It’s time to talk growth in Cottageville

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We recently brought a few stories to you, our readers, about improvements and purchases happening in the Town of Cottageville. 

One story was about a volunteer group that is working with the town’s elected leaders to clean up the town’s only public park. The town provides for the supplies, like trash bags and cleaning supplies, and the volunteers are the ones actually cleaning toilets and dumping trash. The group also wants to work with the town’s council and mayor to help fundraise, all in an effort to add to the park’s amenities. 

This group should be commended for their all of their efforts. We believe more people should take on the responsibility of helping to clean their own town and their own parks. 

In a separate story, we told you about the town’s police force again expanding its vehicle fleet. This time around, the small police department has purchased trucks for its officers to use. The reason given was because of the town’s terrain: given the wooded areas and the flooding that can occur in and around the town, officers said they felt that trucks made more sense to use than cars. 

With all of this said, we see a theme emerging: growth. 

Cottageville has long been troubled with the riddle of “to grow or not to grow.” Some elected leaders have fought it, with the backing of a majority of the residents voicing their desire to stay small. The current administration, which is elected, has vocalized their collective desire to grow – in small stages. The park is one such example. The expanding police fleet and the money that the police department brings the town is another such example. 

Creating more amenities in Cottageville, like more park playground equipment, seems like a logical next step. As does adding water and sewer, more street lighting and calling for the question of annexation of residents who live immediately outside the town’s 1-mile-wide limits. 

We’ve said it for more than two decades, and it has been happening, slowly. Growth is creeping toward Cottageville. Now, however, that growth pattern has hastened from a creep to a steady trot. The once distanced community of Givhans isn’t so far away anymore, with entire new developments in nearby Dorchester County pushing their way toward the Edisto River – and closer to Cottageville. This isn’t breaking news. It’s happening. So, isn’t it time for Cottageville residents to begin talking more about the money that their town has, and what to do with it to better their own community? Should more residents be annexed into the town, for public services? Should the town begin adding more ordinances to its books in preparation for the incoming growth, and all that comes with that, such as traffic and litter? We know growth is a sensitive word. It brings with a fear of the unknown, and a sense of negativity. But it can be exciting and add comfort to the Cottageville way of life, even growth is controlled properly and managed well. 

We think it’s time to revisit some of the classic conversations about growth in one of the last towns left between Colleton and the now bustling Dorchester County. The answers might still be the same, but let’s start asking the questions and evaluating what is happening in one of our busier Colleton County municipalities. 

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