Sidewalk to Nowhere

I attended the recent Fairfield County Council meeting to share my concerns of the approval by council to spend $50,000 on a sidewalk in the small community of Jenkinsville.

A $50,000 hit against the county budget isn’t anything to sneeze at and I hope the Council members who voted for the sidewalk extension drove to Jenkinsville to see what they agreed to. I did, and shared some pictures with Council.

The proposed extension would be along a rural part of Highway 215. By my car odometer I measured the distance from the end of the current sidewalk to the County Recreation Park. The distance is 6/10ths of a mile. In that distance I counted only five homes that will face the sidewalk. The majority of the extension will be in front of woods. Not in front of or leading to homes, a library, a post office, a church, a fire station, a convenience store or even a gas station. There is not even a hint of a foot path which would indicate residents actually walk along this route.

Pictures of the current sidewalk reflected areas covered in pine straw and pinecones, indicating the existing sidewalk is not used and is certainly not maintained by the Town of Jenkinsville.

So the question begs to be asked, “Why would council agree to spend $50,000 for a sidewalk that in all probability will not be used, and basically leads to only one destination?”

There are many areas within the county that could benefit from financial support, especially projects that could bring jobs and industry to Fairfield. Projects that would aid in lowering ISO fire ratings or projects that could aid our ailing hospital. But the tax payers, including each Council member, are now going to spend $50,000 on something on which so few people will benefit.

A Feb. 27 article in the Independent Voice had a quote from a Council member that in part stated, “I guarantee you 50 percent of those voters are almost within walking distance of the park and proposed sidewalk.”

I don’t think “almost” warrants $50,000 from our budget and ended my comments by asking Council to re-consider their vote on this issue.

Faye H. Sandow

Blythewood