FC to purchase 508 acres

WINNSBORO – Fairfield County Council passed first reading Monday evening to purchase and develop approximately 508 acres of property on the east side of I-77 between Exits 46 and 48.

The property, owned by the Caughman family, would be used by the County for economic development projects according to Council Chairman Billy Smith.

“The property has a lot of potential for good things. It’s right off of I-77, the topography is good, and it spans from one interchange almost completely to another, there are already water and sewer lines right there, and the price is manageable right now,” Smith told The Voice following the vote.

“On the other hand, the County is currently sitting on a good bit of open land, and I think our priority right now should be on water and sewer infrastructure. At the end of the day, what we see next out of SCANA and the Public Service Commission could play a big role in determining the vote on this. We’re certainly hoping and praying for the best on that,” Smith said.

After seeing the proposed purchase on the agenda Monday evening, Ridgeway resident Randy Bright addressed Council during the public comment segment of the meeting questioning whether another large land purchase should be a priority for the County right now.

“Do we really need this right now? I realize it’s part of our long term plan, but is it an urgent need? We own plenty of land in Fairfield County already. Is this a prudent purchase at this time?” Bright asked Council.

During County Council time, Councilman Jimmy Ray Douglas, who favors the purchase of the 508 acres, answered Bright.

“As you go away from Richburg in Chester County toward Winnsboro, all those mills up there are coming this way. We need this property to get industry in to Fairfield County,” Douglas said.

While the property has access to water from Chester, sewer is available but would have to be negotiated, Douglas told The Voice.