HOLLY HILL -- The Sons of Confederate Veterans are being asked by Holly Hill Town Council not to publicly display the Confederate battle flag on property the organization owns just outside the town limits, citing a potentially negative impact on local businesses and the community.
The council at its regular meeting Monday night passed a resolution opposing the display of the Confederate battle flag on Highway 176. The resolution reads:
“The mayor and council respectfully request the Sons of Confederate Soldiers, as the owners of property on Orangeburg County with tax map number 0332-15-05-002.000, do not authorize the construction and display of the Confederate Battle Flag for public viewing due to the assumed negative impact on local businesses and the community at large."
“I want to reiterate that (the property in question) is not in the town limits,” Councilwoman Jan Wiles said. “It is not something we can actually control. We can request it be changed, but it is not in our control.”
Mayor William Johnson announced he and council members will meet with representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at Holly Hill Town Hall. The meeting will be moderated by Pastor Gralin Nix Hampton of New Way Church House of Ministries in Holly Hill, the mayor said.
“I encourage everyone to come and take part in this meeting,” Johnson said.
In other business:
- Johnson reported Deloris Brown Olin agreed to serve on the town's Planning and Zoning Committee and Gwendolyn Barksdale was named to the Orangeburg County litter cleanup team.
- The mayor reported South Carolina Department of Transportation workers had made significant progress cleaning ditches to eliminate standing water and reduce mosquito breeding habitats in the town. Johnson said he hopes the work will allow trapped water to flow out of areas where it had been trapped by debris, overgrown vegetation and wildlife activity.
- Johnson said Holly Hill is exploring the possibility of establishing a community gardening project to encourage healthy eating and teach young people about gardening. Anyone interested in participating in the program is asked to visit town hall or call 803-496-3330.
It was reported the Planning and Zoning Committee is continuing to review information provided by the Lower Savannah Council of Governments as they prepare to draft a 10-year economic plan for the town. Committee members also discovered the maps for water and sewer service in town are outdated and requested they be updated.
- Officials will meet to continue reviewing the municipal code at 4 p.m. on April 18 at town hall, it was announced. The work session is open to the public.
- Orangeburg County has begun removing dilapidated houses in the area as part of its building code enforcement, it was reported.
- The mayor reported a committee of individuals who utilize the Holly Hill Airport had presented a proposal to council. Johnson said he is continuing to reach out to state and county elected officials, along with state regulatory agencies, for information on the best way to maximize the airport’s potential value to the town.
Holly Hill Town Council's next regular meeting is scheduled on Monday, May 1.