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Thursday, June 14, 2012

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with Home Depot, local churches, civic groups and businesses as well as local residents will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 15 for a community garden and children’s playground that have been built on a one-acre property on Meetze Road near Lexington that formerly contained an abandoned home that was used as a location for buying crack cocaine.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said the homeowner agreed to allow the abandoned home on Meetze Road to be demolished and agreed to allow volunteers to build the community garden and children’s playground on the one-acre property. The construction of the community garden and playground is part of a community restoration effort that the Sheriff’s Department, local churches, civic groups and businesses initiated in 2009 on Meetze Road and English Road, which previously had been a hot spot for drug dealing and other criminal activity.

“We want to continue to send a message to drug dealers that we are taking this community back,” Metts said. “The construction of the community garden and children’s playground reflects our long-term commitment to restore pride in this community, and our determination to make this community a safe haven for God-fearing, law-abiding citizens.”

East Lexington Resident Deputy David Nieves coordinated the participation of the Sheriff’s Department in the community restoration project, Metts said.

The Sheriff’s Department and Zion Lutheran Church helped local residents create a non-profit organization, which applied for financial aid from Home Depot, Metts said. The non-profit organization received a $5,500 grant from Home Depot, enabling local residents and volunteers from the Sheriff’s Department, Home Depot store in Lexington, local churches and civic groups to build the children’s playground, community garden, picnic tables and privacy fence. Metts said the following organizations and persons assisted in the community restoration project on Meetze Road and English Road: Zion Lutheran Church, The New Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church, Thomas Kleckley, Lucas Porta-Jon Service, Sox & Freeman Tree Experts, TD Bank in Lexington, Consumers Feed & Seed Store, Southern Commercial Development, Craig Bowers, Michael Magruder and Cayce-West Columbia Lions Club.

The construction of the community garden and children’s playground reflects the Sheriff’s Department mission of providing professional law enforcement services that enhance the quality of life for all people in Lexington County, Metts said.

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