A monthly Dawkins Community Association meeting took place on April 4 at Friendship AME Church in northwest Fairfield County, and nearly 90 people attended to meet with Fairfield County Administrator Phil Hinely, Sheriff’s Office Crime Watch Officer D.J. Wilson and SCE&G’s Manager of Shoreline Programs Tommy Boozer. The group has been meeting for several months to discuss concerns and work together to secure a recreation center and fire station, as well as to reduce crime.
“I think it’s good that people within a community get together,” said Hinely. “We at the County get lot of input that way. We are in the process of looking for a place to put a new fire station in this area.”
“Richland Community Health Care facility has now been taken over by Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers,” Hinely continued. “I think they will be a lot more proactive, and I encourage you to use their services so they stay in the area. The County wants to see health care in this area.”
County Council member Kamau Marcharia, who represents the Dawkins and Jenkinsville communities and who was in attendance at the meeting, routinely emphasizes the area’s need for a recreation center at the County Council meetings. Hinely said a plan to use 8 acres leased to the County many years ago by SCE&G for a community center on Ladds Road was part of County Council’s long-term vision, but was possibly nearly 10 years away.
Boozer then spoke to the group, providing them with some history about SCE&G and Lake Monticello, where their nuclear power plant, V.C. Summer, is located.
“SCE&G has leased an 8.5-acre tract since 1986 to the County for a recycling center,” Boozer said. “One thousand, one hundred and sixteen acres have been set up for recreation around Lake Monticello. There is the State Highway 215 boat ramp, the ball field in Jenkinsville and the Highway 99 boat landing facility. The facilities are really getting used. The recreation lake (upper Lake Monticello) is 300 acres and stocked with fish and has new restroom facilities. The entire lake has 52.2 miles of shoreline. SCE&G does a lot of good things for the community.”
Officer Wilson reported that the Sheriff’s Office makes and average of 10 to 12 calls a month to the Dawkins area. There are new crime watch and litter signs installed and an increase in traffic stops.
“It is our sincere desire to see this recreation center be developed quickly,” said Dawkins Community Association chairman Jeff Schaffer as he closed the meeting.
“Over here on this side of the County, there is no safe place for the people of this community if there was an emergency,” Shaffer said after the meeting. “Most people live in mobile homes and have nowhere to go in a tornado, or, God forbid, a nuclear accident. We want a place where kids and others can recreate. We are getting signatures on a petition to take to the County. We don’t want to wait years for a community center. We want it now.”