Monday, February 25, 2013

City of Hartsville to replace trees in The Vista

Hartsville residents will see crews removing trees in The Vista, the City park found at Railroad and Coker avenues, during the week of Feb. 25 before the trees are replaced.

About 25 Red Sunset Maple trees, planted in The Vista when it was first developed in 2008, must be replaced because of problems originating when the trees were first cultivated in a nursery. Planted too deeply in soil before they were transplanted to the park, the trees began growing roots upward toward the surface, reducing the trees’ ability to take in nutrients.

The Maples now show symptoms of poor health, according to City Arborist Stephen Wild, and could be in danger of dying and collapsing in future years. After consulting with the S.C. Forestry Commission and the original contractors, the City has arranged for new October Glory Maples to be installed in place of the original trees at no charge.

When trees are first grown, several issues can prevent proper growth and ongoing health. Consider these issues when purchasing, transplanting and caring for trees.
  • When trees are not potted properly during their development, their root growth can be stopped by the size of their container, causing roots to curl around inside it. A tree with healthy root growth will show roots growing outward from the trunk, but one potted improperly will show roots growing in a circular pattern around the trunk. When buying a tree, examine trunk’s base for any girdling roots, which are circular roots compressing the trunk and reducing the flow of water and nutrients. If necessary, pull off the container to examine the root ball.
  • A tree’s depth in the soil impacts its future health. Make sure the root flare, the portion of the trunk which flares outward to form the tree’s roots, is exposed after planting with no excess soil on top of the root ball. Remove any girdling roots, or roots which could girdle. Dig the planting - more - hole so that the top of the root ball will rest 2 to 3 inches above the surrounding soil level, and so that the hole is twice as wide as the root ball, with the hole’s sides sloping upward. With a sharp tool, slice into the sides of the root ball in three or four evenly spaced cuts which are 2 to 3 inches deep. Fill the remainder of the hole with native soil close to the top of the root ball, but not covering it. Use only a small amount of mulch at a depth of 2 to 4 inches, and 3 to 4 inches away from the trunk. Check for root girdling periodically after planting.
  • Some online resources for tree care include and Local arborists can be found through
Because of its work in tree development and maintenance on public land, the City of Hartsville has been recognized as a Tree City USA for the last 26 years. The Tree City USA program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities. To qualify for the Tree City USA designation, a city must have a forestry program, tree board or department, a tree care ordinance and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Recycler of the Month - February 2013

Alice Wingate is the City of Hartsville’s Recycler of the Month for February.

She said she has been recycling for as long as service has been available, always taking care to sort papers, plastic, glass and more out of her trash to keep these materials out of landfills.

The Recycler of the Month award provided Wingate with a $25 gift card to the Midnight Rooster Coffee Shop, Courtyard and Eatery, found at 136 E. Carolina Ave. in Hartsville, as well as a real-estate-style sign announcing the award.

The award program is part of an effort to promote the recycling partnership of Sonoco and the City of Hartsville. Next month, the City will choose another winner. To learn more about City of Hartsville pick-up schedules and what recyclable materials are accepted, or to request a recycling roll cart, call Environmental Services at 843.383.3019.

A Moment with the Manager - Cities Mean Business Month

By Natalie M. Zeigler

Even in times of economic uncertainty, the City of Hartsville can boast of major institutions which keep our community strong. From Sonoco Products Company to Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, Coker College and many others, Hartsville has invaluable assets found across quite a few economic sectors.

As with any successful city government, we dedicate ourselves to serving our businesses as well as our residents, striving for growth among existing and new enterprises. For these reasons, City Council approved a resolution last week declaring February 2013 as Cities Mean Business Month. This comes as part of a larger effort of the Municipal Association of South Carolina to raise awareness for the many ways in which cities support their own economies and the larger state economy.

For us, doing all we can for our businesses takes on many meanings. It means providing excellent services in law enforcement, fire protection, water, sewer and waste removal. It means zoning, code enforcement and beautification efforts to keep our commercial districts accommodating and attractive for businesses.

Many of the City’s most visible current projects come largely from our commitment to economic development. City Council recently completed the deal to provide land and incentives for a downtown Hampton Inn that will bring jobs and more visitor accommodations to Hartsville.

The City has also just provided downtown office space to the Duke Center for Innovation in Hartsville. This technology business incubator, driven by the Hartsville Community Development Foundation in collaboration with Clemson University’s Institute for Economic and Community Development, aims to provide the needed resources for tech businesses to grow up and thrive right here in Hartsville.

At City Hall, we also maintain a close working relationship with the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce. This helps us to always be as attuned as possible to the needs and concerns of our resident and prospective businesses. Since the Chamber and Darlington County Tourism are also frequent partners for the production of special events, like the upcoming Thursdays on College concert series, or Hartsville Restaurant Month in April, these partnerships are an important part of the never-ending task of making Hartsville an enjoyable place for its residents and its businesses.

We always have so much going on in the city government, and it is always done with an eye for supporting Hartsville’s economic vibrancy. Everything done to make us business-friendly and competitive helps secure the future of our workforce, and of those who have made this place their home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

City of Hartsville Drive-Thru payment services are moving

The City of Hartsville will close its current utility bill payment Drive-Thru location at City Hall, 133 W. Carolina Ave., on Friday, March 1.

Beginning Monday, March 4, city utility customers can use the Drive-Thru at SPC Credit Union, found at 204 N. Fifth St.

In order to make a Drive-Thru payment, customers MUST:
  • Have their current bill payment stub
  • Pay the full amount due
  • Pay with cash or personal check only
The City of Hartsville provides several bill payment methods, including walk-in service at City Hall, which will shortly move into the front lobby of the new City Hall at 100 E. Carolina Ave. alongside the rest of City Services. Bills may also be paid by mail, by setting up automatic bank draft using the form found on the City website,, or through online bank payments, also found on the City website.

If you have any questions, please call the Finance Department at 383-3015.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Moment with the Manager - Canned Food Drive and Healthy Heart Walk Day

By Natalie M. Zeigler, City Manager

National Canned Food Month and American Heart Month have become a couple of the national months of observance to take place every February. The City of Hartsville is now participating in events to mark these two occasions, since both of the issues involved, food availability and heart health, have a significant impact on our community.

For National Canned Food Month, the City is hosting a food drive for Hartsville Interfaith Ministries. We have drop-off bins waiting for anyone interested in providing canned or boxed food at City Hall, 133 W. Carolina Avenue, as well as the Police Department at 135 W. Carolina Ave., and the Fire Department at 111 S. Seventh St., which can accept donations into the early evening hours.

Many nonprofits find that food donations are easy to come by when people are thinking about hunger, like the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. National Canned Food Month helps us remember that food insecurity, or not having consistent access to enough food, remains a year-round issue for many. In 2012, the nonprofit group Feeding America counted more than 800,000 people living with food insecurity in South Carolina, amounting to 18 percent of the population.