Originally created 07/12/97

Aiken plans $40,000 improvements



AIKEN - The city of Aiken is planning to spend $40,000 on improvements along Whiskey Road this fall.

Plans include sprucing up the section of the corridor between South Boundary Avenue and Whitney Drive, which includes Palmetto Golf Club.

But whether or not motorists will be protected from errant golf balls is up to the golf club.

A main portion of that stretch borders the third hole at Palmetto, a private club built in 1892.

"Really, until we find out what the city is going to do, we're not sure what we're going to do," said Tom Moore, club professional. "There's no doubt we're going to have to do something to keep the balls out of there."

According to some club members, a serpentine wall similar to the one at Hopeland Gardens would be attractive. However, any recommendation from the board of trustees must go through the Whitney Trust, which controls the course.

"I think it would be really nice," said Skipper Perry, who is acting as a liaison between the club and the city. "It's just something that's going to have to weave its way through red tape."

According to Roger LeDuc, public works director for the city, the project would be part of an overall plan to beautify entranceways to the city.

"We said we would work with them," Mr. LeDuc said. "Either way, we'll be taking down the vegetation in front of that fence. We told them this would be a great opportunity for them to do something."

In the spring, crews from South Carolina Electric & Gas trimmed the area in question because of power lines bordering the course.

Mr. LeDuc said the city will plant smaller trees, shrubbery and grass from the Fermata Club to Whitney Drive, a stretch of about 2,000 feet. About 1,000 feet of that borders the golf course. An irrigation system will also be installed.

He said the city told SCE&G to clear out the area because of the plans for the fall.

"Might as well take it all down until the golf course makes a decision," Mr. LeDuc said.