BLDG Hartsville

HARTSVILLE, S.C. - New development is coming to Hartsville.

The Hartsville City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday to an ordinance to annex 50.13 acres behind the current Walmart property off Hartsville Crossing into the city. The vote on first reading came during the council’s regular meeting.

Three parcels of property ranging in size from 6.28 acres to 31.85 acres are included in the annexation effort. The developer, Josh Thomason of PHLH – Hartsville LLC petitioned to have the property annexed in order to obtain city services for the property.

“They want city water and sewer, police and fire service,” City Manager Natalie Zeigler said after the meeting.

Thomason told council members the first phase of the development will consist of construction of a 32-unit apartment complex. He said plans will be submitted for permits this week and construction could begin within 45 to 60 days.

A final vote on the annexation ordinance will come when the measure comes up for second reading. That could come in September.

In other business, Zeigler told council members that the city’s Neptune Island Waterpark, now in its second season of operation, surpassed its seasonal attendance goal of 80,000 on Monday with attendance so far this season reaching 80,420.

City finance director Karen Caulder said a big difference in attendance this year has been in weekday attendance. “We’ve seen a big increase during the week,” she said. Weekend attendance has remained consistent, Caulder said, with attendance last Saturday reaching about 2,600. She said she counted 12 buses in the park’s parking lot that day.

A lot of guests, Caulder said, seem to be coming from the Columbia area. Mayor Mel Pennington said the waterpark appears to have become a big draw for Columbia-area residents.

Pennington said a unique aspect of the park is that day-to-day operations are run largely by about 150 young people from around the area.

In July, Neptune Island Waterpark won a Municipal Achievement Award from the Municipal Association of South Carolina for cities with populations of from 5,001 to 10,000. Charlie Barrineau, field services manager for the association, attended Tuesday’s meeting to commend the council and the city for the award.

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