Letter to the editor: Sumter City residents deserve paved roads in 2024


Low- to moderate-income communities in downtown Sumter are faced with some of the same issues that plague our rural neighbors in Sumter County, only this is in close proximity to the downtown central business district oddly. These communities surrounding the Historic Downtown Sumter Business District and historical neighborhoods have long gone overlooked when it comes to public works and resources.

Dirt roads that are public and not private can be found in both south and west Sumter of the downtown community. Similar to issues on the rural dirt roads, city residents on dirt roads have drainage issues, potholes, limited access to fire hydrants and little to no sidewalks. Dirt roads slow arrival times for EMS, fire trucks and other emergency workers. The farther the fire hydrant is located from a structure, the property insurance is not only higher, the likelihood of surviving an emergency such as a fire is greatly decreased.

Simply put, the needs of the low- to moderate-income community residents mainly in Ward 2 are severely overlooked and ignored. A survey conducted found that many residents see a relationship between their mistreatment and gentrification. Gentrification is the process in which low- to moderate-income communities see an influx of redevelopment and renovations in their communities, which brings about higher prices and a higher cost of living, which eventually leads to the displacement of long-time residents. Let's not let these tax-paying citizens be displaced or continue to lack access to public works and services in the midst of a growing and developing downtown City of Sumter.



Sumter Black Chamber of Commerce