The town of Andrews city council and administration attended the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s annual meeting in Greenville to network and share ideas with other leaders across the state.
The theme that came out of the week was on how to better market Andrews to potential tourists and prospective industries.
At the monthly town council meeting July 25, Town Administrator Mauretta Dorsey highlighted the importance of having a strategic plan for the town and gave examples of the collaboration between the Mayor of Greenville and his council redeveloping various districts across their city.
“They did it in a 20 year process,” Dorsey said. “We can do the same on our own scale.”
“If you don’t have a strategic plan, which unfortunately we don’t, you are 40 years behind,” Dorsey said. “A strategic plan takes 20 to 25 years to develop. Nothing was left as a blueprint for this town. “
Council member Terrance Middleton said he was asked in Greenville about what things would attract people to Andrews.
“I got quiet for a few minutes and thought about it,” Middleton said. “We have one of the most beautiful rivers. To me, the Black River is beautiful. I like riding on it.” Middleton said his peers told him that the river is something they should “focus on” to get visitors.
Council member Angela Anderson gave an example of Greenville shutting down a block of a street on Thursday and Friday nights where citizens can socialize.
“I think we can do something, not on that scale,” Anderson said. “People just want to come together. I think that, not this council making the decision, we need to come together as a town and say hey we want to do this so we can socialize.”
Anderson gave an example of a potential space in town that could hold such an event.
“We have that railroad bed out there,” Anderson said. “We are not doing anything with that. Why can’t we use it for some kind of activity?”
Anderson also mentioned the lack of a strategic plan for the town.
“What do we want our town to look like one year from now,” Anderson asked. “What do want our town to look like 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the road? These are all good discussions that we need to have as a town.”
Council member Marva Session highlighted the town of Hartsville painting a mural on a back wall of a playground that make “children feel like they were downtown.”
“When our mayor calls for town meetings, we (citizens) need to meet,” Session said. “That is the only way we are going to get anything accomplished.”
Session also brought up the railroad bed on Martin Luther King Drive as a potential spot for citizens to gather.
“That is such a beautiful strip,” Session said. “The whole town could make a contribution. You could sit and do people-watching. We are not utilizing all of the things we can do. We could do something to make the folks to come downtown and be a part of it.”
Council member Bradley Prince expressed concern about the closing of national retail chain Fred’s in town.
“It’s going to take everyone in the town,” Prince said. “We’ve got to beautify our place and give people something they want to come here for.”
Newly elected council member Jamie Altman thanked the mayor, administration and council for getting him, “up to date on what’s going on with the town.”
Mayor Frank McClary touted people coming in interested in Andrews warehouses.
“If Andrews could become a hub for distribution, that brings jobs,” he said.
Mayor McClary said it costs approximately $40,000 to build an official strategic plan.
“We have to take the talent that we have in this room and the citizens coming together to do that,” he said. “I think we are at that point. We have to craft this ourselves. We don’t have $40,000 sitting around.”
In other business, council passed first reading to amend the business license ordinance to require “renewal applicants within the municipal limits to submit copies of portions of state and federal income tax returns reflection gross income figures.”