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Let’s ‘progress’ together

Posted: February 28, 2012 11:09 a.m.
Updated: February 29, 2012 5:00 a.m.

As an interested citizen in what is occurring in our county and city in regard to the “recreation” issue, I attended Public Forum No. 7 (Feb. 23) regarding the Kershaw County Recreation Master Plan Update. “This report was prepared as a guide to assist Kershaw County in developing parks, recreation and the county recreation department over the next decade. This plan includes an inventory and map of existing parks and facilities, a 3-year and 10-year recreation park and development plan with associated costs and a land acquisition plan through 2030. Overall department structure, staffing, programming, funding, and marketing strategies were also discussed.”

Approximately 30 to 40 persons were in attendance for this public meeting. County Council is to be applauded for these public forum meetings that have been held in different areas of the county in order to give all citizens an opportunity to listen to details of the plan as well as to give their individual input (what a novel idea!).

The meeting’s agenda included: welcome and Introductions -- Vic Carpenter, Kershaw County administrator, and Allen Trapp, assistant Kershaw County administrator; and opening comments and a presentation of the master plan -- James Davis, director of Kershaw County Recreation Department, and Ryan Slattery and Stephen Staley, both associates of Alliance Consulting Engineers Inc. After the presentation, the audience was given an opportunity to ask questions, submit suggestions, and make general comments. Approximately 10 people made comments with the overall theme of the group being that the county should take the lead role in developing a recreational complex for the entire county’s use and that this venture should be a Kershaw County/City of Camden partnership.

In addition, comments from those in attendance included such things as focusing on what we currently have and upgrading and maintaining those facilities; increasing the county recreational staff; improving greenway spaces; creating safe walkways for children to/from parks and recreational areas; improving and/or purchasing land for baseball, soccer, tennis, etc. areas to be used for tournament play; an indoor pool; and increased security with lighting in recreational areas, etc.  It was a most informative and well-moderated meeting, which concluded with comments by Tom Gardner and Stephen Smoak, Kershaw County Councilmen.

It was disappointing to note that there was only one city councilman in attendance at this meeting. Hopefully, other city councilmen and city staff have attended one or more of the other meetings in the county. 

If we are to “progress” as our leaders remind us so often, we must do so as a county as a whole, not just as the City of Camden. Let’s work together and make Kershaw County and Camden a place of which we can all be proud and a place that will attract “tourism.”

An on-line survey is provided in order that you, as an individual, can have input in this issue --www.kershaw.sc.gov; follow the link to Recreation Department Master Plan Questionnaire.

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