News Briefs: Cameras protect Arrowhead Park, Cheraw begins to re-open, Hotel Developments, and more!

The Cheraw Recreation and Leisure Services Department is excited to announce the installation of 25 new cameras at Arrowhead Park.  The new cameras are located around the park to improve park security and safety.  The system will provide comprehensive views of the park; including the ball fields, exercise equipment, and all parts of the walking trail.  We want people to feel secure in all parts of the park.  The system provides a new layer of security for park users, and our goal is to encourage the maximum utilization of park facilities and resources.


For those who have visited Riverside Park in the last year, you probably noticed the heavy machinery and construction site near the river bank.  This work is part of an Erosion Control Project to protect the river bank and increase public access to the Pee Dee River.  Once complete the site will contain new sidewalks and two handicap accessible fishing docks..  These docks will be able to withstand any flood that might come to Cheraw.  Work stalled over the last year due to the unpredictable nature of the Great Pee Dee River.  In order to pour the docks' concrete footings, the river had to be below 6 feet deep.  The river recently dropped below 6 feet long enough to pour the footings and work has resumed.  The project should be complete by the end of August.  We are so excited to see this project come to fruition!


This year the Town raised our base rates for water and sewer.  While no one enjoys higher water rates, it is necessary to upgrade our aging water and sewer system to ensure that these services remain available to our residents.  To see how Cheraw’s new rates compare to other cities and towns in South Carolina please head over to the Rural Infrastructure Authority Website. Within the next few years Cheraw is expected to spend roughly 9 million dollars on water and sewer improvements.  While the Town did have to raise rates we can proudly say that thanks to the work of the Mayor, Town Council, and Town staff, only a portion of that amount will have to be paid by our water and sewer customers.

In order to pay for the upgrades the Town secured:

  1. A Rural Infrastructure Authority Grant of $500,000
  2. A State Revolving Fund Grant of $1,188,000
  3. A second Rural Instructure Authority Grant of $187,000
  4. A Economic Development Administration Grant of $825,000

The remaining amount will be paid for by a loan with a low 1% interest rate, down from 1.8% thanks to efforts of the Town.  This work will ensure that the Town can reliably provide water and sewer to our customers well into the future. 


Town Council and staff firmly believe in the importance of applying for grants.  Any time the Town is awarded a grant, it allows the investment of tax money into other projects.  While no grant is ever guaranteed, the Town has recently applied for the following grants.

  1. The Town has applied for a gang investigator to help combat gang activity within the Town of Cheraw.  The grant would pay 100% of the costs associated with a detective for 3 years, including salary and equipment.
  2. As many of you remember Hurricane Florence damaged numerous buildings within the Town.  The South Carolina Department of Archives and History released funding to repair historic buildings damaged by Florence.  Town staff applied for $180,000 to repair the Cheraw Health Department Building, the Robert Smalls School, and the Police Department Annex.
  3. Recently Town staff completed a survey of residents living along the area of Godfrey and Howard Streets to start the process of applying for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant.  If the Town receives the money it will be used to repave roads, improve public safety, improve storm drainage, and demolish dilapidated properties.
  4. Town staff applied for a Justice Assistance Grant to receive a new K-9 police vehicle.
  5. The Town is applying for a $300,000 grant to upgrade and modernize all the lighting at Arrowhead Park for the football, baseball, and soccer fields.
  6. The Town received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to remove flight clearance obstructions around the Cheraw Municipal Airport.
  7. The Town applied for a grant of 50 trees to beautify our parks and roads from Palmetto Pride.

The Town will continue to actively seek out grant opportunities to improve Cheraw.


We are pleased to announce that thanks to the hard work of our Fire Department Cheraw is now Fire Safe South Carolina Community.  This program started in June of 2017 to help prevent fire related injuries through public outreach, training, and sharing resources. Projects completed by our Fire Department include partnering with the American Red Cross to complete a Smoke Alarm Blitz and partnering with civic groups and churches to promote fire safety in the home. Out of 464 fire departments in South Carolina only 57 have achieved this distinction. Thanks for keeping us safe!

The Hotel Project in Downtown Cheraw took a giant step forward this past week.  Closing on all 8  pieces of property required for the project has started.  You can keep an eye on the downtown skyline for future developments!

We are excited to announce that the Recreation and Leisure Services Department will begin the process of re-opening with new safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Town of Cheraw will soon allow dance, gymnastics, and exercise classes to resume as proper social distancing can be maintained during these activities.  Masks will be required and any time a registration fee is required there will be an additional $5 sanitation fee.  Spectators will not be allowed to attend any classes.  This re-opening is based on consultation with recreation departments throughout South Carolina and the Governor's recommendations.

The Town will soon begin taking registrations for football, soccer, and cheerleading.  We hope to hold these activities in the near future but we will follow the schedule of the High School League.

Recreation and Leisure Services staff will continue to monitor re-openings in the state and make recommendations for re-opening when it is safe to do so. The Town will remain flexible on allowing activities to resume but we are relying on the public to practice social distancing and be safe.  Should the public fail to practice required safety measures the Town will have to suspend activities again until it is safe to resume.  Group activities, facility rentals, and activities at the Theatre on the Green will not resume until a later date.


While the Theatre on the Green will remain closed there is still an opportunity to bring live theater into your home.  Head over to the Cheraw Arts Commission Facebook page  to view “The Ugly Duckling” by Porkchop Productions!  The show will be available today at 4PM until Saturday August 8th 4PM.  Tune in!


Other news

  • The Cheraw Town Council will meet on Tuesday, August 11th at 5:30 PM in Town Hall.
  • Town Hall will be open to the public on a limited basis starting on Tuesday, August 11th for people to pay water bills, pay business licenses, or pick up building permits.  Town offices and restrooms will remain closed to the public.