Fort Mill Times

Road names among decisions by Town Council

Fort Mill officials are considering changing the name of Doby’s Bridge Road in relation to the bypass.

In a lighthearted exchange Monday night, Fort Mill Town Council members questioned a proposed name change brought on by the bisecting of Doby’s Bridge with Fort Mill Parkway, formerly the Fort Mill Southern Bypass.

“It’s a very minor name change,” said Joe Cronin, town planning director.

The county emergency management staff wanted clarity on Doby’s Bridge addresses when the bypass is complete, because Doby’s Bridge will intersect it in two spots.

For the same reason, planners chose to extend the name Fort Mill Parkway along the bypass. Proposed names are South Doby’s Bridge Road from the bypass to U.S. 521 and North Doby’s Bridge Road from the bypass to S.C. 160.

Those names had Councilman Tom Spratt mapping out the road in his head.

“Wouldn’t it be east and west?” he asked.

Councilman Tom Adams went back to a previous point of contention – whether Doby’s has its apostrophe. He wants one.

“It’ll be whatever it is now,” Cronin said.

Years ago, the Fort Mill Times wrote about the spelling, because signage along Doby’s Bridge also had it spelled Dobys and Doby. It was determined that Doby’s was the proper spelling.

When the topic of Doby’s Bridge Road comes up at a Town Council or Fort Mill school board meeting, often so does the apostrophe.

Last year, the Fort Mill school board recommended naming what is now Doby’s Bridge Elementary School without the apostrophe, but reconsidered after public input.

The board was concerned the mark could disrupt emergency dispatch mapping, GPS or other tech-features that could be confused.

Councilwoman Guynn Savage noted the recent traffic at the bypass and Doby’s Bridge, saying what several in attendance Monday seemed to think.

“I don’t care what you call it,” she said. “If you can travel on it sometime in the near future, that would be great.”

A public hearing on the proposed name change will be held at 7 p.m. July 22 during a town planning commission meeting. The commission meets at 112 Confederate St.

Other decisions

• The item drawing the most public attention at Monday’s meeting didn’t make the agenda. About 10 people turned out to hear more on the townhome plan at Kimbrell and Doby’s Bridge Road. Councilman Tom Adams said the issue would have been on the agenda except for a problem advertising the item, which will push it to a later meeting.

“There’s so much traffic right now. I can’t imagine with another 150 townhomes how it’s going to be,” said Kay Johnson, an 18-year resident on Kanawha Court with her husband, Edwin.

Initial plans for the intersection showed 150 townhomes, though the town planning commission recommended approval at a lower density. Town Council will have final say on the plan. Edwin Johnson said some neighbors like the idea of increased property values, but most – including those present Monday – are more concerned about traffic.

“People on Kanawha right now can’t hardly turn out,” he said.

• Following an executive session, council members voted to grant an easement for M/I Homes on 20 feet of town property near the Sam Smith and Harris roads intersection. The easement will connect a sewer pipe from the new Sutton Mill development to a town sewer main line that runs across the property. The council deferred a vote to purchase a 24-inch water line that parallels U.S. 21 from York County, and to contract with the county for wholesale water for the Kingsley North development site.

• The town received an update on May’s South Carolina Strawberry Festival, and plans for the event next year. More than 60,000 guests attended the two-day event in Fort Mill, from the Carolinas and at least seven states.

“Those are just the ones we know about,” said Kimberly Starnes, event director.

The event raised about $8,500 for charity and had 30 sponsors with 37 partners. The festival had 40 vendors, 11 nonprofits, 68 business and 62 arts and crafts vendors. Because the event falls on Kentucky Derby weekend, next year’s theme will be Derby-focused.

Ideas being discussed are more eating contests with more age groups and food demonstrations, along with Derby-related ideas like a big hat competition, hobby horse and sack races, or even showing the race live in the park.