Happy Halloween! I know that we will have a lot of little goblins and superheroes collecting candy tonight in our neighborhoods and would just ask that motorists and supervising adults all take precautions to insure that we have no incidents or accidents.
We had a great turnout for last Wednesday’s Chapin Fall Night Out, and Capt. Crump is already looking at ways to build on this event for next year. Thanks to all the public safety partners who came out to participate and thank you to some of our business sponsors who helped with the festival – Brandon Liles with EXIT Realty, Jeffery Pauling with Traffic Control Safety Services and Steve Wall of the Tipsy Toad Tavern.
I enjoyed attending the sneak peek at Publix on Tuesday and was also there in the early hours for the grand opening on Wednesday with members of the Chapin High drum line and about 75 citizens. The long-awaited opening of Publix marks an important milestone for me as this was one of the first big projects we started working on shortly after my election. Chapin Crossing has the potential to bring new businesses and job opportunities to town as well as continue to provide valuable goods and services for our residents so they can shop locally.
Speaking of shopping locally, many of the Chapin merchants will be participating in the annual Holiday Open House this weekend, and I hope you will make plans to start your holiday shopping in Chapin. The stores will be staying open later on Thursday evening and have a number of giveaways, specials and prizes so be sure to check them out. I also want to note that we had received notice from SCDOT that they were going to start the Lexington Avenue streetscape project in November, and we worked closely with the merchants in that area to get this pushed back until after the first of the year. We know that many of the stores in that Lexington Avenue, Beaufort and Clark Street areas rely heavily on the holidays for their revenues and felt a two-month delay was better than having a negative impact on our small businesses.
This week we will be providing a career field study at Town Hall for about a dozen educators and guidance counselors from the Midlands. Members of our staff will be talking about their jobs and what education and training was required, what salary levels are in the progression of these positions as well as what soft skills are needed to be successful. This field study is a result of a presentation we had a few weeks ago with the Chapin Business Alliance when Mary Snipes of Midlands Education and Business Alliance (MEBA) addressed the group about future workforce development. It’s important to let students, parents and educators know about the many career opportunities that exist, even in the public sector, and we look forward to being part of this discovery process.
Next Tuesday is Election Day, and I encourage you to get out and exercise your constitutional right to vote. We will have a budget planning session on Wednesday, November 9, as we work to finalize our 2017 General Fund and Utilities budgets. And then we will have our regular council meeting on Tuesday, November 15. That will be a busy session as we have a number items on the agenda, including second reading of our proposed hospitality tax, first reading of our budget and a presentation by Hannah Walters from Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina about the health and economic benefits of pedestrian and bike friendly communities.