Newberry Observer

Mayors give updates over breakfast

NEWBERRYDuring the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Mayor Breakfast, mayors from Pomaria, Whitmire, Little Mountain and Newberry talked about different happenings in their communities.

Mayor Darryl Hentz, of Pomaria, discussed repairs to their park that took place over the last year thanks to Boy Scout projects.

“Back in October 2015 we had a big flood, I don’t know how many people passed by the park last year, but it was in pretty bad shape because water went over through the park. We were fortunate enough that the Boy Scouts wanted to do a project. We told them to come in the park and we gave them plenty to do,” he said. “I think they were surprised at all the work needed in there, they earned two Merit Badges.”

In April of this year, Pomaria also had the True to the Brew Trail Run/Hike. Hentz said this was put on by the Palmetto Conservation Foundation. They contacted the town back in March and asked them to participate.

“We were very glad to participate in that. The turn out ended up being 200, and included about a dozen dogs. It was very popular, the morning after it was over, we were already talking about a second one,” he said.

In fact, the second one is already scheduled for March 30, 2019, with 350 spots open.

Hentz also took a moment to talk about the Capital Project Sales Tax, a popular topic among all the mayors. Through the project, asbestos is being removed from the Old School building, and plans for the building should be finished soon.

Moving on to Whitmire, Mayor Billy Hollingsworth talked about several important areas in their recreation department.

“We tried running our program with a committee for about two years, for reason I won’t go into. That wasn’t working out exactly the way I planned it. This year we hired a part time recreation director, he has all the qualifications, Ron Harsha,” Hollingsworth said. “He’s in his second program, he came in mid-season at baseball.”

The town is looking to expand their recreation program, right now they are in the process of building their own football field. Right now they have the goal post up, the field is ready and the sprinkler system will be installed soon.

“By 2019 we should be able to host recreation football games in Whitmire,” Hollingsworth said.

The town also installed an outdoor volleyball court recently.

When it comes to the Whitmire CPST project, Town Hall renovations, Hollingsworth said they met last week, and are hopeful that project will go out for bid in the next 30-40 days.

“We could have spent that money on something more, but that is a danger (wiring in Town Hall), and we could either use the money and remodel it, or let a fire burn it down and not have it,” he said.

In Little Mountain, Mayor Jana Jayroe discussed their CPST Project, which is the completion of the Community Center. Part of the building was finished, but the other part was not. The CPST funds will complete the building.

“We are going to have an area for our Dutch Fork Genealogy and History people to store books,” Jayroe said. “They have worked to preserve our history, and they have not had a place with heating and air to preserve their archive.”

A computer lab will also be put in, this will give the town a place with Internet access for community use. Jayroe said if you are looking for a job, it is impossible to do so without Internet.

Little Mountain has also expanded Reunion Park recently, they are currently looking into what to do with the three new lots added to the park. The park has also had repairs, thanks to the Boy Scouts.

“They put in more seating in the park, and redid part of the handicap accessible bathrooms, they are now easier to get to,” Jayroe said.

Some work has also been done at Rocky Branch Park, Jayroe said the 2015 flood hurt the park, and they are still trying to repair it.

In Newberry, Mayor Foster Senn said there was a lot to report in business news.

“In Newberry we have a lot of things we can hang our hats on, Kraft-Heinz, Samsung, Newberry Opera House, Newberry College, egg and dairy capital, we have one new one I’m going to suggest, we are the home of great coffee shops, and growing coffee shops,” he said. “We already had a couple of good places, Genesis Hub just opened and later this month Coffee House 1912 will open in Oakland Mill, along with coffee and art, she will sell some local produce.”

According to Senn, a couple of other coffee shops are looking and planning.

Newberry Yoga is now open in Newberry, with Senn saying it is a new place to get exercise. He also mentioned Steelhorse Smokehouse, which is opening in the old Flying Pie. Lorex Drugs will soon move to the Old South State Bank building.

For Newberry’s CPST, a new recreation complex out on the Highway 34 Bypass will be built. This will include a ball field, playground, spray park and a walking trail.

Mike Hawkins, Prosperity Town Council, gave an update on the Prosperity CPST. He said they have their new ball fields, and have a bunch of people participating all over the county. He said they are proud of their Recreation program in Prosperity.

Mayor Foster Senn, Mayor Jana Jayroe, Mayor Billy Hollingsworth and Mayor Darryl Hentz during the Chamber Mayor Breakfast. Foster Senn, Mayor Jana Jayroe, Mayor Billy Hollingsworth and Mayor Darryl Hentz during the Chamber Mayor Breakfast. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

By Andrew Wigger

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.