Summerville Town Council, Dorchester County Council to meet on adding former county hospital site to town historic district
SUMMERVILLE — Dorchester County Council and Summerville Town Council members plan to sit down for a meeting that both sides say is overdue.
The councils will discuss “what the impacts will be,” in the words of County Council Chairman Larry Hargett, if the town adds the county-owned former hospital complex to its historic district.
Hargett read a statement opposing the addition at the Town Council meeting Wednesday, during the public comment session.
Despite controversy in Summerville over the issue that people involved describe as heated, no one else spoke during the session.
“Thank you, Mr. Hargett,” Mayor Bill Collins said politely before moving on to the next agenda item.
Town Council later voted unanimously to approve the addition in title only, meaning details of it are still being worked out. Town Council members asked about arranging the meeting and requested that final votes be made one at a time on the hospital and two other properties proposed to be added to the historic district. A public hearing must be held before a final vote no sooner than May.
“I think if they tell us when they would like to meet, we can make something happen,” Collins said later. Hargett said he would call Collins.
The former hospital complex is the county’s human services center for the lower county. It comprises an entire city block at a busy intersection in downtown Summerville, and the county has considered selling it to save money and consolidate services.
The stately building at its center is the old county hospital and has a history of its own. The historic addition was proposed partly to stop a sale that some are concerned would destroy the building.
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