Plans to create the Black River into a centerpiece of the city are about to commence. During a December 30, special called Kingstree Town Council meeting, Town Manager Richard Treme announced the demolition of two buildings located on the Mill Street property.
Treme said initially the rebranding committee (part of the Main Street Project the town is involved in) envisioned one of the buildings with the exterior walls removed becoming an open-air shed. He said engineers decided the building would not be structurally sound.
Treme said the foundation of the building will remain intact and could serve as a stage and a place to hold public events. A concrete building beside a brick home on the site will also be torn down. The brick building will provide storage for canoe rentals and house public restrooms. Another building on the property could serve as an educational facility.
The first phase of demo is only the beginning. “This is preparing us to do something different for the community,” said Treme in a telephone interview. “We’ve talked about a lot of things but this is called the low hanging fruit I guess, something we can do now.” But the focus is on the Black River itself. “The Black River is one of the most popular rivers in the state,” said Treme. “We want to bring it up to the forefront, what we’re about here in Kingstree.” Funding for the projects is made possible through the hospitality tax as well as grants and other public monies. Treme said they are looking into those resources.