Cherry Grove residents to fund estimated $6.3 million dredging project

Cherry Grove residents to fund estimated $6.3 million dredging project

CHERRY GROVE, SC (WMBF) - Cherry Grove residents are bracing for the possibility they may have to pay $24,000 over 10 years for the dredging of Cherry Grove canals.

Many of the homes in the Cherry Grove area have docks, so people can pull their boats in and out of the channels. They say when it's low tide, you can expect to get stuck, but they don't know how they feel about being stuck with the bill to fix it.

"As a resident, I don't think we should have to pay to dredge the state-owned water," Ronald Eleuteri said.

Ronald Eleuteri has lived in the area for nearly two decades and as much as he would be okay helping foot the bill for the smaller channels near his home, he doesn't feel it's right to contribute to the entire project.

"What are we paying for, they are asking us to pay to dredge the state channel, and pay more to dredge up to my dock. So, you know, it's sort of silly. It seems to me we would be just as well off not dredging at all," Eleuteri added.

However, Eleuteri doesn't deny the channels are filling up with mud as the years pass, and others in the community say the issue affects their everyday routines.

"It really makes us aware of high and low tide, we have it posted on our refrigerator, we know.. my wife got caught one time out on low tide and she had to wait a few hours before she could come back," Tony Howell said.

Howell and his wife have been tenants in a home in the Cherry Grove area for the past two years, and others that rent in the community, for a week or so at a time, can see the mud posing an issue in more ways that one.

"When we were here before, we were playing frisbee and my husband accidentally threw the frisbee out into the muck, and we were like, oh, I don't know how we are going to get that, because it looks like that muck is very, very deep," Stephanie Vanderlugt said.

When it comes down to the estimated $24,000 cost per property owner, some don't feel it balances out with benefits for the property owners.

"I don't want to pay, because it's not going to benefit me at all. As what they are going to do I don't think it's fair for people to pay $24,000 dollars over a ten-year period to get this done. I don't think it's going to make much difference in what we have," Eleuteri said.

The next and final vote on the tax assessment for the first dredging will be the first week in April.

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