Don’t tell Parkersville that Waccamaw Neck gets all the resources – Coastal Observer


Don’t tell Parkersville that Waccamaw Neck gets all the resources

It was standing-room only for the commission’s meeting in a library conference room.

People around Georgetown County say that when it comes to capital projects, Waccamaw Neck is the area that gets all the projects.

That isn’t what residents in the Parkersville community told the county’s Capital Projects Sales Tax Commission last week. Their community needs sidewalks and drainage improvements that have been promised for years, but never built, they said.

“We were promised for years and years and years,” said James Linen, an area resident.

The commission was created last year to solicit projects that can be funded from a new 1-cent sales tax, rank the projects and put together a referendum question for Georgetown County Council to place before voters in the November election. The six members have held weekly meetings around the county to explain the process while drafting the criteria for reviewing projects.

“This group cares a lot about the balance of the community,” Mark Hawn, who chairs the commission, told 14 people who crowded into a meeting room at the Waccamaw Library last week along with four council members.

The commission agreed at its first meeting last year that it would only accept project proposals from the entities that will actually see them through to completion. That has been a key message at each meeting.

Norman Reid, a Parkersville resident, raised the issues of sidewalks and drainage.

“This is your chance to get with the right people” who will submit those projects for sales tax funding, commission member Gary Cooper said.

But Reid said those projects have already been promised. “I’m not going to name names,” he added.

Council Member Stella Mercado said the community is part of her council district and “I’ll be happy to push that forward.”

“We did all of that,” Reid said, including gathering signatures on petitions. “We are in a confusion.”

Multi-use paths on Petigru Drive and Martin Luther King Road are part of a bike path master plan that Georgetown County adopted in 2017. The top project in the plan was the replacement of a sidewalk on Waverly Road with a multi-use path. That’s now under way.

Funds to design paths on Petigru and Martin Luther King were approved in 2020. The design for Petigru is now complete, Mercado said.

“The trust level of the Parkersville community in general of the county government is low,” said Marla Hamby, a member of the Planning Commission. “You need to have an overlooked category.”

Cooper said Parkersville isn’t the only area where residents say their needs have been overlooked.

“We’re soliciting y’all. Submit your proposals,” he said.

Hawn met this week with local and state agencies that have received notice that the commission is soliciting projects. He said he wants to make sure they understand the application process and the scoring criteria. He also wants them to understand that the commission will be helping citizens with project ideas connect with the proper agency to get them submitted by the April 1 deadline.

In the case of sidewalks, that will involve the county Public Works division.

“All this fire needs to be focused on getting these proposals done,” commission member Robert Crenshaw told Parkersville residents. “Walk out of here just as hot as you are now and make contact with these people.”

Mary Beth Klein, who lives in Pawleys Plantation, said she was concerned that Public Services would be overwhelmed with requests and doesn’t have the resources to put together the applications. Citizens themselves don’t have the resources, she added.

“I don’t know how to cost a sidewalk,” Klein said.

Walt Ackerman, the county director of Administrative Services, said the Public Works does. What will hold up a sidewalk project is getting rights of way and easements.

“We’re willing to put in the work,” said Vincent Davis, president of the Pawleys Island Civic Club.

Council Member Bob Anderson pointed out that past promises of sidewalks in Parkersville weren’t made with capital projects sales tax funding. If they are included in a successful referendum, they will be built.

But part of the commission’s task includes placing the projects in the order in which they will be funded. The tax can be imposed for up to eight years and is estimated to generate up to $10 million a year. 

If it passes in November, collections will start the following May.

The commission meets again Feb. 22 at the Howard Center in Georgetown. On Feb. 29, it will meet at the Southern Georgetown Library in the Sampit-Santee communities.



Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 129 Screven St., Georgetown. For details, go to Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave. For details, go to   , .