Water tower given home but no name

The Fairfield County School District agreed to allow new Ridgeway water tower to be located on the property of Geiger Elementary, although signage has not been determined.

RIDGEWAY- The town of Ridgeway’s proposed new water tower officially has a home now, but it does not yet officially have a name.

Following executive session Thursday evening, Council unanimously passed a motion to approve a one-acre plot of land behind Geiger Elementary school as the site for the new tower. The Fairfield County School District Board of Trustees voted last month to deed the acre of land to the Town for the tower. The Board’s agenda packet included a graphic rendering of the new tower emblazoned with the name, ‘Geiger Elementary.’ While the name on the tower was not discussed during the public session of Ridgeway’s meeting Thursday evening, Mayor Charlene Herring told The Voice following the meeting that ‘Geiger Elementary’ is a suggestion that has been floated, but that some people in the town would like to see ‘Ridgeway’ on the tower. She said Council would vote definitively on a name for the tower at a future meeting.

Council also voted to award Civil Engineering of Columbia (CEC) the contract to build the structure. The cost will be $510,753, with about $39,800 of that amount going towards engineering costs. While bids were sought from eight firms, only two responded, Herring said. The other bid, for $851,000 was submitted by Hanna Engineering of Florence.

Funds for the tower comes from the town’s $500,000 Rural Infrastructure Authority grant, but the city must cover the additional $10,573, including the service road to the tower. However, there are hopes Fairfield County will assist in the payment of funds that exceed the original $500,000 RIA grant.

More Fencing

After voting in February to fence separately the new Ridgeway playground and the old Ridgeway School arch at a total cost of $13,457, Council changed course at its March 9 meeting, voting to enclose the entire park and arch area with a single fence at an additional cost of $14,792, bringing the total cost for fencing to $28,249.

“Citizens expressed some concern about closing the areas rather than making them open,”Mayor Charlene Herring said. “The purpose was you don’t have to a fence for the playground, but you want to eventually just for protection, especially our playground backs up to a road that’s an access road.”

Ridgeway received grant funds totaling $20,135 from the Municipal Association to stabilize the arch and fence both the arch and the proposed playground nearby. After spending $15,135 on the arch, it only had $5,000 left for fencing. Council agreed to make up the difference in grant funds with money taken from one of the Town’s CDs. Some, if not all, of the Town’s contribution could be

reimbursed with phase two of a Parks and Recreation (PARD) grant in two years.

“We have about $28,061.61 left in the PARD grant,” Herring said. “And it could be more than that after we finish phase one.”