Perry Puts MID on Hold

BLYTHEWOOD – Last July, Town Council contracted with Municap, Inc., a financial consulting firm, at a cost of $10,000 – $15,000, to come up with methodology for assessing properties to be included in a Municipal Improvement District (MID) proposed by Town Administrator John Perry for Blythewood’s downtown business district.

Under the proposed MID, $1.5 million in improvements would be paid for with a bond that would be repaid from assessments on those properties that would benefit from the improvements.

Perry said the initial thrust of the improvements would be the acquisition of rights of way along Blythewood Road and McNulty Road, as well as the creation of at least two connecting roads. This would be the first step toward widening Blythewood Road to 95 feet.

But when Municap representative Thad Wilson reported back to an MID subcommittee (appointed by the Planning Commission) last week, he was only three pages into his presentation about possible ways to assess the properties when Perry suggested holding off considering any assessment methodology until the Town learns whether its initial MID improvement proposal — the purchase of rights of way — might be funded by revenue from Richland County’s new Penny Tax.

Without voting, the members of the subcommittee concurred with Perry to recommend that the Planning Commission hold Municap’s information in abeyance for “not more than a year, but as soon as we know something.”

Perry said the Town submitted to County Council a list of projects it would like to see funded by the Penny Tax. When asked about the list, Perry said he couldn’t remember what projects he had put on the list, but he said only one of them — the widening of Blythewood Road — made the cut as a priority road under the initial Penny Tax expenditures.

In November, Richland County voters approved a $1.5 billion penny tax for transportation improvements and a $450 million bond to cover the costs of initial improvements before enough penny tax is collected to pay for projects. When the Penny Tax revenue starts to be collected next summer, it will be used to repay the bond, according to Blythewood’s County Council representative, Joyce Dickerson.

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