to welcome the Barbers as our newest Chapin residents! I know they are delighted with this fantastic new home, and thanks again to Homes for Our Troops and all the sponsors who helped make this dream a reality.
This week we welcomed three new employees at Town Hall. Anthony Andrade will be joining our team as the Maintenance Supervisor, and Ashton Miles as a Maintenance Worker. Both have considerable job knowledge and will be an asset to the Town’s public works operations. Reynaldo Angoluan is joining our Utilities Department as the Superintendent of Inspections, Mapping and Modeling. He brings 15 years of engineering experience in construction plan review, GIS mapping and utility system modelling to our department.
We continue to monitor the progress of two radical bills introduced in the General Assembly to standardize business licenses across the state. The Municipal Association of South Carolina has been working with its members, legislators, the State Chamber and other business stakeholders to develop a bill that would streamline the business license application and renewal process by using a standardized application form that all cities and towns would accept and creating an online payment portal. This portal was originally to be administered by the Municipal Association, and it would forward the payments on to the local governments. There appeared to be consensus in this approach, and proposed legislation was to be introduced this session to move this process forward.
However, the bills that were filed, H3650 and H3651, barely resemble the earlier agreed upon language and could result in devastating consequences for cities and towns. While there is still adoption of standardization measures, the bills grant exemptions to certain business types forcing city officials to choose between increasing business license rates for all other businesses or reducing city services; strip the authority of cities and towns to manage business licensing; and move the insurance and telecommunication collection programs from the Municipal Association, governed by city officials, to a state agency. We are working closely with Rep. Chip Huggins to monitor the progress of this legislation and hope to offer amendments that will move this bill back to the original intent and purpose.
The construction on Lexington Avenue has certainly been a challenge for all parties, but we hope to be getting closer to its completion. We have gotten a lot of feedback from citizens and business owners, and we are working closely with SCDOT to minimize problems and traffic congestion. Again thank you for your patience during this process.
Upcoming events to note include the American Legion Post 193’s Pancake Breakfast fundraiser this Saturday at Zorba’s from 7:30 – 11 am. Tickets are $10 per person and the proceeds benefit many of the post’s charitable activities, including military burials for unclaimed veterans, scholarships for dependents of military personnel who have died, and supporting the Boys State and Law Cadet programs at Chapin High and Dutch Fork high schools. The Post Riders will also lead a procession from Town Hall to Fort Jackson next Friday, March 3, to inter the remains of six veterans.
The Chapin Arbor Day Foundation will host an Oyster Roast fundraiser next month, on Saturday, March 25, on Beaufort Street. The group is raising money to support beautification in Chapin. And on March 31, the Chapin Woman’s Club will host their Flamingo Fling at Timberlake to raise money for projects they support in our community. Of course, the Mayor’s Prayer breakfast will be that morning and the following day is Community Service Day. Check out our website for more details on these events and see how you can get involved!