Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jan 2003
Source: Times and Democrat, The (SC)
Contact:  2002, The Times and Democrat
Author: Gloria M. James, T&D Holly Hill Correspondent
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


HOLLY HILL -- Good Samaritans came bearing a valuable gift for the town's 
police department at the Jan. 21 Holly Hill Town Council meeting.

Mayesville Police Chief Paul McCombs, along with his wife Eydie McCombs, 
presented the town with a dog trained to detect illicit drugs. The drug 
dog, whose name is "Cain," is valued at $5,000.

Since the McCombs are trainers, they agreed to train Holly Hill police 
officers how to handle the dog. Ace Hardware donated a large dog kennel to 
house the drug dog.

Mayor David L. Whitehead presented the McCombs with a certificate of 

Holly Hill Police Chief William Younginer told the council that on Jan. 19, 
an officer stopped a truck for speeding near McCoy Street and discovered 
that the driver, Jimmy Joe Martin, 33, of Goose Creek, was driving with a 
suspended license. The officer also smelled marijuana during the stop, 
giving him probable cause to search the truck.

A passenger in the truck, David Cuttles, 26, of North Charleston, was 
charged, along with Martin, after 3.8 pounds of marijuana and $13,000 in 
cash were found in the vehicle. Both the truck and the $13,000, along with 
the illegal drugs, were seized. Younginer said both men were bonded out of 
jail the next day.

Kirk Nivens, building inspector, updated the council on his progress. He 
said 80 percent of his effort is spent on enforcing property maintenance.

"I've issued more than 100 orders to property owners," Nivens said, adding 
that any burned out buildings must be repaired within 90 days of the order.

Nivens said some of the orders issued on property maintenance cover 
buildings or lots with weeds more than 10 inches high. He said keeping 
vacant properties cleared and cleaned up and in compliance with the town's 
codes will prevent citations from being issued.

"This is not a popular job because enforcement of building codes is a 
matter of law," Nivens said. "The law will be applied uniformly across the 
board to anyone found in violation of the codes."

Portable business signs can only be used in the town until October 2003, he 
said. After that, all non-conforming signs will have to be removed, or 
citations will be issued. Nivens said there are currently about 15 signs in 
Holly Hill that are out of compliance.

If a business is in doubt about their sign satisfying the codes, they can 
call Holly Hill Town Hall for clarification, he said. He said citizens can 
also request additional time to correct violations, providing they are 
willing to comply with the building codes, specifically regarding repairs 
and overall property maintenance.

Mary Mims, a Holly Hill business owner and member of the Depot Committee, 
inquired about the unsightly condition of some of the storefronts downtown, 
and Lillie Ann Heyward, a Holly Hill resident and member of the Francis 
Folk Park Committee, added, "General housekeeping is needed downtown to 
give the businesses a facelift."

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fields also complained about violations of building 
codes. They cited an unsanitary property on Carolina Avenue that was not 
being maintained. The couple urged the council to ensure that "the building 
codes and ordinances are strictly enforced for everybody, not just some of 
the citizens."

Also during the meeting, Francis Folk Park Committee Chairman Nicky Goodwin 
said the new concession stand, scorer's box, picnic shelter and other 
improvements had been completed. Additional property was purchased in 
conjunction with some land that was donated. The additional two tracts of 
land will be utilized to expand the park, Goodwin said.

Holly Hill has completed its three-year commitment with Clemson University 
for its summer recreation program, and the town will coordinate this year's 
program with Orangeburg County's summer recreation program, reported Goodwin.

Carlton Connor of the Gilmore House and Park Committee, who also serves as 
chairman of the Holly Hill Downtown Revitalization Committee, reported that 
he was dealing with a drainage problem at the park.

He said the committee plans to have a walking trail at Gilmore Park. He 
also reported that Frank Owens Construction Co. submitted a proposal for 
the renovation and restoration of the Gilmore House. He said the proposal 
is to survey the house and prepare specifications for bids on the work 
needed at a total cost of $500. The council members voted unanimously to 
accept the proposal.

In his report on downtown revitalization, Connor said phase one of the 
project had been completed. Phase two will include creation of a lighted 
parking area, the planting of flowers and the additional of benches and a 

In other business:

- -- Buster Parler, chairman of the Depot Committee, reported that the 
committee has about $2,500 available for improvement of the depot's 
appearance, including improving the lighting in the meeting room, 
purchasing a roll-about buffet, painting the trim at the depot and 
repairing the depot floor.

The council approved the painting of the depot.

- -- Glenn Littlejohn, chairman of the planning commission reported that the 
commission had been inactive for the past two years. He asked that the 
council appoint its planning commission and announce appointees at the next 
meeting. The mayor and council members agreed to appoint planning 
commission members for two-year terms.

- -- The council was informed that a community forum to discuss a 
transportation grant will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 at the Holly Hill 
Depot. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager