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Cottageville mayor talks growth, infrastructure needs

Cottageville Mayor Tim Grimsley was re-elected last week to his position as mayor of the town. With that unopposed win under his belt, he is now looking to the future of Cottageville and discussing his list of projects that he said will make the town better for its residents.
“I think the town is running smoothly,” he said during an interview with this newspaper on Friday. “Our future is looking good.”
Grimsley said he and the town’s council members have applied for several grants from USDA and S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department. If received, he plans to use those grant funds to do a study on the town’s infrastructure, including water and sewer needs.
Implementing the town’s first water and sewer project has been at the top of Grimsley’s list for some time. He said creating water and sewer infrastructure for the town is necessary before the town can grow, and receive a grocery store or drug store. With the town’s adult population aging, he said these amenities are necessary.
“I don’t want another Summerville. That’s not us. We are a village,” said Grimsley. “But we want to be self-sufficient, especially with our older residents: a drug store or a grocery store that we need. And we have to have a water and sewer system in place to do that.
“This town is filled with generations of people who have lived off of water wells and septic tanks,” he said. “I’m included. But lines through town, even just along our Main Street (U.S. Highway 17A), would be helpful.”
This may end up on a referendum for the town’s residents to decide on, he said.
In addition to the grants paying for an infrastructure study, Grimsley said he also wants to use the grant funds to move forward with the town’s ongoing streetscape project. This includes adding light structures to the town’s main streets, improving sidewalks, and creating lighting around the town’s walking trails at its recently refurbished park.

The park is on the site of the town’s former civic center, which was the former Cottageville Elementary School. That structure was destroyed by fire in 2018. Insurance money that the town has collected from that fire will also be used to improve the town’s park, said Grimsley. “It’s going to help replace what was lost,” he said.
“We want a new community center, and we want to build a shelter for this town,” he said, referring a hurricane-ready evacuation shelter for Cottageville and area residents. “It goes back to us getting what we need instead of having to go to Walterboro for everything.”
Also, in his newly-elected term, Grimsley said he wants to focus on the town’s police department. He calls the Cottageville Police Department “second to none,” sand said he is proud of the town’s officers and their commitment to community involvement and policing. Adding to that, Grimsley said he and the council want the department to begin expanding on their investigative abilities.
“We need to expand what we are doing,” he said, referring to the town’s police department.
Lastly, Grimsley said he wants to see the town’s physical limits expand. This would require annexation. Annexation is a topic long fought by many Cottageville residents: in 2018, Grimsley and the town’s council attempted to allow residents to annex into the town. However, this failed, with no residents formally signing an annexation petition.
In his second attempt for annexation, Grimsley said he wants to see the issue placed on a referendum. Cottageville’s current and actual limits are one-square-mile.
“The Cottageville area goes all the way to Round O, and there’s a lot of people living here who you don’t see who consider themselves Cottageville residents,” he said. “There’s a lot of potentials that we have, just by expanding the town’s limits.
“I have big dreams for this town for this community. And we have a council that I couldn’t be more proud of,” he said. “A lot of great things are going to come to Cottageville.”

Heather Walters (1621 Posts)