by Stacy Jacobson
DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) -- They say one man's trash is another's treasure. But Dorchester County Councilman Jay Byars didn't see it that way at the future site of Ashley River Park.
"There's dumping, household waste, folks trespassing, doing hunting on the property and camping," he said.
Althea Loney has lived in her Summerville neighborhood for almost 20 years. She lives next to the site of the future park. She said people leaving trash was old news.
"I think it's been that way for years. It might've been a party place, but a lot of people and cars go down in there. There's a chain but it gets taken down," Loney said.
"You can see it's a beautiful property, but at the same time for public safety we have to get control of that," Byars said.
Byars said the county did take control by putting in surveillance cameras. Officials also wanted neighbors to report any vandalism and trespassing they saw.
"I'm encouraged by the fact that people want to use the property because it's a beautiful property. We just need to get control of it, get a plan developed and get the park set up," Byars said.
It may look impossible now, but Byars said plans for the land include river and pond activities, docks, picnic areas and trails.
"This is a resource where you're going to be able to get out in open space close to your neighborhood and home, but get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Get out here and relax by the Ashley River," he said.
"It would be a nice place to go because really there are not any over here," Loney said.
Now that's turning trash into treasure.
Officials hoped to begin construction on the park by the end of summer 2013. They asked residents to report any vandalism or trespassing to the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office.