Ridgeway Pores Over Priorities

Hospitality Tax Leads To-Do Lists

RIDGEWAY – Following up on their Sept. 18 community meeting where a broad outline of goals was developed, Ridgeway Town Council sat down with Jeff Shacker of the Municipal Association of S.C. on Nov. 13 to narrow the spectrum of ideas into the Town’s strategic plan for 2015.

Shacker and Mayor Charlene Herring, along with Council members Russ Brown, Heath Cookendorfer and Doug Porter, gleaned from a list of more than 30 goals developed at the Sept. 18 meeting, trimming that lists down to three top priorities, four second-tier priorities and four third-tier priorities.

Leading the priority list on Ridgeway’s 2015 strategic plan is a hospitality tax. Although the concept, pushed in the past by Councilman Brown, perished on the floor at Council meetings last year, the notion cropped up on the “must-do” list of Herring and each of the three Council members present last week.

Maintaining existing infrastructure and adding an additional police officer rounded out the top three priorities.

An advertising/marketing campaign for the Town topped the list of second-tier priorities, followed by providing for residential development within the downtown business district, providing additional street lights and extending water lines down Hood Road.

Working with the Central Midlands Council of Governments to explore form-based codes in order to explore the idea of mixed business and residential property use downtown topped the third-tier list. Developing customers for the water line near the gold mine, a citizen-led town beautification program and providing a system of ambient music downtown rounded out the list.

Recreation projects, such as expanding the local ball field for use for events and implementing a health and fitness program, did not make the cut as the Town is looking to the County’s new comprehensive recreation plan to fill those gaps. Providing Wi-Fi service downtown also did not make any of the lists, although Herring indicated Council would explore the possibility.

A security camera system for downtown also failed to make any of the lists.