Simpsonville festival forecast: Some sidewalks could be down

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City reviews meatier nuisance ordinance

By Steve Doyle

People who attend the upcoming Simpsonville Fall Festival may find a more comfortable place to stand to watch the annual parade: on some of newly poured downtown sidewalks along U.S. 60.

That was the hopeful message Simpsonville Mayor Steve Eden delivered to the city commission at its meeting Tuesday, saying that several big construction hurdles had been cleared and that if the weather cooperates the sidewalks on the eastern end of the project may be poured if not entirely completed – between Old Veechdale Road and Cardinal Drive.

“The contractor [Bluegrass Contracting of Lexington] has the storm drain laid from in front of the Christian Church to Henry Lee’s property [7206 Shelbyville Road],” Eden said. “They’ll have a second crew coming in right behind them to start laying the actual sidewalk.
“I hope, if the weather holds, we can get some done by fall festival on September 14th – so people won’t have to deal with all of that and have something to stand on to watch the parade.”

The sidewalks, a $618,000 project being built with the help of a $320,000 federal stimulus grant, will extend west to Fairview Drive and include benches, designer light poles and other accoutrements to create the feel of a Village Center, which is the city’s long-range plan for that area.

The fall festival is the city’s signature event, which includes a variety of games, competitions, music, food, a movie and a parade down U.S. 60. It will continue throughout the day and into the evening on Sept. 14.

Eden said the construction crews had run into all sorts of unexpected and hidden issues – most notably the time capsule discovered in front of the Christian Church – and especially around the intersection of U.S. 60 and Todds Point Road.

“This definitely was the hardest part,” Eden said. “But if we want to extend the sidewalks, say to the post office or down in front of the Baptist church, we have everything in place to make that easier.”

Said City Administrator David Eaton said. “Anything that can happen, where Todds Point intersects with U.S. 60, it’s happened.”

Eaton said the light poles for the sidewalks finally had been ordered after several revisions and that the trash cans and benches already had arrived and are in storage. One has been put together for review. “It looks real good,” he said.


Nuisance ordinance

City Attorney Hite Hays told commissioners that he had reviewed a “chronic nuisance ordinance” put in place by the city of Belleview and that he would distribute copies for the commissioners to review to see if they thought there was merit in adopting something similar.

“This deals with things like debris removal, drug-related issues, vehicles, pets, zoning regulations…

It’s pretty complete,” he said.

Eden reminded commissioners that the city already had a nuisance ordinance to deal “mostly with grass and weeds and stuff. But sometimes you have a real nuisance, and we don’t have an ordinance to address that.”

Hays said Belleview’s ordinance included fines that would have to be enforced and recognized by district court to have teeth.


Also at the meeting, commissioners:

  • Approved a new lease agreement for the house it owns at 107 Old Veechdale Road for $950 a month. The lease stipulates more upkeep on behalf of the owners and allows for the city to conduct rental inspections as officials deem necessary, as long as they announce their intentions. “A lot of the stuff was already covered,” Hays said, “[City Clerk] Debbie [Batliner] gave me some suggestions, and we firmed them up.”
  • Heard from Hays that he was intending at the next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 18, to introduce an ordinance for commissioners to consider allowing a non-exclusive franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable. He had distributed a draft agreement for the commissioners to review.
  • Heard from Eaton that construction discussions for repairs on Reserves Court were continuing with Simpsonville Public Works Director Bryan Romine and that there was hope the repairs could be completed by winter.
  • Heard from Batliner that the city’s property tax bills had been mailed as of Tuesday, a bit earlier than usual. They are due by Nov. 30.