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Elgin council unhappy with rec improvements list

Posted: July 10, 2012 4:48 p.m.
Updated: July 11, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Elgin Town Council members unanimously approved an “all or nothing” resolution expressing their stance on Kershaw County Council’s recent passage of a ballot measure for a penny tax to fund recreational improvements.

County council, with assistance from a recreation advisory committee, recreation staff and Alliance Consulting Engineers Inc., recently drafted an update to the county’s master recreation plan. In the plan are recommendations for one- to five-year capital improvements, including a new Elgin park at Potter Road.

According to the final summary of the plan, recommendations for the proposed park should consist of a community center, playground, site improvements, a walking trail, picnic shelters and benches. The total cost of these improvements is listed at $1.952 million.

However, that initial list of projects submitted to county council in April differs from Capital Projects Sales Tax Commission’s June 19 report, lists its recommendations in order of priority. Out of a total of 11 countywide projects, Elgin improvements are listed as number “(6) Construction of Elgin Park and Improve Existing Tennis Court; Playground with Handicap Access, Picnic Shelters, Walking Trails, Rebuild/refurbish tennis court at existing site with lighting” and “(10) Elgin Community Center; Construction of a multi-purpose community center at site of new Elgin Park.” The total cost of these proposed projects is listed in the report as $876,645 and $600,000 respectively. The total of those two items comes to $1.477 million, some $475,000 less that the April 12 list suggested.

In addition, the tax commission noted in its report that “(s)tate law allows projects to be funded in three ways: 1) all at once, using bond financing supported by a pledge of the taxes; 2) paying for one project at time by building them in the order listed on the ballot as the tax money is collected, or 3) based on estimates of when tax moneys would be received, funding one or more projects at a time from tax moneys received, using a formula or schedule recommended by the Commission.”

Elgin Town Council’s resolution, put forth by Mayor Brad Hanley on July 3, came as a response to the passage of the ballot tax measure by Kershaw County Council.

“My concern is that an approved measure does not guarantee improvements for Elgin.” Hanley said.

In other news, the Elgin council meeting included unanimous approval of the reappointment of Judge David Reuwer, and review of open lawn care bids.

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