Town OK’s Installment Plan for Restaurant

BLYTHEWOOD – Town Council voted on Monday night to authorize an installment purchase plan of finance to provide funds for the construction of a restaurant facility across from the front of Town Hall, next to the railroad tracks.

The ordinance is required by Santee Cooper, who is loaning the Town $900,000 over 10 years at 2 percent interest through its revolving loan fund. Another $500,000 is being loaned to the Town though Fairfield Electric Cooperative. The combined $1.4 million will be paid directly to the Blythewood Facilities Corporation (BFC), which will pay the construction company as the work on the facility progresses. The Town plans to rent the restaurant facility and use the rental revenue to pay back the loan. The BFC was originally established to manage the Town’s repayment of the $5+ million bonds for the park. But, according to Mayor J. Michael Ross, the restaurant account and the park account are separate.

The ordinance passed Monday night specifies requirements for a security agreement in favor of Santee Cooper for the $900,000 loan. According to the agreement, to finalize the loan the Town has agreed to pledge the following as a source of funds for the installment payments and loan:

• the revenues generated from a lease of the restaurant;

• a portion of the Town’s Hospitality and Accommodations Tax revenues (this pledge, however, is subordinate to the pledge of these revenues for the $5+ million debt service the town already owes to the BFC for the park construction);

• installment purchase revenue bonds (for the restaurant); and

• any other revenues available to the Town.

In addition to these stipulations, the ordinance calls for the 1.4 acres designated for the restaurant to be separated from the original park property. Santee Cooper is also requiring, as a source of additional security, that the Town execute a first priority mortgage on the 1.4 acre restaurant property in favor of Santee Cooper.

In order to acquire the loans for the restaurant facility, the Town has identified the facility as an economic development project for the town.

In other business, the Council re-initiated the annexation and zoning for a 11.43 acre parcel shown on the Richland County tax map as TMS# 12500-01-02, 12500-01-12 and 12500-01-20 (1232 and 1224 Blythewood Road). The owner of the property is Milton Douglas Broom Jr. The parcel is zoned Community Commercial in Richland County and recommended interim zoning is Community Commercial. This property was annexed and given final zoning during the last couple of months, but is being re-annexed and re-zoned due to wording in the initial ordinances that Town Administrator John Perry said might not be entirely correct.

A second and final reading was given to Ordinance 2013.012 to establish a final zoning designation of R-20 Low Density Residential for 88.16 acres located on the east side of Blythewood Road and between Fulmer Road and Annie Entzeminger Court. The property is known as Holly Bluff (formerly Summers Trace) and shown on the Richland County tax map as TMS #12500-02-05.

Council also passed a resolution to authorize the Mayor to accept a bid from Gregory Electric Company, Inc. for the installation of five Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to be provided by the Town, at three business locations in the Town: one at Sharpe Shoppe 1 Exxon, 230 Blythewood Road; two at Comfort Inn, 436 McNulty Road Extension and two at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 120 Creech Road.

The installations are to be completed within 90 days. The winning bid for the three charging stations came in at $21,468.