BLACKVILLE, S.C. (WJBF) — Residents and housing authority officials are trying to figure out what to do with several nuisance problems in their community.
This issues at Blackville Hampton Apartments have been going on since at since 2017. After several potholes at the entrance and obstruction from the highway, many want to know what can be done.
“I go to the grocery store and everything on this electric wheelchair,” William Putnam told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. “I call it my Cadillac,” he added.
Putnam has been driving around the complex for nearly ten years. His Cadillac is now getting used to some major issues at the apartments. “My wheelchair gets up and down it but it’s really rough,” he said.
“This complex has been here since before I came here, we never had a problem with going in and out and the entrance,” Peggy Gadson-Kirkland said.
Kirkland is the local coordinator for the South Carolina housing authority in the area. She says that the issue of potholes and an exposed pipe is causing issues for residents who use the entrance to her housing complex.
“I came down to do a talk with residents and I realized how the entrance was here,” she said. “I felt really, really bad not for myself but for the citizens here in Blackville and mostly for our residents who go in and out.”
And it’s also an eyesore. A number of residents say in addition to the massive crater another issue is a problem overgrown trees. Some residents sit outside to watch games at the local ballpark but now that’s a problem.
“This is a main road out here. They can’t even see the traffic past by and sometimes that’s an enjoyment too,” Kirkland said.
“You can’t see from the Barnwell area. You pull out in front of cars and stuff like that,” James Donaldson added.
For Donaldson, the issue also poses another safety risk after he said the heard arguing from the street late at night but not able to see due to visibility. “The trees need to be cut so you can see what’s going on with people that are passing by and what they may be doing,” he said,
“[Visitors of his] are afraid that they will mess up their car or their tires or something because it’s potholes and all of that. Nobody wants to drive over that so it’s terrible,” Putnam added.
For Kirkland, this project is personal not only for the residents in her apartments but for the entire community to finally get a resolution everyone can agree with.”It’s a nuisance and that’s what we do not want the housing authority to be a nuisance to the city or town that we serve. That’s why we try to keep our complexes up and running smoothly. Inside here, we can’t ask [the South Carolina Department of Transportation] to do the paving — the Housing Authority take care of our own,” she added.
We’ve learned from county tax records that Norfolk Southern owns the property where the drive is as well as up to the apartment complex’s property line at their fence. Shawn did reach out to Norfolk Southern to learn more on the issue and what can be done to resolve it. He’ll let you know what he finds out.