SIX MILE – When the town of Six Mile decided it wanted a bank to call its own, the members of Town Council and the community as a whole took matters into their own hands, gutting a local building so it could become home to Our Bank.
And it was that initiative, perseverance and determination that netted the town of Six Mile the 2015 Economic Achievement Award from the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
Jeff Shacker, field services manager with the MASC, presented the award to the Six Mile Town Council at its meeting on Aug. 4 at Town Hall. In doing so, he lauded the town, saying the project has the potential to spark similar projects all over the state.
“I think this project is a great example of innovation and creativity on the part of the council and the leadership of the community but I also think it is a great example of what a community can accomplish when you all come together and work together,” Shacker said. “An example of that is the cost savings that occurred when many of you volunteered to help gut the building.”
The award was presented to the town at a MASC breakfast held recently in Hilton Head. Councilman James Atkinson accepted the award on behalf of the town.
The annual award allows the MASC to share projects like the one in Six Mile with the other 269 municipalities found in South Carolina.
“I have to believe that it planted a seed in their minds about what in our community could be a niche project like this, that the town could get involved in and what are some of the key aspects that the town of Six Mile put together so we can be successful with a similar project,” Shacker said. “I think it was really productive for this state as a whole.”
Sen. Larry Martin called the project a “tremendous accomplishment” for Six Mile.
“All of the municipalities in the county are very progressive and forward thinking but I don’t think any stand out quite like this in the manner, the progressiveness and commitment of Six Mile to bring a bank back here really against a lot of odds,” Martin said.
Rep. Gary Clary pointed out that what Six Mile accomplished will be good for the state.
“When I come to Six Mile, it is always such a refreshing trip up here. When I come into this town, it’s amazing how much I’ve seen it grow and develop over the last few years,” he said. “I think that this represents exactly what we are talking about in South Carolina — economic growth begins right here. It’s such a plus and such a bonus to have a bank in a town, and when you look at what’s going on here in Six Mile, my hat is off to the mayor and council members for what they do for the citizens of Six Mile.”
Mayor Roy Stoddard credited Atkinson with being the catalyst for helping get the bank to locate in Six Mile.
“Where else could you find a community that would get together and take hammers and gut a building so they could have a bank? It makes me proud to be a Six Miler,” Atkinson said.
The town of Six Mile will get to keep the trophy for a year. The mayor and council were presented with a plaque that will be on display in Town Hall.
In other business:
• Councilman Dan Crosby gave an update on the Recreation Department. Crosby, who is chairman of the Recreation Committee, reported that the Rec Department has 106 participants so far for the fall season. He added that they are trying to coordinate a work day in the park.
• Atkinson reported that the fiscal year ended with a $70,000 surplus after taking into account revenue that was received after July 1.
• Council voted unanimously to move $1,400 from contingency to the salary for the assistant clerk after it was discovered there was not enough budgeted to cover payroll for the position. Councilman Jeff Dennis made the motion to move the money and it was seconded by Councilman Tommy Yongue.
• Council unanimously agreed to let representatives from United Way, First Steps and Heath’s Haven install signs and stencils on the walking path at Ponderosa Park to instill learning in the children who use it. The project will be at no cost to the town. Crosby made the motion to allow the project and it was seconded by Yongue.
• Council went into executive session to discuss a property issue but took no action when it returned to open session.
Patricia M. Edwards is the regional editor for Civitas Media’s South Carolina publications. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org