A 2022 Update from Mayor Andy Ingram

I am very excited to give an update on projects in the Town of Cheraw.  We have numerous projects going on and Town staff has been very busy looking for grants to help with offsetting costs that would otherwise have to be paid by the citizens of Cheraw.  

I would first like to thank Police Chief Keith Thomas for his years of service to the people of Cheraw.  Chief Thomas joined the Cheraw Police Department in 1992 and has been Police Chief since 2014.  Chief Thomas has provided a tremendous amount of leadership and innovation to the Cheraw Police Department.  I am excited to announce that Captain Julius Riley has been appointed as the Interim-Police Chief and I look forward to working with him to continue building on Chief Thomas’s legacy.

  • Work on the Springhill Suites is moving along, and the developer hopes it will be open for business in October of 2022.  There were delays in construction due to a lack of building material from the COVID-19 Pandemic, but work is now in full swing with the brick exterior going up fast.
  • Many of you remember the flood caused by Hurricane Florence in October of 2018.  Much of this localized flooding was the product of poor storm drainage infrastructure.  Water running down a street or off a home must go somewhere, and if it has nowhere to go the flooding occurs.  The Town is working to fix problem areas in our storm drainage network.  Last year, the Town undertook a $267,000 comprehensive storm drainage study, all funded by grants from South Carolina.  The study, with the help of residents, identified four areas that are in critical need of upgrades.  Using this plan, the Town applied for a grant that would address the four areas.  The Town did secure $9 million in funding to address two of the four areas, and we will apply for more funding in the fall to address the remaining areas.  The funding is provided by the South Carolina Office of Resilience. The $9 million 100% grant will be used to correct drainage issues near Third, Second and Powe Streets while the second area will  address Church, Greene, Front Street.  No Town funds will be used in this project and the SC Office of Resilience will oversee the project, freeing up Town resources for additional projects.
  • The Town secured a $500,000 grant to make improvements to the neighborhood area involving Agerton/Godfrey Street area.  The Town Council provided a $100,000 match toward this Community Development Block Grant project and the improvements will include street paving, demolition of dilapidated houses, and security cameras to increase safety in the community.  This will be the first phase of a 3-phase project that will address problems in the area.
  • You may have noticed land clearing out near the Cheraw Municipal Airport, this is not construction activity. Rather, it is required land clearance by the Federal Aviation Administration.  The Town is in the final phase of clearing tree obstructions.  Clearing these obstructions allows airplanes to take off and land safely.  The last time the Town cleared these tree obstructions was in the 1980’s and this current project was funded by $450,000 in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and SC Aeronautics Division with the Town having to provide a 5% match of around $25,000.
  • For the past couple of years the main priority of the Town has been the construction of the new hotel in the downtown.  Now that the hotel is well underway the Town Council can focus on other projects and several of those involve recreation.  The Town recently completed clearing 10 acres of property adjacent to Arrowhead Park.  The next step will be to secure the services of an architecture firm specializing in recreation to prepare a master plan for that property, in addition to the property donated to the Town several years ago by the Wannamaker Family on the corner of Front and Powe Streets.  The Town looks forward to finding the best uses for those properties in the near future.
  • In addition to new developments the Town is preparing to upgrade the ballfield lighting at Arrowhead Park.  The current lights on the field are metal halide and the Town will be replacing them with LEDs as well as upgrading all the electrical equipment.  This $600,000 project is being partially funded by a grant from the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. 
  • While the riverfront at Riverside Park has never looked better, there is still much work to be done improving that area.  The Town has applied for $2 million in funding to make improvements to the boat landing.  Improvements would include completing the erosion control for the remaining areas of the riverfront along with putting in a new boat ramp and new boat dock.  It is critical that we maintain this facility as it is the only access to the Pee Dee River in Chesterfield County.
  • With the hotel being developed the Town Council is putting $300,000 towards downtown revitalization improvements.  Funding is being utilized on a variety of projects; new lighting, landscaping, signage, an expanded façade program, pole banners.  In addition, the Town has applied for an additional $250,000 from the National Park Service to continue historic preservation activities in downtown.  The Town is also anticipating a grant from Chesterfield County Accommodations Tax Funds that will be used for historic preservation activities on the Town Green.
  • A top priority for the Town is the future of water and sewer services.  Our current water and sewer facilities are approaching 60 years old, and although the Town is in the process of investing $12 million into the system for upgrades, but a new water treatment facility is needed.  The current water treatment plant opened for business in 1969 and has simply reached the end of its serviceable life.  The Town will begin looking for ways to build a new water treatment plant, but the cost is expected to be between $35 and $40 million dollars.  We are hopeful that grants and low interest loans will provide much of the required funding.
  • The Town received a $1.75 million dollar grant from the SC Office of Resilience to purchase homes along Huckleberry Creek where major flooding has occurred during the past two hurricanes.  The South Carolina Office of Resilience has hired an appraiser has been hired and offers to the 9 property owners should be made within the next 2 months.  This is a 100% voluntary program and the houses purchased with the grant money will be torn down and turned into permanent greenspace, restoring the natural floodplain.
  • The Town was able to secure a $162,000 Housing Preservation Grant that will assist low-income single-family property owners with housing repairs.  The Town estimates it will be able to help approximately 10-12 homeowners with replacing roofs, new heating/air systems, plumbing,  and electrical needs. 
  • The Town has secured approximately $180,000 in grant funding from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.  Two grants are to stabilize buildings damaged by Hurricane Florence.  The first is $30,000 to stabilize the old Health Department Building where work includes interior repairs, asbestos abatement, and a new roof and cupola.  The other is the police department annex building, where the roof reached the end of its life after Hurricane Florence.  The roof replacement project is projected to cost $141,000.  Both of these grants require no match from the Town. In addition the Town has hired PaleoWest as a consultant to nominate the Coulter-Long Memorial Academy on Second Street to the National Register of Historic Places.  The firm has recently completed field work and their final presentation will go before the South Carolina Department of Archives and History in July.  This project is being funded by the National Park Service through the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
  • The Town recently renovated the playing surfaces of the tennis courts at Caston Park and currently has submitted a grant to SCPRT to resurface the basketball court at Levi Byrd Park.  The Town is hoping to receive notice on the grant sometime in March.
  • The appearance of the Town continues to be a top priority, and recently the Town received up to $25,000 from Palmetto Pride to hire a litter crew for one year, to focus on removing litter on side streets and neighborhoods in the Town of Cheraw.
I want to thank the hard work of our staff and department heads for finding these opportunities and securing funding for projects in the Town of Cheraw and I look forward to continued work with our Town Council as we enter 2022.

Andrew R. Ingram
Town of Cheraw