Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Like a ship without a rudder, Mount Pleasant is plowing ahead seemingly in spite of itself. Last year we were looking at a new $21,000,000 town hall and highway 17 was being planted and illuminated at a frantic pace. This year we are having property taxes, business license fees, permitting fees and stormwater fees raised. We have also seen Coleman Boulevard populated at ever-increasing densities, but now we are seeing changes in that plan happening at a pace that makes everyone nervous, including the developers. Council meetings are never complete without a requested change to the comprehensive plan. The fact is the town council has become completely reactionary to anyone who comes through the door. It is time to face the facts. Mount Pleasant has once again exploded due to residential growth. Schools are full, roads are crowded and we continue on a path that encourages the type of growth that will not pay for itself. Economic development was cast aside every time a developer or investor wanted to make a fast buck by rezoning property from commercial or economic development to residential. After all, everyone wants to live in Mount Pleasant and residential development can turn the land quickly. Now the town wants to hire an economic development coordinator. After all the rezonings, how much land is there for economic development? What light, clean industry can or would come to Mount Pleasant? New employees will find traffic and crowded schools. In its effort to be everything to everyone, Mount Pleasant has run itself into a corner. Four years ago, Mayor Swails threw the doors open and now we simply have more residents than our infrastructure can accommodate. The only alternatives left are to manage growth, especially the 1,000 or so residences currently planned along Rifle Range Road, or continue to raise taxes. Once the developers leave, we the taxpayer will be left to pay for the maintenance and build new infrastructure. Remember, Mayor Page said as reported in the Post and Courier that she wished the tax and fee increases had been done sooner and were larger. Oh, and if the money was on hand for a new town hall, could some of that $21,000,000 have been spent to improve the drainage in the TIF Districts avoiding a 100 percent increase in stormwater fees?
Red Cross Month
March is Red Cross Month and the American Red Cross would like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers and supporters for enabling us to provide our vital services to our communities.
During the recent winter storm, Red Cross mobilized more than 100 volunteers to assist those that were left cold and hungry by widespread power outages throughout the Palmetto S.C. Region. We opened 29 shelters in our region including seven in the Lowcountry, and we served more than 26,000 meals and snacks in conjunction with our partners.
Because people in our community gave of their time, treasure and blood, Red Cross was able to help 5,689 people affected by disasters in our region last year, distribute 119,735 units of blood to area hospitals, assist 2,653 military families and train 7,569 people in lifesaving skills.
We thank those who generously give of their time, treasure and blood so that we can continue our work, and we encourage everyone to join Red Cross in helping their neighbors. That vital work could not be done without the support of our volunteers who selflessly give of their time to give back through the American Red Cross.
Our volunteer to staff ratio is an impressive 168 to one! The Red Cross is a true volunteer organization. March is a great time to become part of the Red Cross by doing such things as developing a preparedness plan for the household, becoming a volunteer, giving blood, taking a Red Cross class and making a financial donation to support Red Cross services to our community.
Carolina Lowcountry Chapter