Rock Hill City Council Ward 5 candidates discuss stormwater drainage

October 8, 2013 

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    Upcoming election information:

    Rock Hill’s election will be held on Tuesday. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

    Ward 5 includes many neighborhoods along Albright Road and Saluda Street in southern Rock Hill; parts of downtown Rock Hill; homes near South Pointe High, Saluda Trail Middle, Oakdale Elementary and Sylvia Circle Elementary schools; and some neighborhoods along Crawford Road and Heckle Boulevard.

Three candidates are competing in Tuesday’s election for the Ward 5 seat on Rock Hill City Council. This week, The Herald is publishing the three candidates’ views about issues facing the ward and the city.

Competing for the Ward 5 seat are Nikita Jackson, a sales representative with Agape Medical Mart; Mildred A. Moore, a retired teacher and English professor; and Ann Williamson-Morrison, a retired flight attendant.

Stormwater drainage problems are a consistent complaint among residents in Ward 5. Do you believe it’s an issue and what could be done about it?

Jackson: “This is something that has been an existing problem for a long time...and this is a problem that’s not going to go away overnight.” Jackson says the city of Rock Hill should look to make “small fixes” first, focusing on maintenance of roads, where stormwater drains are found. Road maintenance is expensive, she said, costing nearly $100,000 to pave just one mile of road. Rock Hill residents need to be more involved with notifying public officials about the stormwater drainage problem, she said.

“If you keep calling, someone’s going to take an interest...and sometimes it’s going to take more than one phone call,” Jackson said.

Moore: She says stormwater is a major problem in Ward 5 but residents are equally concerned about community relations with police and the issue of abandoned, run-down property in their neighborhoods. “The people of Ward 5 are thinking about drainage but they’re also thinking about potholes they have in their streets.” Taking better care of roads, Moore said, could be a solution to both problems. Also, the city should ensure that there are enough stormwater drains to carry water away from homes and streets after heavy rains, she said.

“Before we can truly solve a problem, we need to know what’s causing the problem,” Moore said.

Williamson-Morrison: “I am hearing stormwater issues in every neighborhood I go into. Their drains are overflowing--they are stopped up. And the fact that (residents) are paying fees but they’re not receiving benefits from those fees...they are quite upset.” She says she wants the city of Rock Hill to start spending more money collected from stormwater fees in Ward 5. “The monies we get from the stormwater fee is about $2 million. That is not a lot of money to go around...but we need to start shifting this to Ward 5,” she said.

Residents “see all the monies being used in other areas and they do not feel that they should have to pay these fees,” Williamson-Morrison said.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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