Rail car art exhibit proposed for Irmo

By Al Dozier

Irmo could soon have a new “Welcome to Irmo” public art display that would include historical images portraying the history of the town.

It would be displayed on a retired rail box car in a highly visible area of the town.

The unusual project was proposed to the Irmo Town Council Tuesday by the Irmo Future Growth Corp., an economic development organization founded during the pandemic to help small businesses.

“It would bring awareness to what makes Irmo special,” said Beach Loveland, who heads the growth corporation.

Loveland said an application for an old box car and a set of tracks has been obtained from CSX Railroad.

The town would commission a mural to be painted on the side of the box car, themed around an old post card with the words “Welcome to Irmo”. Each letter of Irmo would have historical images telling the story of the town. Images would likely include scenes from Lake Murray and the Okra Strut.

A lot more new attractions will be coming to Irmo as the town’s new Events Committee is planning several new activities.

The committee advised the council that plans are underway for a Fall Festival at Irmo’s Community Park that would feature a lot of music and art.

The council was asked to help fund the project with a contribution of $20,000. Council members voiced support for the festival.

At the beginning of the meeting, the council recognized the Irmo Junior Little League Softball Team, which recently made national headlines at the Southeast Regional Champions. Team members and the team coach were given special awards and gifts.

“We are very, very proud of you,” Mayor Barry Walker said.

The name “Irmo” kept appearing in national news headlines throughout the country as the team advanced to the finals, Walker noted.

Irmo’s team came just short of a Junior League Softball World Series championship when they were defeated by Michigan. It was Irmo’s only loss of the tournament and the postseason. They were the first South Carolina team to ever advance to the World Series.

In other action during the recognition session, St. Andrews Dermatology was recognized as the Small Business of the Month. Lisa A. Alberghini was recognized as Artist of the Month.

New in-town businesses recognized were: Bickle Design Co. 1119 Old Town Road; Oak Cliff Technical Services, LLC, 204 Amber Ridge Trail; ICCP Turkey, 254 Andover Circle; Clarrisa’s Kitchen & Catering, 7713 St. Andrews Road.

In other action the council gave second and final reading approval to an ordinance to zone property at 1342 Farming Creek Road owned by Jonnathan Prestino to Fringe Agricultural. The property was recently annexed into the town.

The council also approved zoning a recently annexed property at 1191 Dutch Fork Road as General Commercial. The property is surrounded by commercial properties.

The council approved updated ordinances relating to mobile home regulations.

The council gave first reading approval to an ordinance rezoning a site at Farming Creek Road and Dreher Shoals Road planned for a self-storage facility, and three other parcels, from fringe agricultural to commercial.

The council approved a contract to Wiley Easton Construction Co. in the amount of $146,000 for Phase 1 of the Rawls Creek Park Project. The work includes clearing, tree and debris removal and erosion control.

The council also approved a contract with Sweepings Corp. of America for residential roadway sweeping throughout the town in the amount of $10, 560. Approval was also given for the use of $30,000 in Hospitality Funds to continue the parking lot expansion at the Irmo Community Park.

The council agreed to submit a letter to the S.C. Department of Transportation requesting a four-way Stop at Chadford Road and North Royal Tower Drive. The request was made to slow down traffic at the intersection.

The council held a brief discussion on providing residents with a glass recycling location.

Current laws do not allow residents to place glass objects in trash disposals but the council was advised that the town could receive the recycling services from Lexington County. It would require locating a dumpster collection site in the town. The council will discuss the issue further at the next work session.