RIDGEWAY — The March 14 Ridgeway Town Council meeting included action plan updates that were required of a strategic plan the town undertook over five years ago.
According to Mayor Charlene Herring, “it’s great when you get people involved and you generate a momentum that is sustainable over the years.”
The Public Relations Committee wants to increase media relations, promote a crime free city and its community policing program and continue the Ridgeway Reads community program with eventual goal of initiating a community reading program. It also wants to upgrade and update the town website and establish a town Facebook page, create a welcome package for Ridgeway newcomers and increase promotion for town sponsored or town hosted events.
The Historical Cultural Committee hopes that the Arts Council would meet at the Century House monthly as part of the Historical Cultural Committee. Fairfield Arts Council has a 501(c)3. They will have markers in place for a walking historic tour of Ridgeway by the Arts on the Ridge event.
A multi-year Ridgeway oral history project continues for and will be showcased at Arts on the Ridge via Front Porch Tales. It also reported that Arts on the Ridge was expanded to two nights and now includes artists from visual to literary, performing, architecture and artists demonstrations in the Century House.
A goal of the committee is creation of a new green space and environment around the new signage in town, the historical marker and flag pole area.
The Community Actions committee gave update on a community garden project that hit a snag due to the site chosen having to be parking at softball games. Instead planting long leaf pines on Longleaf Road will be considered. They noted how housing continues to be a problem in Ridgeway and according to Realtors, more, and better housing is needed to help the area grow.
A November Food Drive and December Angel Tree will happen to help needy families. The committee noted how intergovernmental meetings help improve the town’s perception among other areas of Fairfield County.
After the meeting, Herring commented on how helpful the county presentation on code enforcement in the areas around Ridgeway was.
Council was intrigued by an abandoned and dilapidated houses bill in the House of Representatives that, if passed, would give a city authority to take over non-compliant property such as a neglected commercial building and then make the property meet code.
No action was taken along those lines in shaping policy, but Herring said it might be possible that under such a provision Ridgeway could use portions of the county code as a guide, pending court approval that the code complied with town ordinances.
Ridgeway Town Council asked County Administrator Phil Hinely if they could cooperate with the county and use some of its resources to enforce the same kind of zoning plans. Hinely could not say but promised to discuss that option with legal counsel to see if something could be worked out.
Town council met in executive session to discuss a contractual matter regarding town property and a personnel matter regarding the police department. No action was taken once council was back in open session.
Ridgeway Town Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. April 11 in Ridgeway Town Hall.