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Equine center

Posted: January 15, 2013 3:30 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2013 5:00 a.m.

When the city of Camden proposed using hospitality tax funds to help construct a new YMCA, the proposal met with a great deal of opposition from many who felt that wouldn’t be an appropriate use of the funds. That controversy boiled over for quite awhile and Mayor Jeffrey Graham eventually lost his re-election bid to political newcomer Tony Scully. Now a new proposal for hospitality tax funding has been brought before council, and whether or not members decide to fund it, there can be no argument that it would be a proper use of such money.

We’re referring to the recent proposal from the S.C. Equine Center to build a second covered arena at the facility, located near Exit 101 off I-20, in the Charlotte Thompson community. Laura Thiel Shull, chair of the S.C. Equine Promotion Coalition, asked council members last week to consider helping fund construction of a new arena, which she said would bring more visitors to Kershaw County and would increase the economic impact the horse industry has on Camden and the entire county.

The project would probably cost about $1 million, and Kershaw County Council has chipped in a quarter of that. Shull provided council members with a detailed package of financial figures covering the project. Certainly the numbers have to be reasonable, but if they do indeed show significant return on such an investment, we hope council members will give every consideration to the request. Camden has long been known for its equine projects, and this sounds like one which could further the city’s reputation throughout the Southeast and bring many people -- and their dollars -- to the area.

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