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Highway 17: Group wants to extend landscaped corridor

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Litchfield’s landscaped median may be expanding.

Tom Leis, president of the Litchfield Corridor Beautification Committee, said he wanted to get an estimate of the cost of three new beds for a .6-mile stretch of median between Sandy Island Road and Brookgreen Gardens. He hopes to apply for the funds from the county’s Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee in the fall.

Leis told his board that Brookgreen Gardens CEO Bob Jewell had become very supportive of efforts to beautify and maintain the median on Highway 17. The Litchfield group applied for $15,000 in accommodations tax money to mow the .6-mile strip of median from Sandy Island Road to Brookgreen. Jewell agreed to have his landscaping staff mow half of the strip, saving the county $7,500.

Board member Bill McElroy said the increased attention to the median going north from Litchfield would complement the work being done by Murrells Inlet 2020 on its portion. “It looks like a new place up there,” he said. “If we get it planted and looking nice that would be an incentive for them.”

The Litchfield median will grow slightly on its southern boundary with the completion of the Pawleys Island median project. Board member Vonnie Pannucci said the new turn-restricting median from Baskervill Road to Martin Luther King Drive will contain Asiatic jasmine and lilies and a generic muley grass. The Litchfield group has agreed to maintain that small portion of the project that begins at Waverly Road if the county provides the funding. A Pawleys Island beautification committee has said it would consider being responsible for landscaping upkeep on the new portion if funding were made available.

Ice storm damage cost the Litchfield group $1,556 to clean up, Pannucci said. Committee members called median contractor Waccamaw Landscaping into action after the storm in February. “Lessons learned from the storm,” treasurer Ken Dewell said, “is that storm-related damage is not part of our contract for monthly maintenance.”

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