Council OK’s Funding for Secret Project

BLYTHEWOOD – Last week’s Town Council meeting was moved from its regularly scheduled meeting time on the last Monday night of the month to Wednesday night to coordinate with the mayor’s schedule. The main action item on the agenda was a second resolution aimed at “securing funding for certain projects in the Town,” dubbed Project Booster, a code name the Town Council uses for a building it proposes to construct in the Town Hall park. The resolution would “authorize Town Administrator John Perry to work in concert with Fairfield Electric Company, legal counsel and such other professionals as the Town Administrator shall deem appropriate to secure funding under the Rural Development Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program.”

Perry told The Voice last month that the Town plans to use the REDLG funds, provided through the Fairfield Electric Cooperative, to landscape the grounds around the “Projects.” A previous resolution passed by Council last August regarding constructing the depot “Projects” in the Town Hall park, referred to the park as a Business Park (“Park”) and said the Town would like to expand the boundaries of that Business Park to include the Doko Depot “Projects.”

While the Resolution repeatedly refers to the building as a depot, Mayor J. Michael Ross told The Voice last week that the term depot is used for convenience, and that the Town is not building a depot but a “Project.” When he asked Perry to clarify that point at the Council meeting on Wednesday evening, Perry confirmed that the Town was not building a depot, but he said the building that is proposed for the park has a spacial relationship to the depot that was once planned for the park. That depot proposal was later scrapped when there was not enough funding to complete the park as originally planned.

A source who asked not to be identified told The Voice last year that Project Booster is the Town’s plan to build in the park a restaurant that will have an exclusive contract with the Town to cater events held at the as yet unfinished Doko Manor.

Council voted unanimously to pass the resolution.

In other business, Council voted unanimously to pass second reading on two ordinances: one to rezone a 2-acre parcel on Farrow Road near Highway 21 from Limited Industrial (LI) to Community Commercial (CC) District, the other to accommodate a utility easement on Town Hall property.

During the Town Administrator’s report, Perry told Council that the I-77 beautification project would be completed within a couple of weeks.

The Mayor announced that, “This will be the last meeting of the Blythewood Town Council at the Blythewood Community Center.” The April meeting will be held at Westwood High School.

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