Friday, July 26, 2013

A Moment with the Manager -- Building an attractive, vibrant community

By Natalie M. Zeigler
City Manager

I often communicate with other City Managers and economic development officials who have the same goals we have in local government: supporting and growing our communities. Many times we talk about what our cities need to attract residents and visitors.

More than anything else, healthy, thriving cities must have residents who are engaged with their community, who want to work toward making it a better place. This is the reason why the City of Hartsville website,, lists local volunteering opportunities, both in the boards, committees and commissions which support local government’s effectiveness, and in the nonprofit organizations promoting the needs of Hartsville residents from education to food security, personal development and more. If people of different backgrounds, young and old, feel that they cannot make a difference in a community, they have no incentive to stay.

Successful cities also need businesses and organizations willing to invest their resources locally. Coker College is providing a prime example of this along East Carolina Avenue these days, where it is building its new student housing village. This, combined with the nearby under-construction DeLoach Center athletics facility, has promise for moving the college closer to a greater enrollment and community impact.

The Duke Energy Foundation, Byerly Foundation and Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville are also making a major commitment to our economic development with the establishment of the Duke Energy Center for Innovation. Thanks to their contributions, Hartsville has a program taking a unique, proactive approach to economic development, providing tech-focused startup businesses with the resources and the knowledge to grow and to create jobs locally.

Increasingly, the communities in this state which attract businesses and people have one major feature in common: vibrant, welcoming downtowns. More and more municipalities are working to create business districts full of shops and restaurants, places which invite people to walk around and explore, and which have full slates of special events. The City of Hartsville has been hard at work in recent years bringing events downtown. The Screen on the Green series pulls in excellent crowds, most recently at last Saturday’s showing of “Brave.” The Thursdays on College street concerts, created last year, will offer four dates this fall.

As more programs develop among cities for the revitalization of their business districts, the refurbishment of our storefronts and the creation of event attractions only become more crucial. Downtown Hartsville’s significance is why it is the focus of our city’s under-development Master Plan, along with our entryways. Just like our people and our businesses, our downtown always needs effort invested into it. The work of making the City of Hartsville a dynamic and attractive city is never complete, and that may be one of the greatest things about a community: that there is always room for growth and improvement.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Screen on the Green series continues with showing of “Brave”

WHAT: Screen on the Green summer movie series showing of “Brave.” Rated PG for some scary action and rude humor. No admission charge. 
WHERE: Burry Park, 131 Cargill Way, Hartsville, SC 
WHEN: Saturday, July 20, 2013, dusk  

The Screen on the Green series of free outdoor movie showings will continue in Hartsville’s Burry Park this Saturday, July 20 at dusk, with the 2012 film “Brave,” sponsored by Duke Energy.

Before the movie, the Hartsville Fire Department will be offering free car seat safety checks for interested parents and guardians, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Cargill Way next to Burry Park. Fire Department personnel have been trained to inspect how car seats are installed and used. Hartsville Interfaith Ministries is also accepting canned goods during the event. 

“Brave,” a 2012 release of Walt Disney Pictures, features Merida, a Scottish princess and archer voiced by Kelly MacDonald who accidentally unleashes a curse on her family and unrest in her kingdom -- problems which require her courage, bravery and determination to solve. “Brave” is rated PG for some scary action and rude humor. 

The City of Hartsville’s Screen on the Green series uses a 25-foot screen for summer movies in Burry Park. The screenings begin as soon as the sunset allows for the movie to be projected, a time which will come after 8:45 p.m. this Saturday. Moviegoers are invited to bring out chairs and blankets as well as drinks and snacks for the showing. In case of rain, signs will be posted at Burry Park directing attendees to the rain location: the Coach T.B. Thomas Sports Center at Byerly Park, 701 W. Washington St. 

The Screen on the Green season will wrap up on Saturday, Aug. 17, with a showing of the classic fractured fairy tale “The Princess Bride,” sponsored by the Landmark Inn.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Moment with the Manager -- Summer activities in Hartsville

By Natalie M. Zeigler
City Manager

The Fourth of July has passed, and now we’re on the way toward the first day of school. About this time every year, summer can seem like it’s slipping away. In Hartsville, thankfully, this is a time filled with activities to help our residents enjoy the sunshine and good weather. Here are some fun opportunities for you and your family to enjoy in this back half of the season.

The Byerly Park Recreation Complex now has the most talked about new addition to Hartsville’s recreation facilities: the Piratesville Splash Pad, the water play area for children found at 1109 14th St. It has brought in crowds of kids buying daily tickets and season passes since it opened on Independence Day, with excellent reviews coming from parents and children, enthusing about its slides, fountains, water cannons and more. We’ve been reserving quite a few private parties as well. Call 843.339.2878 or visit to learn more about hours, rates and rentals. When you visit this great facility, you may agree with us that Hartsville has never seen anything quite like it.

Our Screen on the Green series of free outdoor movies is also underway, with two movies still to go this season. Next Saturday, July 20, we feature the Disney movie “Brave.” Our Fire Department will also be conducting free car seat safety checks on site before the event. The season ends with the well-remembered fractured fairy tale “The Princess Bride” on Aug. 17. For three seasons now, we’ve shown movies on our huge 25-foot screen in Burry Park on Cargill Way, and the crowds which keep coming truly show the value of having a downtown green space for events. Bring your snacks and drinks, your chairs and blankets, and meet us downtown at dusk for a fun Saturday night with the family.

Darlington County schools begin Aug. 19, signaling the end of summer for many. The City of Hartsville will be throwing another family event beforehand, however: National Night Out on Aug. 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Burry Park. For three decades, National Night Out has taken place in communities nationwide, fostering partnerships and connections among law enforcement, emergency personnel and the community members they serve. As in years past, this evening is a time for residents to meet our police, firefighters and EMS, all while enjoying free food, drinks, activities and entertainment. We will have DJ Trey Nicholson on site, and another movie showing, this time “Rise of the Guardians,” beginning at dusk.

Hartsville, we often say, is a wonderful community for families, and the City’s facilities and summertime events show the truth of that statement. I hope to see many of you out in our parks and at our upcoming events.

Hartsville Police Department hosts electric fan donation drive

WHAT: Distribution of electric fans for Hartsville residents
WHERE: Coach T.B. Thomas Sports Center, 701 W. Washington St., Hartsville, SC
WHEN: Friday, July 19, 2013, 10 a.m.
Following a fundraising drive to provide electric fans for some Hartsville residents who are vulnerable to summer heat, the Hartsville Police Department will distribute fans this Friday, July 19 at 10 a.m. at the Coach T.B. Thomas Sports Center, 701 W. Washington St.

The fans are available for City residents, age 55 and above, on a first-come, first-served basis. A photo ID with a date of birth and address will be needed to pick up a fan at the event.

The Police Department first organized a fan donation drive in 2012 to provide protection for those most at risk to the health and safety dangers of hot weather. This year’s drive has been made possible by numerous contributions, including those of Jay Lucas, South Carolina House of Representatives District 65, Ed Saleeby Jr., the Auman Law Firm, First Citizens Bank, Blackwell Insurance Agency, SPC Credit Union, Quality Auto Sales, Brown-Pennington-Atkins Funeral Home, Lowe’s and Walmart.

The first of the fans will be distributed to residents recommended to the Police Department by social service agencies based on the needs of the recipients’ health and residence situations. The remaining fans will be provided at the distribution event on July 19.

“Temperatures often reach toward triple digits this time of year, so we are pleased to offer this assistance to residents who would otherwise be exposed to the heat,” Police Chief James Hudson said. “On behalf of the Hartsville Police Department, I thank our sponsors for their kind donations to this project. Because of them, many residents needing these fans will stay cool and safe this summer.”

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Duke Energy Foundation, Byerly Foundation provide first grants to Duke Energy Center for Innovation

The Duke Energy Foundation and the Byerly Foundation have committed the initial funding for a Hartsville business incubation program which will connect entrepreneurs with the resources and expertise needed for success. 

This program, named the Duke Energy Center for Innovation in honor of its first benefactor, has received a grant of $99,500 from the Duke Energy Foundation for its first year of operation. The Byerly Foundation, which provides grants to meet the education, economic and social needs of Hartsville residents, granted $100,000 for the innovation program. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hartsville Fire Department offers fireworks-safety tips

Using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as American as apple pie, backyard barbecues and afternoon storms. It can also be a safe activity if a few common sense rules are followed, according to Fire Marshal Bryan Crowley of the Hartsville Fire Department. 

“Thanks to testing of consumer fireworks in China, through the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory and other testing programs, and rigorous enforcement of federal fireworks regulations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, consumer fireworks today are safer than ever before,” Crowley said. 

Fireworks-related accidents do occur every year, however, and most could be prevented with some basic safety precautions. The Hartsville Fire Department offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in the hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season.

 • Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks. 
• Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks. 
• Fireworks should only be used outdoors. 
• Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks. 
• Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting. 
• Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them. 
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. 
• Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks. 
• Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. 
• Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can. 
• Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives -- they can kill you! 
• Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the Fire Department or Police Department. 

These additional safety tips should be consider when using sparklers. 

 • Always remain standing while using sparklers. 
• Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers. 
• Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time. 
• Never throw sparklers. Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. 
• Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water. 
• Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run while holding sparklers. The Hartsville Fire Department urges local residents to follow these simple safety rules in their holiday celebrations this Fourth of July. 

For more information, please contact the Hartsville Fire Department at 843-383-3000.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Recyclers of the Month – June 2013

The members of the Cutler family are the City of Hartsville’s Recyclers of the Month for June 2013.

Marc and Sheryl Cutler moved with their children to Hartsville a year and a half ago, and the family said they have enjoyed the convenience of recycling service in the city.

“We’ve been in the habit of recycling for years, but we love it that you don’t have to sort your papers, your glass, your cans,” Sheryl Cutler said.

A house with three children means a lot of food packaging accumulates, but she said recycling is not a hassle.

“Two teenage boys in the house leads to a lot of opportunities to recycle,” Marc Cutler said.

The family received a gift certificate to Depot Diner, 128 E. College Ave. in Hartsville, as part of the award, as well as the Recycler of the Month yard sign.

The monthly award program helps promote the recycling partnership of Sonoco and the City of Hartsville. To learn more about City of Hartsville garbage and recycling pickup schedules and what recyclable materials are accepted, or to request a recycling roll cart, call Environmental Services at (843) 383-3019.

Monday, July 1, 2013

City of Hartsville launches Piratesville Splash Pad at Byerly Park

WHAT: Grand opening of Piratesville Splash Pad
WHERE: Byerly Park Recreation Complex, 700 Russell Road, Hartsville, SC
WHEN: Thursday, July 4, 2013, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Piratesville Splash Pad, a multi-featured water play area designed for children, will stage its grand opening Thursday, July 4 at 11 a.m. at the Byerly Park Recreation Complex.

The splash pad, long planned as an addition to the athletic and recreational facilities at Byerly Park, offers a variety of pirate-themed water play features – fountains, geysers, slides, dumping buckets and more – and has no pools of standing water.