Town Ties Up Loose Ends

BLYTHEWOOD (Dec. 31, 2015) – Acknowledging that the heretofore piecemeal maintenance of the landscaping at Blythewood Road and the I-77 interchange has long been the target of complaints from citizens, Town Council addressed the issue Monday evening, voting unanimously to assign all the maintenance work to one contractor, Tobias Services of Blythewood, instead of dividing it among several contractors as they have in the past.

The winning bid was $14,875 and includes: mowing 12 times annually, weeding four times annually and pine straw application and pruning one time each during the year.

“We’ve been fighting this thing, trying to get it to look like we thought it would,” Mayor J. Michael Ross said. “If we don’t do something like this, it’s going to continue to look like it does now. I guess we just didn’t have the foresight, but I think we’ve got a great bid now and I’m happy that we have a Blythewood company doing all the work.”

Councilman Eddie Baughman suggested that the Town’s landscaped plot at mile marker 32, on the Fairfield County line, should also be included with the Blythewood Road/I-77 interchange landscaping when the work is bid out next year.

Comp Plan Passes First Reading

With an increased focus on economic development and more industry for the Town this past year, Council voted unanimously (5-0) on Monday evening to pass the first of two readings to update the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. In the works for almost a year, the Comp Plan also presents all new demographics for the 29016 community and a complete and accurate mapping of utilities in the Town.

“We’ve already seen the results of this new emphasis on the economic development component of the Comp Plan in the recent industrial zoning of 650 acres on the west side of I-77,” the Town’s Planning Consultant Michael Criss told The Voice before the meeting.

Town Administrator Gary Parker pointed out that the mapping of the water, sewer and other utilities will be important for new businesses and new development coming to the town.

Manor Addition

Crunched for office space in Town Hall and needing an on-site office at the Manor for its Director, Steve Hasterok, Parker has been campaigning since last summer to expand The Manor to create that space. The Town’s Architectural Consultant Matt Davis of Davis Architecture designed an expansion that includes two new offices as well as a bridal dressing room by enclosing the left and right sides of the front porch of The Manor. The winning construction bid was submitted by CGI Development of Columbia for $63,500. Construction is expected to start in January and be finished in six to eight weeks. The vote in favor of the bid was 4-1 with Councilman Tom Utroska objecting, saying he feels the addition is unnecessary.

Park Trees Removal

With mounting concern about tree limbs overhanging the playground area and walking trail of the Town Park, Council accepted a bid from Sox and Freeman of Columbia to remove six large trees that pose potential dangers to park-goers, trim one tree and monitor several others. The winning bid totaled $10,285. About 25 trees were initially assessed by an arborist and the bids were based on his specifications for removal and maintenance.

“All of the assessed trees were impacted by the construction and development of the park site in varying degrees,” Parker said.


New Town Council member Larry D. Griffin not only attended his first meeting as an elected official Monday evening, but also helped pass first reading for the voluntary annexation of the property of his neighbors, longtime Blythewood residents James and Marjorie Glymph, into the town. The property is located at 355 Langford Road.

Annual Retreat

Reviewing the proposed agenda for Council’s annual retreat to be held Saturday, Feb. 27 at The Manor, Parker said the primary focus of the meeting should be to plan for the Town’s imminent growth and the services that will be needed to serve that growth. Those services would include determining the staffing and funding levels needed.

Parker suggested the Council should revisit the ‘town vision’ presented in the Master Plan and decide whether a walkable community is possible for Blythewood and, if so, what should be done to make it happen.

Traffic and road improvements will also be on the agenda, Parker said, with emphasis on how to make the long-discussed Blythewood/Langford Road re-alignment a reality.

The monthly Town Council workshop will be held Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 9 a.m. – noon. Council’s annual retreat will be held at The Manor, Saturday, Feb. 27, and the public is invited to attend.


Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]