By: Natalie M. Zeigler
2017 is coming to an end. It has been another year of change and growth. Despite challenges, we celebrate more victories and progress. As a community we continue to define Hartsville as a premiere small southern city. The City continues to better serve the needs of residents while creating more incentives for visitors and new business to our area. We’re reflecting on all that we have accomplished, together, and looking forward to what’s next in 2018.
The last twelve months saw several blighted properties torn down, including the long dilapidated Lincoln Village. SCDOT started work on projects to make navigating the city easier for drivers and pedestrians: new footways, repaired crosswalks, and the beginning of construction on a roundabout joining Home Avenue, Carolina Avenue and Fourteenth Street. There are new Hartsville tourism billboards along Highway 151 and more planned for major roadways and interstates as well as plans for wayfinding sign installation.
Our revitalization efforts were celebrated. Main Street Hartsville and the City of Hartsville received the 2017 Main Street South Carolina Outstanding Public/Private Partnership Award. The award was in recognition of the public/private partnership that has lead to successful achievements such as the transformation along East College Avenue, which includes the Mantissa Row retail corridor. This year the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC), presented Hartsville with the MASC Achievement Award. Hartsville beat out 32 other cities of similar population to win this distinction. Also in 2017, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety awarded the Hartsville Police Department with agency of the year for its size, after officers made 93 DUI arrests in 2016.
Moving forward, the new year will bring heightened engagement with our citizens and new features to the community. We expect to see the completion of the expansion to the Piratesville Splash Pad. The new waterpark will host a capacity of 1,300 visitors, more than eight times the current Splash Pad. Guests will be able to enjoy a 1,000-foot lazy river, a wave pool, a speed body slide, a pair of tubular water slides and three mat racing slides. Cabana rentals, party huts, and food trucks will also assist in making the new waterpark a celebrated destination for residents and visitors.
EdVenture will open its satellite location in downtown Hartsville in 2018. The site, located at 146 W. Carolina Ave, will provide area families with exhibits and programs focused on literacy, art, math and science. The City of Hartsville worked hard to secure the building for the new museum and pledged to support a portion of the operating costs. Community sponsors have also dedicated more than $1 million for building renovations; exhibit design, construction, and underwriting admission discounts for economically fragile families. The arrival of EdVenture acts as proof of a commitment to strengthening the City’s base.
I look forward to all that 2018 has in store for our city. Our work is far from over but I know we are equipped to make Hartsville one of the best cities in the South.
Natalie Zeigler is the City Manager of Hartsville. For more information, call City Hall at 843-383-3015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.