Though not on their April 17, public hearing and regular meeting agenda, Williamsburg County Council discussed abandoned and dilapidated homes littering several communities within the county.
A problem that has been plaguing Williamsburg County for some time was addressed with fervor during Williams-burg County Council’s April 17, public hearing and regular council meeting. Williamsburg County Code Enforcement Director Michael Smith was brought before council to address a written complaint regarding numerous abandon and dilapidated homes littering several communities.
Smith, who inherited the challenge, said prior to receiving the complaint signed by Councilman Frankie Fulmore, the department had addressed one home and a subdivision. “I got a letter from the owner of that subdivision requesting more time because there are so many mobile homes abandoned in that subdivision and I granted him the time to complete - and what he has done so far, he’s been doing a good job,” said Smith. However, Smith said he asked Fulmore to provide the addresses to nine additional homes. “Not knowing the addresses, to get started on a situation like that will be kind of tough because we don’t know where these buildings will be at. So we requested that information and at this time we haven’t received that information.”
According to county ordinance a complaint regarding unfit dwellings may be filed with the county supervisor, code enforcement director or other designated representatives or departments. In addition, at least five residents who have portions of their property within 2,000 feet of the property can file a complaint. “If that doesn’t exist then it would be hard, unless myself or Mr. McCrea actually ride through this neighborhood and notice these area that’s been mentioned.” Fulmore pointed to Smith’s position saying that riding is what he should do. Fulmore also said he understood Smith is short handed and pointed to a position included in last year’s budget that wasn’t filled. “I don’t know what happened,” said Fulmore. “I know that you need help. And I hope and pray that this year when we put that person in the budget that whoever is in charge lets you hire the person that we put in the budget so that you can do a little bit more.”
However, Smith reiterated the key to moving on the eye sores is in the hands of the citizens. “Once I get these forms I can act,” said Smith. “Once there is a parcel number on a piece of property or address brought to this office then we can act on it.” Complaint forms are available at the Williamsburg County Complex at 147 West Main Street and will soon be posted on the county website at www.williamsburgcounty.sc.org. For more information, you may contact code enforcement at (843) 355-9321. In other business, council is taking steps to clear a water line that has caused problems in the Green Acres community.
The matter was brought up by a concerned citizen. Rainwater collects in the drainage ditches on several streets - oftentimes becoming stagnant and allowing for mosquito infestation. Williamsburg County Supervisor Stanley Pasley said as soon as access to easements is granted activity will begin. “Once we finalize access for the easement I think that will help with some of the drainage issues,” he said. In addition, the citizen requested council address roadside maintenance and speeding along streets such as Epps Road and Eastland Avenue. Pasley addressed those issues, as well as the drainage, are a collaborative effort between the city, county, and state. “When you look at the roads’ issues as it relates to controlling speed of the traffic, that would be the state as well as the county,” said Pasley. “I know you talk about the sheriff but the state highway patrol could also be a part of it and that would be the legislative delegation...Those individuals would be the direction where you would want to communicate.” Highway maintenance is provided by the state that contracts with private companies. Pasley added that he and council are open to attending community meetings in an attempt to answer questions citizens may have regarding these and other issues.