$40 million in revenue could fund mass list of new county projects

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By Heather Ruppe

Colleton County voters will soon get a chance to decide if the county’s current one-cent additional sales tax will continue for seven more years. If approved by voters, this decision would generate about $40 million in extra cash for the county.

The one-cent sales tax, which is called the Capital Project Sales Tax, will be on the November ballot via referendum. If Colleton County voters approve this referendum, the current one-cent sales tax will continue and will fund the construction of 11 new projects, including a community pool at the Colleton County Recreation Center.

In the last eight years, the one-cent sales tax has been in place. These funds have already paid for several large community projects, including construction of the new tax center in Walterboro; refurbishment of the Hampton Street Auditorium; water improvements in rural communities; expansion of the Colleton County Recreational Complex; beach renourishment at Edisto Beach; and sidewalk improvements in Walterboro.

Eleven new projects have already been approved by community leaders who sit on the Capital Project Sales Tax Commission. This is a group of Colleton residents who have been appointed by Colleton County Council to decide on which projects will be funded.

Commission seat holders are: Bill Houston, Holland Maness, Jimmy Syfrett, Mark Walling, Clarence Wiggins and Spencer Witkin.

On May 3rd, these commission members met and discussed multiple projects that were submitted to them for their consideration. Various municipalities in Colleton County made the submissions. From a large list, the commission has decided upon 11 projects that they believe to be the most important to better the community, according to Syfrett.

The selected projects are listed below in order of importance:

1.A new Colleton County Animal Services Facility, at a requested amount of $3.3 million;

2.A Veterans Park, at a requested cost of $988,200;

3.A new Johnsville/Smoaks Community Center for the Town of Smoaks, at a requested cost of $937,000;

4.A new Colleton County Emergency Operations Center, at a requested cost of approximately $2.7 million;

5.Adding a new gym and activity rooms at the Colleton County Recreation Center, at a requested cost of $2.9 million;

6.Adding a pool to the Colleton County Recreation Center, at a requested cost of about $2 million;

7.Expanding the park for the Town of Cottageville, at a requested cost of $455,000;

8.Water infrastructure improvements for the Town of Williams, at a requested cost of $250,000;

9.City of Walterboro I-95 Business Loop Project, Phase 3 for Walterboro, at a requested cost of $6.8 million;

10.Construction of a new Edisto Municipal Town Hall Complex, at a requested cost of $10 million;

11.Ireland creek greenway park and stream restoration, at a requested cost of $9.9 million.

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