Thank you to everyone who came out to say THANK YOU to Troy Crump at his retirement reception last Tuesday. It was a great turn out and delicious refreshments provided by our town hall staff. We also appreciate Representatives Chip Huggins and Nathan Ballentine for coming out to present a resolution from the SC General Assembly in recognition of his 25 years in law enforcement. We wish him well in his new chapter as an instructor for the SC Whitmore School.
Also at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, we recognized Crystal Campbell and Mike Sorrells for their years of service on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Andy Metts provided good news on the continued progress of our wastewater treatment plant expansion, with final approvals by SC DHEC and the State Revolving Loan Fund expected by month’s end. He also reported that City of Columbia has increased its water rates for customers, which includes the Town of Chapin. Last year they raised their rate by 10 percent, but the council elected to only pass along an eight percent increase to its customers. Andy will make a recommendation to us next month as to how we should proceed.
In follow up to our meeting with Lexington County and SCDOT officials on July 14, we have sent a letter to the county administrator expressing our concerns about the preferred recommended route for S-48 (Columbia Avenue) and asked them to provide us with some additional information related to traffic count data, supposed wetlands, and the impacts on local businesses as well as the historic red oak tree that would be cut down if the current proposed route was adopted. We also asked that they take a look at the recent development that has occurred just outside the town limits in the past two years since their traffic study was done. Their traffic engineer had suggested a 1.25% growth rate for the area though the Central Midlands Council of Governments has projected a 4% growth rate for Chapin through 2040. This is one of the biggest transportation infrastructure projects our town has been involved in and we want to make sure that we are being great stewards of our limited federal, state and local resources for this project.
Last week I attended the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s annual conference, and there were a number of sessions related to the evolution of our smaller cities and towns. The majority of cities and towns in South Carolina have populations of less than 5000 people. The heart of our state thrives on the sustainability and economic vitality of each small town, and it is our responsibility to insure that the Town of Chapin does not fall behind and that we offer something unique to individuals and businesses in order to stand out among other cities and towns. In an effort to move forward the town needs to have a vision that all council members agree on and are willing to work together to see that vision come to fruition.
As we approach the upcoming election season to elect our town representatives, there will be increased communications and information shared by the candidates. I encourage you as citizens to do your homework, ask questions and get to know the facts so you can make informed decisions at the polls in November.
Finally, I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our newest Chapin Police officer Walker Campbell. Law enforcement and public safety runs in his blood as his grandfather Robert Smith was Chapin’s first police chief. His father Dan Campbell is a retired Lexington County Sheriff’s deputy and his uncle Scott Smith continues to serve with the sheriff’s department. I first met Walker when he was part of our Explorer’s Post and am thrilled that he pursued his passion to follow in his family’s footsteps and is now part of our police department. Please welcome him as you come in contact with him in the community.