New Penny Tax priorities for Blythewood

BLYTHEWOOD – Two years ago Richland County Council approved a priority list of road improvement projects in Blythewood to be paid for with the Penny Tax funds. Leading the list was improvements to McNulty Road followed by improvements to the Creech Road extension. Third and fourth priorities were widening Blythewood Road from I-77 to Main Street, then widening Blythewood Road from I-77 west to Syrup Mill Road.

At Monday night’s council meeting, council passed another resolution calling for a new Penny Tax priority list.

While both lists include Blythewood Road, McNulty Road and Creech Road improvements, Monday night’s resolution changed the order of priorities to:

First: Widen and improve Creech Road from Blythewood Road to Main Street.

Second: Widen and make improvement to McNulty Road from Main Street to Blythewood Road.

Third: Widen and improve Blythewood Road from I-77 to Main Street.

Fourth: Widen and improve Blythewood Road from Syrup Mill to Fulmer Road (e.g. addition of bike lanes, etc.)

After council decided on the new priority for a vote, however, Town Administrator Brian Cook received an email from the Penny Tax committee saying that two weeks earlier the committee decided to combine priority one (Creech Road) and priority two (McNulty Road) into one construction package and transfer the remaining funds to the Blythewood Road widening.

“They also said they are really close to having 100 percent designed and advertised for construction,” Cook said. “Once they finalize the contract and get ready to go, they will combine McNulty Road and Creech into one project.”

“So, the combination of road widening and sidewalks on McNulty from Main Street to Blythewood Road and then the Creech Road extension from where it currently exists on Blythewood Road all the way around to between St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and Blythewood High School football stadium – that will be the first priority,” Mayor Bryan Franklin explained. “But we have to let the Penny Tax committee know that we would like to rearrange our priorities in that regard.”

Council voted to 5-0 to pass the resolution.