‘People just don’t care’: Council: Communities, churches could pitch in to clean up county

2013-02-22T03:00:00Z ‘People just don’t care’: Council: Communities, churches could pitch in to clean up countyBy LEE HENDREN, T&D Government Writer The Times and Democrat
February 22, 2013 3:00 am  • 

“Orangeburg is a dirty place. They throw garbage on my street all the time, and I’m tired of sweeping it up,” William Johnson complained to Orangeburg County Council on Tuesday.

“Somehow we have to involve the churches. They say cleanliness is next to godliness. Let’s clean up this place,” he said.

“We’ve got to work on these sore-eyes sites,” agreed Councilman Johnny Ravenell, who has brought up the issue at previous council meetings. The county has only two litter control officers. “That’s not enough,” he said. “I’m going to lobby for more manpower.”

Ravenell suggested that church congregations can adopt the streets a half-mile in each direction from their church building.

“We shouldn’t impose this on our churches,” Councilman Willie B. Owens responded. “If every community would pitch in, we’d have a cleaner county. We’ve got people sitting in the county jail who could help us a whole lot.”

County Administrator Harold Young said inmates are being used for roadside cleanups.

“People are throwing out tables, mattresses, rugs, everything there is, on the side of the road. It looks like a landfill,” Councilwoman Janie Cooper-Smith said. “People have got to be responsible, and the responsibility is just not there. People just don’t care. Is Adopt-A-Highway still in existence?”

Owens said, “What I want to see is a couple of thousand-dollar tickets issued. You would be surprised how that would help.”

Louis Rivers offered the assistance of the motorcycle club he founded, the Big Tyme Ryders, to help clean up litter. He and four fellow club members attended the meeting in their bright red and black attire.

A few minutes earlier, council had voted to support Rivers’ request for rezoning of his property at 9238 Charleston Highway, southeast of Bowman, to allow the continued operation of a facility for club meetings and social occasions. He had built the facility before learning that the zoning did not allow it.

Ravenell said some people in the area initially opposed the request, but “I went back, and they say it’s OK,” so “I have no objection.” The Planning Commission also recommended approval. Formal approval will require three readings of an ordinance.

In other business:

* Council accepted the low bid of $140,786.48 from Kelsey Gunter for the Bowman Outside Plant Splicing Project, a component of the county’s effort to bring broadband to rural areas.

* A resident of the Fox Run neighborhood asked which council district she lives in. A map shows it’s one district, but voting officials made her vote in another. Young said he will get it straightened out.

* A request from area property owners to abandon county maintenance of Pitside Drive, south of North, was postponed, perhaps permanently. “I think we’ve got the problem worked out,” Ravenell said. “The property owner and the individuals (opposing the request) are going to get together. We’ve got a working solution.”

* Council met in executive session to receive an economic development update and a legal update.

Contact the writer: lhendren@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5552.

Copyright 2015 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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