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On April 30, members of the Hardeeville City Council, the Jasper County Council, the city manager and the county administrator traveled to Columbia to participate in the annual “Jasper Day” at the Statehouse hosted by the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce. A Lowcountry boil lunch was served between the Senate and House office buildings and the Chamber welcomed all South Carolina state legislators and their staffs to join us for lunch and conversation.
This event is a great opportunity for the local officials of Hardeeville and Jasper County to meet with legislators and highlight the important issues facing the Lowcountry and engage in an informal and personal conversation not only with our own representatives but those from other parts of the state as well.
All five members of the Jasper Delegation stopped by and ate with us, including Sens. Tom Davis and Margie Bright Matthews, and Reps. Bill Herbkersman, Weston Newton, and Shedron Williams. Thanks to each of them for taking time out of what was quite obviously a very busy day.
Adding important influence to our team was the presence of president Danny Black and marketing director Sandy Steele of the SouthernCarolina Economic Development Alliance which brings industrial development opportunities to the seven counties of the Lowcountry.
Danny, Sandy and their team work tirelessly traveling around the world and with the Department of Commerce to entice companies to look at our part of the state for their expansion plans. Recent examples of their influence are the arrival of Waste Management in Hardeeville and Coca-Cola to Ridgeland. We thank them for their efforts on Jasper Day and every day.
I also want to thank the team at the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce, led by director Kendall Malphrus. Events like this require an enormous amount of careful planning and hard work and they always do a great job.
I’d like to acknowledge Kendall’s team, which includes staff members Julie Mingledorff, and Ainsley Daley, board members Ronnie Harvey, Lewie Davis, Lyn Boyles and volunteers Peach Morrison, Carmen Pinckney, Frankie Denmark and Penny Daley, the clerk for the town of Ridgeland.
Thanks also to Miss Jasper County Natalie Powell and Miss S.C. Teen Victoria Etheridge for adding your special charm to the occasion. I’d like to also point out that Jasper is the only county of the seven in the Alliance that holds this type of event. That shows unique leadership and initiative by the Jasper Chamber. Great job.
As reported earlier in this newspaper, a $19,000 grant was awarded to the city of Hardeeville for the new dog park that will be constructed across from the football field. That’s another big thanks to our delegation. Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Jennifer Combs presented the Council with a wonderful layout that will separate dogs by size and provide a comfortable environment for their moms and dads. This is just one phase in the master plan to renovate the Richard Gray Recreation Complex behind City Hall.
Also, in the works this summer will be the refurbishing of the basketball courts next to the new dog park, including the addition of two covered shelters (with fans!) over each court. The structure is quite impressive and can be seen over at the MC Riley fields in Bluffton. This gives the city’s basketball enthusiasts a place to play when heat or rain would otherwise stop play. Coming later will be the new children’s playground but more about that when the Council reviews the final proposals.
May is a special month for three reasons: Mother’s Day, Police Officers Memorial Day and Memorial Day.
On behalf of the City Council and all the city staff, I hope the mothers of Jasper County had a wonderful day and a special thanks to all our Veterans and First Responders for their service. Here is my prayer at the start of each Council meeting:
“Please remain standing for a moment of silence for our service men and women who have fought and died for our freedom and for all those who continue to serve around the world protecting our way of life.”
Lest We Forget.
Harry Williams is the mayor of Hardeeville.