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Katelynn Kozlowski wearing a hot pink “wheels to surf” t-shirt and a big grin pedaled her matching tricycle up a gravel road accompanied by about 70 of her friends. Kozlowski struggles with balance issues due to a traumatic brain injury, but on her new Worksman cycle, she was riding high.Wayne Sosin wants a billboard as people come into Conway that reads, “Conway S.C., Home of America’s Oldest Bicycle Manufacturer.”That honor is a point of pride for Sosin, the president of ...
Katelynn Kozlowski wearing a hot pink “wheels to surf” t-shirt and a big grin pedaled her matching tricycle up a gravel road accompanied by about 70 of her friends. Kozlowski struggles with balance issues due to a traumatic brain injury, but on her new Worksman cycle, she was riding high.
Wayne Sosin wants a billboard as people come into Conway that reads, “Conway S.C., Home of America’s Oldest Bicycle Manufacturer.”
That honor is a point of pride for Sosin, the president of Worksman Cycles, and he believes it should be trumpeted in a community that is seeking more manufacturing jobs.
“That’ll create an image for Conway. That’s a claim, a pretty cool claim to be able to make,” he said.
Tucked away in a nondescript warehouse off Bulk Plant Road, about 50 trades people are steadily building industrial bicycles and tricycles that are being used in plants and factories all over the world, and have been since 1898.
In 1898, Morris Worksman owned a dry-good shop in lower Manhattan at what would eventually become the site of the World Trade Center. He had just started selling chain-driven bicycles which were relatively new in the United States.
Watching New York vendors selling their wares from carts that were pushed by hand or pulled by horses, he recognized a new use for the vehicles. Worksman patented the first three-wheeled delivery cycle.
Worksman moved to a production facility in Brooklyn and started making cabinets that could be mounted on the back of the tricycles, including an insulated box for ice deliveries.
His little business was doing well selling delivery cycles locally to ice cream vendors who were beginning to sell their frozen treats from the bicycle-mounted coolers when Worksman got his first big break. His invention caught the attention of a new startup company called the Good Humour Ice Cream Co. that would eventually become a top-selling brand in all the major U.S. cities.
“The rest is history,” said Sosin. “They bought a lot of ice cream tricycles and it was the first time that Worksman Cycles started shipping all over the country to Good Humour destinations.”
The biggest challenge of moving to Conway in 2016 was finding a reliable workforce, Sosin said. He initially hoped that his loyal staff of factory workers would come with him to Conway for what he perceived as a higher quality of life. He was surprised when most of those workers, many immigrants from Guyana and were not willing to make the move away from their well-established communities.
Additionally, Worksman has two-seater tricycles with the seats placed side-by-side making them perfect to ride with a partner that has physical or emotional challenges. The with a lot of different options like backrests and adaptive pedals that allow riders to customize for their particular needs.
These empowering events are only are made possible by volunteers and specially designed equipment, according to Luke Sharpe, director of the .
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The City of Conway will hold a runoff election in two weeks to fill the vacant seat on city council.This comes after none of the original five candidates were able to gain 50% of the total votes needed to win on Tuesday.Kendall Brown and Autry Benton were the only two candidates to gain over 400 votes before heading ...
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The City of Conway will hold a runoff election in two weeks to fill the vacant seat on city council.
This comes after none of the original five candidates were able to gain 50% of the total votes needed to win on Tuesday.
The Horry County natives both have called Conway home all their lives. Each hopes to make a difference if elected as the city continues to grow.
“I believe it’s very important our growth is responsible, because we cannot hide or shy away from growth,” said Brown.
“I want to continue to keep our growth at a good place but I want people to be able to experience how great Conway is,” said Benton.
Since 2013, Kendall Brown worked in the registered deeds office of Horry County and is involved with the city, having served on the planning commission since 2015.
Benton, meanwhile, is a retired Marine and local business owner working in concrete construction and says this is his second time running for Conway City Council.
While an outright victory on Tuesday would have been great, they’re both ready to keep campaigning.
“It shows myself and others the need for a new face on council, one not only caring and connected but committed to improvements for Conway,” said Brown.
“Sometimes politics is not about talking so much - but listening to people,” said Benton.
Both are proud of the work Conway City Council has accomplished in recent years and hope to bring a new perspective if elected.
As for the election process Brown and Benton say they’ve learned a lot about the city, voters and themselves along the way.
“I’ve learned perseverance and the ability to use my current strength within the city and discover new needs that others have,” said Brown.
“I want to serve this city and would love the voters to give me a chance and serve this great town and show everyone what I can do,” said Benton.
The winner of the runoff will not have a very long term on city council.
They will have to file and run again in November for the general election if they wish to serve a full four-year term.
Stay with WMBF News for updates.
Copyright 2023 WMBF. All rights reserved.
A team behind the largest planned development in Conway’s modern history will have another month to finalize its sales pitch as grassroots opposition builds.Over the next 25 years, Fort Mill-b...
A team behind the largest planned development in Conway’s modern history will have another month to finalize its sales pitch as grassroots opposition builds.
Over the next 25 years, Fort Mill-based BRD Land & Investment hopes to transform more than 1,700 acres bounded by S.C. Highway 701, Kinlaw Lane and Pitch Landing Road into a massive mixed-use community with 3,300 homes and nearly 1.4 million square feet of commercial space.
But rather than build the project in Horry County, developers want what’s tentatively named Warden Station to become part of Conway — a lengthier process that requires annexation and approval of a development agreement that runs some 500 pages.
Given the project’s scope, planning officials set an Aug. 3 date to consider the annexation request and make their suggestion to the city council.
But hours before that meeting was to begin, the proposal was pushed to Sept. 7.
“It could be developed in Horry County with no control on the part of the city, so you end up having to deal with all the problems that could be created while not getting any contribution, any additional open space, nothing else that benefits the city,” Robert “Shep” Guyton, an attorney representing BRD Land & Investment, told the town’s planning commission on July 13.
“There’s value in the brand of being in Conway,” Guyton said. “You all have created a name that does add value, it’s where people want to live. Horry County of itself doesn’t have an identity.”
If Conway approves the deal, the development would include the following:
Outside the city’s planning offices on Aug. 3, Elaine Kemp stood clutching a stack of petitions collected from dozens of residents who are against the venture. She’s also administrator of “Conway People for Responsible Building,” a Facebook watchdog group.
Long-time residents like Tim Wolfe, who lives off Pitch Landing Road, said despite the developer’s accommodations, such heavy use in the rural area would affect his quality of life.
“Most of the people I know that live down in this area, we don’t want another Carolina Forest, and that’s exactly what this place is going to turn into,” Wolfe said.
A traffic study included as part of the development plan shows annual daily trips of 7,800 on Pitch Landing Road and 16,600 on S.C. Highway 701 — figures expected to nearly double by 2050.
“Traffic control all along the coast in this area, not just in Conway, is a problem,” said Conway resident Sam Viola. “Car insurance is skyrocketing in state. Homeowners’ insurance is skyrocketing in the state.”
This story was originally published August 3, 2023, 8:03 PM.
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The City of Conway has been designated as South Carolina’s Inaugural River Trail Town.This is a recognition city leaders hope will foster more tourism and bring more business to the area. Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy said she sees this designation as an honor.“It just says that we’ve done the right things, that we’ve put our resources and our thoughts in the right places. It’s an enormous, very, very big honor for us to carry that title,” said Blain-Bellamy....
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The City of Conway has been designated as South Carolina’s Inaugural River Trail Town.
This is a recognition city leaders hope will foster more tourism and bring more business to the area. Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy said she sees this designation as an honor.
“It just says that we’ve done the right things, that we’ve put our resources and our thoughts in the right places. It’s an enormous, very, very big honor for us to carry that title,” said Blain-Bellamy.
It’s a title now proudly worn by South Carolina’s oldest river trail town, in recognition of its riverwalk alongside the historic Waccamaw River.
Mayor Blain-Bellamy said it’s important the city offers a range of activities.
“That we establish trailways. Places where people can bike, and walk, and hike,” said Blain-Bellamy.
Mayor Blain-Bellamy believes the riverwalk has always been important to Conway.
“As long as I’ve been a part of it, since about 1993,” said Blain-Bellamy.
Now, she believes other people across the state are understanding its importance too.
“Conway is one of those small towns where people are bringing in shops and restaurants. How appropriate is it to them be the first Trail Town in South Carolina,” said South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette.
Lt. Gov. Evette said she loves coming to Conway and walking the riverwalk trail. She encourages others to do the same.
“I’m just always happy to be here and really show people why they need to do staycations,” said Evette. “Pack up the kids, come to amazing towns like this, and hike our amazing trails.”
For Mayor Blain-Bellamy, she hopes the designation will draw people in.
“It will give visitors even more reason to come to Conway. Our offerings expand over time and this is an important one,” Blain-Bellamy said.
And, the mayor had a message for visitors and residents alike.
“Welcome to Conway, the Inaugural River Trail Town,” said Blain-Bellamy.
The mayor said the city is also looking at ways to traverse the Waccamaw River as the city continues to grow.
Copyright 2023 WMBF. All rights reserved.
CONWAY, S.C. (WPDE) — It was standing room only in the Conway Planning Commission meeting Thursday evening.Later during the process, the chair asked the audience how many people came in opposition to a single item and a majority of the room raised their hands. It was a mix of Conway and Horry County residents. All united with one purpose, and that was to speak against the ...
CONWAY, S.C. (WPDE) — It was standing room only in the Conway Planning Commission meeting Thursday evening.
Later during the process, the chair asked the audience how many people came in opposition to a single item and a majority of the room raised their hands. It was a mix of Conway and Horry County residents. All united with one purpose, and that was to speak against the annexation and rezoning of more than 1700 acres along Highway 701 S and Pitch Landing Road.
If built it would be called Warden Station. A revised concept plan was shared during the meeting that increased the number of residential units from 3,262 to 3,318. Applicants said the entire project would take 25 years to complete with the plan being to build 20% of it within the next five years beginning in late 2024.
"The developer's proposing to fund intersection improvements for five separate intersections, three that exist and two that are new," said applicant attorney Shep Guyton. "They're proposing to install four pickleball courts on property that would be conveyed to the city as a part of recreational facilities within the city. That also has a trigger of no later than 750 building permits."
Before Guyton or others spoke, the city planning director Jessica Hucks laid out the multiple concerns shared by members of the city's Technical Review Committee that ranged from strain on roads, public services, stormwater drainage, and flood risk within the development.
"We're lowering the elevations in there by virtue of creating those ponds effectively creating more storage capacity during those large storm events," said Brandon Truesdale with G3 Engineering.
Several residents balked at the claims that the retention ponds in the project would help prevent flooding in an area that saw some of the worst rising waters post Hurricane Florence.
"Everybody who is in Conway along the Waccamaw, this is going to impact them," said neighbor Sam Aiola.
"I don't see how they can build a development like that and not put more water on us than what we already have to deal with now," said Pitch Landing resident Tim Wolfe.
Wolfe and others also shared their concerns about how a project like this could forever transform the area.
"That's exactly what this place is going to turn into, just like Carolina Forest all the traffic, all the congestion, and all the problems," Wolfe said.
Applicants like Pitts argued that what the builders are offering the city is more than they needed to give. He and Guyton both said to the commission that since this project would add more stress on the city, it made sense to bring it to them for an opportunity to annex it and have more control over the corridor.
The area is predominantly outside of Conway City limits.
"There's a lot of things that we're getting here and being presented to this commission and to council for consideration that wouldn't happen if the property was annexed under a straight zoning consideration or if it was developed in Horry County," Pitts said.
When it became time for the commission to make a recommendation, planning staff requested that the issue be deferred since they just received the updated conceptual plans and development agreement. Commissioners agreed and voted to delay both requests until their August meeting.