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Letter to the Editor

Mt. Vintage resident and worker praises development

web posted February 11, 2009
Dear Editor,
My wife and I moved to Mount Vintage in 1998.  I couldn’t wait to return to my Southern roots and once again grow grass in good Carolina soil.  It was an exciting time for me as I watched the first trees fall as the original eighteen holes of golf began to be constructed.  Our commitment began that year with Talmadge Knight, Bettis Rainsford and Mount Vintage, and it continues with just as much enthusiasm today.  My commitment goes beyond that of an employee since we are equity members, residents, as well as owners of additional properties.

Since my interest in Mount Vintage is personal and professional, I listened with interest to the audio of Dennis Brite’s presentation to the County Council last week.  Keeping in mind that words are powerful and they can either unite or divide us, I was especially interested when Mr. Brite stated that all the work done on Eutaw Springs Trail during the last few weeks amounted to just “pushing mud around.”  I have been the one actually busy pushing the soil around the lift stations and the shoulders of the road for several weeks.  My dedicated staff and I take great pride in the work we do for the owners, residents and members.  The work we have accomplished is essential to getting the water and sewer systems permitted and the road completed.

During his presentation last week, Mr. Brite made comments regarding our golf course construction budget that suggested incompetence on our part.  I have devoted thirty-two years to my profession and have been widely recognized for my competence and quality of my work.  As mentioned earlier, I have been at Mount Vintage since construction on the original eighteen holes began and have overseen every element of the golf course construction.  It is with very hard work and careful attention to every detail that we have earned the reputation for Mount Vintage of being one of the finest golf courses in the nation.  When we began the construction of our third nine, our objective was to create nine holes of aesthetic beauty that would equally match or exceed the quality of the original eighteen.  I am quite proud and pleased with our final product.

Mr. Brite mentioned that we have allowed substantial storm water erosion into the drains and creeks along Eutaw Springs Trail.  Anyone having knowledge of road construction understands that the soil types and topography can vary, as is the case at Mount Vintage.  A certain amount of erosion during periods of heavy rainfall is unavoidable.  Since the pictures Mr. Brite showed were taken in the immediate aftermath of substantial rainfall, it should be noted that retention ponds have been designed and constructed within several hundred feet of the road.  There are three natural drainage channels on Eutaw Springs Trail that direct excess discharged water and sediment into the retention ponds to prevent the polluting of downstream tributaries.

It has been mentioned to me that some residents of Mount Vintage are under the impression that Mr. Brite began construction of his house in 2006.  To my knowledge, Mr. Brite did not begin construction until the spring of 2008.  It is my understanding, his house is not finished and even if the water and sewer were already permitted, he could not get an occupancy permit.

As I stated in my second paragraph, words are powerful and they can either unite or divide us.  The friendliness and acts of kindness expressed by those who reside at Mount Vintage is one common thread that binds and unites us.  Most residents will agree that it was the friendliness shown to them by neighbors and members that helped them decide to make Mount Vintage their home.  During our ten years here, we have made wonderful friendships not only at Mount Vintage, but also throughout Edgefield County.  We’ve lived here long enough to be able to say that we usually recognize at least one or two friends when we are out and about in Edgefield or Johnston.

There is a sense of pride felt in each of us for the place where we live.  Our Mount Vintage family is unique since it consists of families from various parts of the country who come to Edgefield County with wonderful experiences and talents to share and use to make positive contributions to our community. 

It is so important to always be respectful and mindful of the opinions of others.  I appreciate the opinions of others when these opinions are expressed with respect and honesty.  Nothing is gained when the objective and actions of an individual is to tarnish the reputation and make disparaging remarks regarding the hard work of others in order to convey their point of view.

Bettis and Talmadge have made it possible for us to have a “dream-come-true” place to live.  With each passing year, their vision has become clearer to us by all that has been developed.  I am proud of the opportunity I have been privileged to share with them for more than a decade and I look forward with much anticipation to the progress that is yet to come.

Tim Phillips
Director of Golf Course & Grounds Operations
Mount Vintage Plantation


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