Sully's Scoop

  • Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Q. I have never seen this addressed in the paper and the kudzu is taking over this town, as it seems to be doing all over the South. It's heartbreaking to see what it's doing to the live oaks along Mathis Ferry Road, especially near Von Kolnitz. Do you know if the town plans any action? – Carol Monahan, Mount Pleasant

A. “I am only aware of four areas of kudzu in town: Long Point Road at Snee Farm, Long Point Road at the Longpoint subdivision and cemetery, Highway 17 at Boone Hall near Eggs Up Grill, and properties adjacent to the Trident Tech campus. Portions of Mathis Ferry Road, Long Point Road and other roads with wooded edges do have various other vines overtopping and in severe cases, killing vegetation.

On Mathis Ferry Road specifically in 2009 and 2010, the town embarked on a project that not only added plantings and removed some hazard trees, but also performed some vine and invasive species reduction on town-owned properties along Mathis Ferry Road. This resulted in invasive species and vines being selectively removed, releasing and benefitting surrounding vegetation. The town also changed the Mathis Ferry Road buffer ordinance, which previously protected all plants, including vines to allow the selective removal of vines and invasive species. Unfortunately, most of the vines originate on private property and other than in conjunction with redevelopment of properties, the town is unable to force property owners to remove their vines.

Many of the vines present are native vines like muscadine and greenbriar, but they can suppress trees equally well as invasive vines like wisteria and kudzu.

Prior to this work in 2008, the town, in conjunction with Stuhrs Funeral Home, performed a demonstration project between their entrance and Hamlet Square Lane which removed a mass of vines that had already overtopped and killed everything below and replanted native shrubs and trees back in their place. Similarly, with construction of the Long Point Road roundabout, some vine reduction was performed along the project limits against Snee Farm with some replantings.

In addition to the town vine removal efforts and ordinance revision noted above, the town more recently worked with South Carolina Electric and Gas to put a portion of power lines on Mathis Ferry Road underground. We are currently planning the second phase of the Mathis Ferry Road power-line underground project to enhance and protect the Mathis Ferry buffer and live oaks along this stretch of scenic road.” – Eddie Bernard, RLA, LEED AP, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Risk Assessor, Town of Mount Pleasant Planning Department

I have two related questions, concerning our electric utilities:

1. If the whole electric grid is tied together, why am I disallowed by my home's location from exercising the option to sign up with a local electric cooperative? Surely the little electrons don't discriminate by neighborhood; why should the electricity-providing companies?

2. If I don't have a choice as to my provider of electricity, why do the utilities (which are granted monopolies) have to spend MY money on advertising? Do they seriously believe that anyone would be “on the fence” deciding whether or not to have electric service at their home or business? And that person or business would make the choice to have electric service or not, based on the utility's advertising? Especially what I believe is the fairly expensive TV advertising? The only people who can be reached by the utility's TV advertising are those who already purchase electricity. Wouldn't the millions of advertising dollars be better spent on: improving efficiency, improving customer service, improving alternate (non-polluting) methods of power generation? – Tony Borowiecki, Mount Pleasant

A. “Electric service territories were assigned by the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina in accordance with state law.

You can find the specific details about the law here: Code Ann. 58-27-610, www.bit.ly/1lEssPA. Also, here is a link to the PSC's territorial map: www.1.usa.gov/1neO8Zw.

Customers do pay for improvements in efficiency, improvements in customer service and our research towards alternate methods of power generation. Our advertising is intended to communicate what our company is about, educate on the services we offer and share our vision for providing reliable energy for South Carolina. Shareholders pay for our branding ads.” – Kim Asbill, Public Affairs, South Carolina Electric and Gas

Send questions to Sully's Scoop at editor@moultrienews.com.

For more updates from the desk of the Moultrie News editor, Sully Witte, please follow Sully's Scoop on Twitter @SullysScoop and like Sully's Scoop Facebook page.

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