Know the fest facts
I am a native of Fort Mill and concerned about the need for the township to know the facts about the upcoming spring festival, intended to celebrate the uniqueness and friendliness of our town.
First of all, Fest-i-Fun was not a town-sponsored festival, but an event put on by a private organization. The town did provide in-kind services but was not in control nor directly responsible for the event.
The first discussion about a town-sponsored festival was during the Fort Mill Town Council's strategic planning session in early February, and all council members were in attendance.
The Town of Fort Mill asked for help with this event and more than 20 townspeople volunteered. The volunteers and town department heads have been meeting weekly. With less than two months to plan, a decision was made to host a one-day event this year with the possibility of expanding next year's festival.
Town staff suggested the following: improve festival security and public safety with a more controlled perimeter, which the new location provides; allow local non-profits to be the primary food vendors for the benefit of the community; improve stage viewing area and eliminate crowded conditions; and, focus on family, food and quality entertainment.
There will be events for the whole family, including children. Significant festival sponsorship has been obtained from local businesses to lessen the burden on the Town of Fort Mill.
It is not too late to get involved with this year's festival, and you can definitely volunteer for next year's event and the many other town celebrations.
I hope everyone will embrace the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the festival.
David Ward Jr.
Farm Branch Drive
Support the shelter
As reported in the March 26 edition of the Fort Mill Times, the only no-kill animal shelter in York County is about to be forced out of business by lack of financial support.
The York County Humane Society facility near Hwy. 160 West and Baxter Village provides a much-needed service to our community. But they're behind on rent and animal feed bills are piling up. YCHS is well worth our tax-deductible contributions. This is the only such facility in our area that does not kill animals by the hundreds every year (let's stop using that nicely neutral word "euthanize." Helpless creatures who enrich our lives and those of our children are being killed through no fault of their own.)
My wife supports the shelter with her time each week, to walk dogs hungry for human attention and care after being abandoned. We also
contribute financially and we encourage our Fort Mill neighbors -
especially community businesses - to step up to the plate and take responsibility for doing the same.
It doesn't take a lot from any one individual. If someone is feeling the economic pinch in hard times, then give up smoking for a week and donate the cost of that carton of cigarettes! Or, set aside the cost of that next fat-laden cheeseburger and fries. It's healthier either way.
Likewise, people should tell our town council that we expect them to allocate support from common funds.
Lets make it happen! Support the shelter now!
Richard and Maren Lawhern
Consider biodiesel for school buses
I recently attended an environmental conference at York Technical College in Rock Hill. Grady Truett, assistant director of transportation of Gaston County Schools, discussed how the Gaston School District is not only using biodiesel in their school buses, but also manufacturing it at a cost of approximately 95 cents per gallon.
Truett cited a study indicating that children could receive four times more inhalation exposure on the inside of a school bus compared to the outside. Standard diesel is not only expensive, but also contains toxins such as particulate matter, sulfur, carcinogens and high levels of carbon monoxide. As these buses idle in school loading zones, many of these toxins may be pulled into the school HVAC system. Biodiesel is cheaper, produces significantly fewer toxins, less carbon monoxide and enables companies, restaurants and school cafeterias to recycle used vegetable and animal oils.
With the recent passing of the school bond referendum in Fort Mill, there will be a need for more school buses. Utilizing and producing biodiesel could be a good way to save money, help the environment, ensure student health and create employment opportunities in Fort Mill.
Spring Branch Glen
Charlotte, here we come
We keep talking about losing our small town lifestyle due to the influx of people from the Charlotte area, which means ever-increasing road congestion and the need for more bonds to support the increasing need for more schools.
It would appear to me we could stop this if our elected officials had the fortitude to stop issuing building permits (no school seats, no building permits). Why must we become like Charlotte? One crowded development after another, inadequate roads, the need for more and more schools, higher and higher taxes.
In Charlotte, city officials never saw a development they didn't like.
Is this going to be our destiny?
School officials are already talking about needing more bonds to support more schools. I believe in good schools. Let's support our current needs but say "no" to more congestion. I hope our elected officials see what has happened in Charlotte and not let it happen to us.
Join our discussions!
The Fort Mill Times' editorial board needs one new community member. We are looking for someone who lives in the Regent Park or northern Fort Mill Township area to complete the geographical areas of the township represented on the board. The editorial board meets weekly on Thursdays to discuss what stance the paper should take on local issues. If you are interested, please call Editor Michael Harrison at 547-2353 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.