It was another busy week of announcements in Chapin as I was happy to participate in Chapin Pediatric’s ground breaking ceremony. Dr. Luke Bonnett has long been a fixture in our community, and we wish him all the best as he expands his practice.
The Greater Chapin Community Endowment also made some local groups happy with the announcement of their annual grant awards. The endowment board provided $6000 in matching funds to the local groups that participated in the Midlands Gives campaign (Chapin We Care, Chapin Community Theatre, GOoDWorks, Justin Pepper Foundation, Lifebridge, and Lexington County Museum). They also awarded another $9900 in grants to help 17 local charities and non-profits. We certainly appreciate those who support our local endowment through their philanthropy. Having been a part of the (GCCE) Greater Chapin Community Endowment Board in the past, I can tell you first hand the board members work hard to raise money and love the grant money to deserving organizations in and around Chapin. And we are grateful to the leaders of the endowment who provide vital financial help which supports various causes championed by our non-profit community.
On Friday, I made my way over to the Lake Murray Dam for a major announcement about the Major League Fishing organization coming to the area to film fishing shows on Lake Murray. These shows will air next spring (March 2018) on the Outdoor Channel, bringing further national exposure to our great region. Thanks to Miriam Atria, executive director of Lake Murray Country for all the hard work she and her team do for our four-county area to bring tourists and business to our communities. We all benefit from exciting news like this and are fortunate to live in a place that has so many positive amenities.
Last week we had a productive council meeting as we passed new franchise agreements for cable service in Chapin and appointed two new members to our Zoning Board of Appeals – Dan Smith and Steve Wall. Ken Loveless and Gerald Meetze agreed to extend their terms on the Architectural Review Board for three more years. I want to thank Crystal Campbell and Mike Sorrells for their dedicated service to the town as outgoing ZBA members.
Unfortunately, one item did not progress was discussion of a lease-purchase for a used street sweeper to allow us to clean our streets from the interstate into town, our intersections, bridges and parking areas. One of the most common complaints I get from citizens is about the poor appearance of our town for years gone by. Recently, we have taken many steps to address that – from mowing more frequently than our four-times a year that the highway department provides to killing weeds and removing them for our sidewalks to the removal of a dilapidated building on Chapin, and I could go on. Adding a street sweeper is just another component of that progress, but our council members don’t think we can afford it. I continue to hear the same old argument and excuse (“We can’t afford it”) on just about every new expenditure, from improving our town’s appearance to hiring professional and experienced personnel. For each of the last three town budgets I have prepared, we have been under budget every year. A BIG Thank You goes to the professionalism of our staff and for the work they have done to improve the appearance of our town. Citizens and business owners are taking notice and contacting me to say thank you for these efforts. It’s time for all us to work together for the good of our community.
Don’t forget to complete the surveys that we have available on our website (www.chapinsc.com) as part of our economic development strategic planning process. There is one for citizens and another one for businesses. Thank you for your help with this.