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Elgin moves forward on War Dog Memorial

Posted: August 6, 2015 5:11 p.m.
Updated: August 7, 2015 1:00 a.m.

The town of Elgin will move forward with a War Dog Heroes memorial in Potter Community Park. Elgin Town Council voted Tuesday to approve the plans. The Kershaw County Clean Community Commission (KCCCC) is sponsoring the project, which KCCCC Chairman Clifton W. Anderson Jr. proposed

Mayor Melissa Emmons updated council on the memorial committee’s progress.

“We met last week with Anderson … they have given us a drawing of what it will look like as far as the landscaping,” Emmons said.

She also informed council the memorial’s location is changing in a way she said would be beneficial and enhance the existing Elgin Military Salute.  

The committee also proposed having a two-sided sign for the new memorial, one side with information about the War Dogs Heroes, the other for the Elgin Military Salute.

“It is going to be made from a vinyl material; it will probably have a lifetime of five years,” Emmons said. “The side facing the street will say Potter Community Park and Elgin Military Salute. The side facing the field will be the actual War Dog (Heroes) memorial.”

Emmons also reported the possibility of the town seal being incorporated onto the sign. Council liked the suggestion, but discussed whether the seal would fit without having to alter how the signs would read. 

“They will have to look at space, but depending on the size of the seal, it may be on a corner. The only thing I would not want to remove is ‘Elgin.’ That was the original name when we raised funds -- it was called Elgin Military Salute -- I don’t want confusion from people who donated to Elgin Military Salute and come back and wonder why it is called something else,” Emmons said.

Anderson spoke with the committee about landscaping for the memorial which will possibly include knock-out rose bushes and other shrubs on the side of the memorial facing U.S. 1. 

“There will be another meeting to go over the information. We also requested that before the landscaper go over anything the committee will visit the site and we will have a better visual,” Emmons said. 

Emmons said the memorial may be completed by Veteran’s Day. 

Councilwoman Dana Sloan then updated council on other aspects of Potter Community Park. 

“The park committee will meet August 11 to approve and give our input on the sign of rules that’s going to go up in the park,” Sloan said.

Sloan said the rules were presented at a previous council session and would be finalized -- along with the rules sign’s appearance and location -- at the committee’s next meeting. She also said she had seen about getting lights for the park coordinated with Fairfield Electric co-op and anticipated seeing that happen in September. 

Sloan said she and Councilwoman Candy Silvers would work on getting plans underway for the park’s memorial benches.

She also asked if an email system could be established to publicize events happening in the park. Emmons said this would be possible and all events are currently posited on Elgin’s community calendar. 

“What we might want to do is also post events on Facebook when they go on the calendar,” Emmons said.

Sloan then asked if council could discuss media reporting and a media policy. She said she was concerned because of previous reports she believed to be inaccurate.  

 “Since we don’t have a policy on what is reported to the media (or on) access and control of social media … things need to be worked on,” Sloan said.

Emmons suggested a workshop be set to discuss the matter. Council set a date of Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. for the workshop. 

During new business, Habitat for Humanity of Kershaw County Executive Director Charlotte Rankin spoke to council about Habitat’s interest in building homes in Elgin.

“We just wanted to let you know we have built 38 homes -- a majority in Camden, Lugoff and a couple in Bethune -- but we haven’t done anything here.” Rankin said. 

Rankin said Habitat has had problems finding land to build a house on.

“A lot of our land is donated … we don’t typically spend a lot of money on land, we spend all our money on materials to build the house. We have looked at some land here but … we haven’t felt we’ve been able to pull the trigger yet,” Rankin said adding that the cost for land that Habitat has looked at in Elgin has been out of its price range.

“We decided to approach the realtors, if you hear of anything let us know. We want to be in Elgin, we just haven’t been able to work it out … I would like to see the next group of homeowners we select be in Elgin,” Rankin said.

In other business:

• Council voted to annex a property on Pheasant Walk into town limits.

• Emmons said there were no charity permit requests or complaints to report to council.

• New business applications were issued for EZ Package Store #1, CJ’s Restaurant & Lounge, Patriot Defensive Solutions Inc. and LJ’s @ Elgin.

• Sloan disputed the minutes of council’s June 7 meeting. She said it was incorrectly reported she asked to go into executive session to discuss the fireworks ordinance along with a disciplinary matter with an employee. Sloan said she wanted a retraction. Emmons said the minutes would be reviewed. 

• Emmons announced Elgin would host a State of the County Briefing & Breakfast sponsored by the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 28 at 7:30 a.m. The breakfast will be at CJ’s Restaurant and Lounge. “They are trying to get the bushiness in the Elgin area more involved in the chamber. This is a great way to advertise and promote their services. Chairman Julian Burns and Vic Carpenter are going to present the State of the County address to our business owners,” Emmons said.

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