Put the pitchforks down, people. I don’t hate Fort Mill.
I wrote a column a couple weeks ago complaining about our town having limited activities and was roundly blasted. Some people recommended I quit my job. Nice thought, but this column isn’t even paying my water bill. One person said I need to leave the area immediately. And one guy actually researched my hometown in Upstate New York and correctly figured out that the main industry there was supporting two maximum security prisons and that I should be thankful just to be here.
A couple things became clear to me: One, information about me is too readily available on the Internet; Two, I communicated my viewpoint poorly.
I’ve written in the past about the Strawberry Festival and the options the Greenway provides, but it doesn’t worry anyone else that the construction of thousands of new homes and the influx of people is going to also require additional diversions for them to experience here in Fort Mill rather than going to Charlotte or Rock Hill? The most recent editions of the Fort Mill Times have focused on the issues area planners are facing — infrastructure worries, zoning complaints and how to even provide essential things like sidewalks is dominating discussions right now.
When a town nearly doubles in size in the past decade and the best improvement is a two-lane bypass that now needs to serve new home developments and a new high school, we have some issues.
You’re going to need me and a lot of other people to leave the area just so a two-mile drive don’t take 30 minutes before long. My main point is that building homes, schools, gas stations and supermarkets might appeal to many of you, especially those who pride themselves on throwing a rock 100 yards in any direction to hit a QT, but if additional places for leisure activities aren’t also added, it is a problem. Unless you like browsing the produce section and then pumping a few gallons of super unleaded to be wild on a Friday night.
I don’t mind heading up the road to Rock Hill for a bowling league or going to N.C. to shop at malls and outlets. I even eschew the numerous supermarkets here to go to the Charlotte regional farmer’s market. I don’t avoid taking the kids to ice skate across the border or go Uptown for dinner and a show, but it would be nice to keep some of that money here in Fort Mill. I’m a member of the Greenway. I like occasionally going to Lake Wylie and I enjoy the fact we have the Leroy Springs Complex for now, but I’d be lying to you to say I rarely travel outside our town to spend leisure money — and I’d bet many who complained about the last column are lying, too.
On the bright side, before I head to Charlotte, I always try to fill up here in Fort Mill first.
Scott Cost: email@example.com