Center Creek Park Hits Snag

WINNSBORO – Plans by County Council to place, as part of their new sweeping county wide recreation plan, a mini park at the intersection of Shoemaker and Center Creek roads hit their first speed bump Monday night and may very well have become derailed as one member of the community there appealed to Council to kill the project before it had even begun.

Don Quick presented Council Monday night with a petition of 33 signatures from 38 of the 61 households in the community that he said responded, all in opposition to the proposed park. Council passed first reading during their Oct. 27 meeting to purchase and develop 3.36 acres of property at the intersection for a new mini park.

“You have to understand, guys, I live out in the country,” Quick said. “And I mean the country. Everybody’s got at least three and a half or more acres. Most of us have 10 or more acres. And none of us have grandchildren at home, so there are no youngsters and we don’t want or need a park because we have all the land we need.”

The ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing during Council’s Nov. 24 meeting.

“I want to thank Chairman Ferguson for bringing this park to our attention,” Quick said. “It wasn’t his fault that the neighbors didn’t say anything in the beginning. All of a sudden at the last minute they didn’t want it.”

From Committee

Council also gave formal approval to a slate of items recommended from the Administration and Finance Committee’s Oct. 27 meeting. Council gave the OK to $184,000 for Mead & Hunt to begin retrofitting the HON Building for use as a temporary Courthouse.

“In order for us to renovate our Courthouse, we have to first renovate the HON Building in order to move those employees out of (the Courthouse) and into the HON Building,” County Administrator Milton Pope told Council Monday. “It also has to have a fully equipped courtroom for judicial purposes. This would be all of the design work to be able to get all of those things done.”

Funds for the project will come from last year’s $24.06 million bond issue, Pope said at the Oct. 27 Committee meeting.

Council also approved $87,844 for Davis & Floyd for additional repairs to the County Administration building. The repairs encompass the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office’s evidence room in the basement of the building.

“In order to turn the evidence over to the new Sheriff, SLED will have to sign off on the evidence itself,” Pope said. “The evidence is currently being stored in a storage unit in the parking lot of the Sheriff’s Office and there are several significant renovations that need to be made in the basement of this building in order to bring that material back in to have it certified and signed off on.”

Funds for that project will also come from the bond money, Pope said on Oct. 27.

Council gave the nod to $40,000 for aerial photography of Fairfield properties in order to update the Assessor’s Office database. Pope said the funds were already earmarked in this year’s budget, but could, if Council desired, be extended over two budget years.

Council also approved the Committee’s recommendation to shell out $71,595.73 as a 5 percent match to more than $1.4 million in grant funds from the Federal Aviation Administration for runway safety improvements to the County airport. The State Aeronautics Commission is also chipping in a 5 percent match for the funds, Pope said. Council awarded the bid on the work to McLam & Associates.

The purchase of 2.3 acres of property on Overlook Drive in Blackstock from Carolyn Boulware Salters also received approval Monday night. The property, which lies in District 3, was requested by Councilman Mikel Trapp, Pope said, to be used for recreational needs. Pope said during the Oct. 27 Committee meeting that the Assessor’s Office valued the land at $5,000. Monday night, Council followed the Committee’s recommendation and OK’d $7,000 for the purchase.

Finally, Council approved a revised contract with Ken Simmons & Associates, the County’s recreation consultants, to combine the recreation projects with a new fire station in Ridgeway as well as a fire/EMS station in Jenkinsville.

“Instead of separating those two things, we recommend that while we were going out for this combine all of this into one particular project so it could all be bid out at the same time so we could receive the maximum amount of savings for the projects,” Pope told Council. “It will allow the consultants to go ahead with the architectural design of those projects already approved by County Council along with the architectural design for the two public safety projects as well.”

The bids for the actual construction of the projects, Pope said, would still have to come before Council for approval. Pope estimated that it may take as long as 30 days for the consultants to begin bringing bids back to Council.

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