Heart to Heart Ministries responds to parking issue

  • Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dear Editor:
On behalf of the leadership staff of HHIM, it is our hearts desire to always building up and flow with the vision of our great community and its leadership when possible.  We, the staff of HHIM, love our community and will always do what we can within our power to make it attractive and one that will draw people to the area to make this town their home. 
We are saddened that we have not come to a mutual agreement concerning parking with the Town of Moncks Corner.
We want our community to know and understand our perspective. We purchased the former Piggly Wiggly on April 29, 2004 and we renovated the old Rite Aid building and its suites. We started our renovation on the location in July 2007 (the former Piggly Wiggly) and we, the members of HHIM, have been renovating the facility without any assistance from banks.
We wanted to take our time and be wise stewards over what we are blessed with. Also, God gave us specific instructions to carry out this construction project in this manner. Our church staff has our parking lot renovation on schedule as a part of the overall new look for downtown Moncks Corner. The quotes have ranged from $70,000 to $125,000.
Our issue started when we purchased the former Piggly Wiggly Complex. 
When the town rented out the Depot, people left trash, beer bottles, cups, some urinated on the side of the building in our parking lot. Members often stumbled upon used condoms, and other paraphernalia.
We allowed this to go on for eight years. Our church members did not deserve to pull up to this kind of disrespect.  The Moncks Corner Police Department should have numerous reports on file for misbehavior during scheduled events at the Depot. We had to call the police to settle issues. We finally decided to take action by conversing with the town and submitting a letter to the town administrator Marc Hehn.
Our leadership team resolved the following: Since the depot is renting and receiving funds, there was a way we could request a minimal donation from drivers to park and be monitored. Our purpose is to use the proceeds to help us redo our parking lot as a result of weekly wear and tear and to keep the consistency of beautification with the town.
Keep in mind that prior to the new use as a church, a not for profit organization, the parking lot was owned by the Orvin’s who ran a grocery store. We are just simply asking the community to park if you choose to and allow your contribution to go towards helping us to beautify our parking lot at the appointed time.
The town and the church have volleyed a few options to no avail on either side. Our staff does not think it is fair for the town to make money by renting the Depot and using its funds for upkeep and we cannot have the same vision.  We feel like we have been demonized for asking for a donation for the parking lot that we purchased. The money will be directed to upgrading the entire parking lot.  Upon completion of the parking project, future funds will be used to support our youth ministry.
There are several churches in Summerville – Bethany United Methodist, First Baptist Church of Summerville and Summerville Presbyterian Church – and some throughout the downtown area that also charge for parking during annual festivals. Their fees are $5 and that is also our asking donation for a purpose that ultimately impacts us all. 
The town received a letter over a year ago concerning this year’s functions.  The town has had ample time to make their decision and prepare the towns people for any changes. 
The council has voted not to pay the $500 for its citizens.  We look forward to a mutual agreement. It is our sincere desire that the town, the church (HHIM), and the Church’s attorney come to an agreement soon. 
The parking lot is available for parking during the festival weekend as long as the $5 donation is honored or unless the town council agrees with our prior proposal of $500 to absorb the fees for the community
HHIM Staff 

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