Town Begins Upgrades at Fortune Springs

WINNSBORO – Work has begun on some of the basic improvements for Fortune Springs Park, Town Council reported during their Aug. 6 meeting, but additional repairs and additions to the park lie outside the realm of current funding.

The Town utilized a $44,540.28 PARD grant, chipping in an additional 20 percent to up the ante to $53,448.34, to get things under way at Fortune Springs and make the park more handicap accessible and to help control erosion at the park. One of the first new features of the park is security cameras to help deter vandalism. Billy Castles, Director of Building, Zoning, Streets and Sanitation, said in his July report to Council that vandalism has been a continuing problem in the park, particularly around the fountain, where vandals have removed bricks from the steps and fountain and thrown them at the spray head. Castles reported replacing pumps for spray heads at both the pond and the fountain, with the spray heads costing $320 each. The cameras have been up for less than a week, Mayor Roger Gaddy said, with no new incidents of vandalism captured yet on tape.

Gaddy said a handicapped parking pad has been put in place and the covered shelters have all had concrete walks installed to make them more handicap accessible. Sidewalks are also being repaired during this phase of improvements, landscaping is being installed and the playground is being moved further back from the roadway.

Proposed improvements for the park, should additional funding become available, include construction of a new playground and installation of new playground equipment, demolition of the existing hut and the construction of restrooms and a maintenance storage shed. New sidewalks near the road are also planned long-term, as well as a small shelter areas over some of the park’s existing benches. The pond may be up for dredging and the installation of wells for fresh pond water and circulation pumps to keep the water moving could also be in the future.

“It’s a lot of money,” Gaddy said of the proposed future projects, but the playground improvements alone are estimated at $85,000.

Famers Market Fees

Council also made an amendment to the Town’s ordinance governing merchant fees in order to develop a fee system to accommodate the burgeoning downtown farmers market. No fee was set during the Aug. 6 meeting, but amending the ordinance paves the way for that fee structure to be set.

“What we’re hoping to do is to have it down at an affordable level where those farmers market people can come sell their goods and wares and make a profit without the business license taking all their profit,” Gaddy said.