Thankfully Chapin was not hit too hard by Hurricane Matthew. We had periods of heavy rain and some debris from the high winds, but no major flooding or power outages like some folks in Forest Acres and other parts of the Midlands experienced. I know many of you served as hosts to family and friends from the coast. Generations of Chapin played host to a number of families and relatives during the storm, and it was nice to meet some of them on Thursday. I know they appreciated the hospitality during this time of uncertainty as they waited to see how much damage their homes and businesses experienced.
There are a couple events going on this weekend I want to bring to your attention. First off, Lexington and Richland County are hosting a Regional Recycling Day on Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm at Irmo High School. They will be taking household pesticides and chemicals, tires, electronic devices of all kinds, scrap metal, and old paint. They will also have a paper shredding vendor on site. This is a wonderful opportunity to recycle some of those items you can’t put in your recycling bin at the curb.
Also on Saturday is the first annual Chapin Fall Art Festival which will be held in the Food Lion parking lot. Jerry Caldwell has organized this daylong event which starts at 9 am. Local artists will be showcasing their art and a number of vendors will be on hand, including ones with food and craft beers. It sounds like a fun time so hope they have a good turnout. Thanks to Palmetto Fine Arts, the UPS Store and the Coffee Shelf for sponsoring this new community event.
Next week we will have two public hearings prior to our Oct. 18 town council meeting. At 5:30 pm, we will hear from our Utilities Department about amending their budget to provide funding for the design of the new wastewater treatment plant. Then the next session will review proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance’s landscaping requirements to address buffers, required plantings, tree sizes and other requirements that will add to our efforts to beautify the town’s appearance as new developments come online.
We will have a full agenda for our council meeting as we look forward to seeing the updated master plan for the town park. We had several comments about adding a dog park feature and that has been included. I think there are lot of interesting features that people will like. One that comes to mind is the reuse of the bricks from the old barbeque pit which was behind the original Town Hall on Lexington Avenue. Andy Metts and Seth Zeigler both shared memories about those town cookouts they enjoyed attending as youth, how it created a sense of community and fellowship. We are going to take those bricks and build a barbeque pit near a picnic shelter so residents can once again enjoy gathering together as they cook out with their friends and loved ones. Preserving Chapin’s history is important to us and will always be one of our objectives as we move forward.
There is a planned gazebo off the back of the building that will be another nice feature for people to use. From wedding ceremonies to small concerts or just an extension of events that rent the Community Room, this will be an enjoyable addition for our community. And our history buffs will be excited about the relocation of the former train depot on site. With proper renovations, the building could be that museum/cultural center that many of our residents have longed to showcase Chapin’s rich history.
Of course the walking trails, playground equipment, picnic shelters and eventually the addition of an amphitheater and splash pad can be wonderful amenities that our citizens and visitors can all enjoy. The park will provide opportunities for people to enjoy passive recreation as well as a quiet place to reflect and enjoy nature. We hope people will come out on nice days and eat their lunch at the park. That parents and grandparents will come out to push strollers, walk with young children and watch as kids climb on the playground equipment, exercising their bodies and building their confidence. We will be able to host events that bring the community and family together, such as concerts, festivals and maybe even a food truck rodeo. The park has the potential to be an important addition to Chapin, and I hope the council and our citizens will embrace moving forward with its design and construction.
Congratulations to Will Register of Chapin High School. He is one of three student-athletes from School District 5 chosen to participate in the annual Shrine Bowl. We plan to recognize him at our November council meeting as he is still busy with football practices this season. Hopefully things will get back to normal this week, and we can cheer Chapin High on to victory over Lower Richland this Friday at Cecil Woolbright Stadium.