Committee OK’s Matching Sidewalk Funds

WINNSBORO – County Council’s Policy and Development (P&D) Committee, chaired by District 4 Councilman and Vice Chairman Kamau Marcharia, met briefly on Jan. 29 to discuss a recommendation to full Council on providing matching funds to the Town of Jenkinsville to complete a sidewalk project.

Jenkinsville Mayor Gregrey Ginyard first brought his request for $50,000 in two installments of $25,000 each in 2015 and 2016 before Council during their Jan. 12 meeting. Ginyard said then that three-quarters of the project, from Buttercup Lane to approximately a quarter of a mile shy of Baltic Circle where the Lake Monticello Park is located, had been completed using Department of Transportation grant money. To take the sidewalk all the way to the park, Ginyard said Jenkinsville is applying for another grant and needs $100,000 in matching funds. Ginyard said the town only needed half of that – $50,000 – from the County, with the remainder coming from the County Transportation Committee (CTC). Ginyard said Jenkinsville didn’t need the cash right away, but did need a letter of commitment from the County by March to submit with their grant application.

Ginyard repeated his request at Council’s Jan. 26 meeting, worried as Council also that night discussed restructuring its committee system that his request would get bogged down in committee and drag on past the March 1 deadline. Council nevertheless recommended his request to the P&D Committee, which hashed it out last week.

Councilman Billy Smith (District 7) said during the committee meeting that he was concerned that Council might be setting a precedent by providing matching funds out of the general fund, locking Council into ponying up for matching funds for every local councils’ grant proposals. Instead, Smith suggested the Council take the funds from District 4’s portion of state money that is distributed to counties for road paving projects.

The Committee agreed and will make the recommendation, contingent upon the CTC’s willingness to provide their share, to the full group of seven at Council’s Feb. 9 meeting.

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