18 months later, church struggles to fix ditch

William Baker, of St. Paul's Methodist Church in Awendaw, wants something done about a ditch left behind by contractors when they installed a waterline in November 2007.

jessica johnson

AWENDAW — Near the end of 2007, contractors laid a town's waterline in front of St. Paul's Methodist Church property, leaving behind a messy uneven ditch.

Contractors filled the hole they dug for the line, but never leveled the ground, making it impossible to mow and maintain, said church member William Baker. Since that time Baker has called everyone he could think of to get something done.

Eighteen months and a notepad full of numbers later the steep ditch remains.

Baker last met with the S.C. Department of Transportation and town officials in June 2008. They promised the ditch would be restored, but it never was. Baker said a grass mat was laid but it washed away.

So Baker decided to call the Post and Courier's Watchdog.

A narrow muddy hole runs the length of the ditch just south of the church along U.S. Highway 17.

"Do you think this looks very neat? Do you think this fits in with the rest of the ground around the church? I don't think it does," Baker said.

Baker said the ditch had a gradual slope before the line was installed, and could be maintained.

J.D. Wilcox, DOT assistant district maintenance engineer, who met with Baker in June 2008, said Tuesday that he thought the problem had been resolved.

"We need to get with him and see what he wants," Wilcox said.