Letter: Council member shares thoughts on Kitchings Mill decision
I want to thank the City of Aiken Board of Zoning Appeals for a unanimous vote not to grant a variance on the historic Kitchings Mill Library. You kept County Council from making a grievous mistake after we voted unanimously to relocate this historical building onto county property of the Banksia Museum.
I have apologized to the Council members for “the slap in the face” by the Board, and I am sorry for asking County Council to locate a county building on county property within the city.
Kitchings Mill Library was established in the late 1800s as the first rural library of Aiken County and the first mobile library system. I was not aware that the Board is more knowledgeable on what is appropriate in the Historical District of the City of Aiken than the City Design and Review Board, who approved this location with a unanimous vote.
I realize now it would have been unforgivable to locate this historical library in the City of Aiken where certain “leaders” have no appreciation of the history of the northeastern 60 percent of the county. I am happy that we will locate our museum on our side of the county, because it has become obvious that these officials have no appreciation or interest in anything outside of the city limits.
The northeastern side of the county has such a great history and is such a nice place to live that it would be a shame to hide any of its rural charm within the city of Aiken. It is understandable why so many people have moved to this area to enjoy the beauty and solitude of nature’s abundance.
I want to sincerely thank the town of Wagener, that has graciously offered property in the new park on which to locate and preserve this Aiken County landmark. Thanks to all the committee members whose efforts over the past two years have allowed us to save the Kitchings Mill Library.
The library will be moving east, not west.
Aiken County Council, District 1, Wagener