CTC Pledges Sidewalk Funds for Ridgeway

Committee Member ‘Offended’

WINNSBORO – Although two members of the County Transportation Committee chided Ridgeway Town Councilwoman Angela Harrison for opening remarks in which she referred to a partially CTC funded sidewalk project in Jenkinsville as a “sidewalk to nowhere,” the CTC during their Sept. 29 meeting voted unanimously to provide up to $9,000 for sidewalk repairs in Ridgeway.

The Committee also agreed in principal to work with Ridgeway on a more extensive sidewalk project of $50,000 once the details of that project are worked out.

“We would kind of like to structure it the same way you did Jenkinsville; however this would not be a ‘sidewalk to nowhere,’ it would be a sidewalk to somewhere,” Harrison told the Committee.

Last year, the CTC partnered with County Council to provide $100,000 in matching funds for a Department of Transportation (DOT) grant to the town of Jenkinsville to complete a sidewalk near Lake Monticello Park. The County, in a narrow 4-3 vote, agreed to kick in $50,000, while the CTC approved the other $50,000, paid in two equal annual increments.

Prior to the CTC’s vote in February 2015 to help fund the project, Dawkins resident Jeff Schaffer told the Committee that the sidewalk project was “a joke” and “a waste of County money.” Schaffer told the CTC that the “sidewalk starts nowhere and goes nowhere.”

Harrison’s remark did not sit well with two CTC members on Sept. 29.

“I enjoyed your presentation,” CTC member Clifton Hendrix told Harrison, “but I was offended when you said about Jenkinsville, the project –”

“I’m sorry,” Harrison apologized, “but that’s what I’ve heard from all our citizens.”

“Let me finish,” Hendrix said. “The people in Jenkinsville, their lives are just as precious as the lives in Ridgeway.”

“Yes sir. Amen. I believe that,” Harrison said.

CTC Chairman David Williams also lightly admonished Harrison for her remarks, but said she was “forgiven.”

Williams then questioned Harrison about the estimates on the sidewalk repairs.

“On your repairs, you’re currently at $7,000,” Williams said, “but you’ve got another bid that’s $9,000, so you don’t really know what the bid is. You say (in your request) ‘in addition the Town of Ridgeway is requesting $7,000 in C-funds for sidewalk repairs,’ but you’re saying it’s $9,000. It needs to be $7,624.18, if that’s what it is.”

Harrison said she was waiting on the final figures from Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring.

Last February, Ridgeway Town Council approved a $5,000 estimate to repair approximately 200 feet of sidewalk between the Lopez house and the Post Office on S. Palmer Street, with local resident Dwight Robertson donating the labor. But three months later, Council backed off the deal when the bid was revised to $5,900. The revision, which was to meet DOT requirements, sent the estimate over the $5,000 threshold for no-bid jobs, and Council was required to seek additional bids on the project.

Robertson’s offer was the lower of two bids, the second coming in at $8,200 from M C Rowe Construction.

At Council’s May 12 meeting, Councilman Heath Cookendorfer said he had received negative feedback from citizens who were concerned about the Town spending money on a state-owned sidewalk.

Sidewalk repair failed during the May 12 meeting on a 2-3 vote, with Herring and Doug Porter voting in favor and Cookendorfer, Donald Prioleau and Harrison voting against.

Ridgeway’s pending $50,000 request would cover adding sidewalks to the south end of town, Harrison said, down Highway 34 past Bishop Squirewell Road, as well as near the old Ridgeway School property where the Town plans to construct a playground.

Blue Bird Lane

CTC Engineer Bill Coleman told the Committee that while Blue Bird Lane in District 2 is on the list of roads likely to be paved in 2017, paving it would not make sense unless Wateree Creek Valley Road is also paved. But to pave them both would require an amendment by County Council to the road paving points program ordinance.

“Wateree Creek (Valley) Road is about a half-mile long and its gravel, its dirt,” Coleman said. “I can’t see paving a 400-foot Blue Bird Lane and not paving Wateree Creek Valley. In this case, you’ve got a little short road that’s due to be paved, but you’ve got to go through a half a mile of gravel road to get to it, so it doesn’t make sense to me to pave the short road without paving the other road.”

Coleman recommended putting Blue Bird Lane off another year and paving Skylar Lane in its stead. Meanwhile, the CTC would ask the County to amend the ordinance to read, in part: “this amendment applies to any road that becomes eligible for paving based on priority points. If the eligible road begins on an unpaved county road, the unpaved county road will be paved as part of the eligible road.”

2017 Roads List

The CTC approved the 2017 paving list, which, Coleman pointed out, would be followed until funding ran out. Roads not paved in 2017 would be carried over to the 2018 list. Those roads are:

High Hill Lane (District 4, 303 feet); Elbow Circle (District 1, 1,938 feet); Rainbow Cove Road (District 2, 386 feet), Cypress Drive (District 3, 901 feet); Bob’s Point Lane (District 4, 2,275 feet); Shoemaker Lane (District 5, 1,356 feet); Valencia Road (District 7, 1,000 feet); Deck Drive (District 1, 520 feet); Hickory Nut Lane (District 2, 312 feet); Stoney Trace (District 3, 3,030 feet); High Hill Road (District 1,604 feet); Creighton Road (District 5, 984 feet); Horse Creek Road (District 7, 2,340 feet); Pineneedle Lane (District 1, 520 feet); Skylark Lane (District 2, 338 feet); and Rosewood Lane (District 3, 3,249 feet).

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