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Finance committee approves ATAX requests

Posted: January 18, 2011 4:54 p.m.
Updated: January 19, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Council finance committee put a smile on the faces of several leaders of Kershaw County non-profit organizations Tuesday by agreeing to recommend their requests for accommodations tax funds.

The committee voted unanimously to recommend granting $70,000 to the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County for upgrades to Wood Auditorium; $70,000 to the S.C. Equine Promotion Foundation for improvements at the equine park; $70,000 for the Kershaw County Humane Society to use toward the creation of a dog park; $45,000 to Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site for the Kershaw-Cornwallis House; and $45,000 to the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce for the Robert Mills Courthouse.

According to humane society plans, the dog park will be located near the intersection of Black River and Tickle Hill roads, and will feature an off-leash area for dogs to socialize, a walking trail and a place where various kennel clubs can hold events.

Tuesday’s allocation recommendations were a one-time approval from a $500,000 pot of accommodations funds which has been growing for roughly six or seven years, Councilman Jimmy Jones said. From this point on, the accommodations tax is expected to generate approximately $65,000 per year, Jones added. He noted that the pot of money had been brought to light by Kershaw County Administrator Clay Young and Finance Director Crystal Burr.

Per state law, the requests had to be for tourism-related capital projects, and not for any recurring operational costs.

“A lot of these folks do so much for our community, in so many ways … and in ways that impact us economically and have a return on investment,” said Councilman Stephen Smoak.

The recommendations will go before full council Tuesday, where they’ll be read in resolution form, meaning they can be passed in a single reading.

Also on Tuesday, the committee approved the use of $75,000 to $80,000 from General Obligation (GO) bond funds to resurface the taxiway at the Kershaw County Airport at Woodward Field, which Young said hasn’t been repaved in 30 years. There’s $136,000 left from the 2010 GO bond before funding for the taxiway.

The bulk of the funding for the more than $500,000 project at the airport will come from a S.C. Aeronautics Commission grant.

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