How To Spend $5 Million
Clinton City Council: Spending authorized for equipment, HVAC and roof, and a bank building
After spending $310,049 for utility and grass-cutting equipment, on July 1, Clinton City Council authorized a $5 million bond, agreed to buy an uptown building for $185,000 and talked about a vision for a now-treeless South Broad Street.
“You really don’t miss them,” City Manager Bill Ed Cannon said of the 11 South Broad trees cut down by the SC Department of Transportation.
Repaving should begin later this summer.
Out of the possible $5 million bond that the city might issue, the city will pay itself back the $185,000 it will need to buy the Founders Credit Union building at 300 West Pitts St. The building is vacant and will require about $1,500 in upgrades before can house codes enforcement and a drive-through, utility bills payment station. Founders also had an ATM on this site.
Also coming out of the $5 million bond - city pays the cost and reimburses its reserves from bond funds - are police and fire station upgrades, infrastructure, Municipal Center HVAC ($140,000) and roof replacement ($70,000), and recreation.
Buying the bank building was one of five contracts and personnel matters discussed by the city council in closed session, before action in open session.
Previously in open session, council agreed to tap the depreciation fund for $172,683 to buy a 2018 Altec Bucket Truck (lease purchase) and for $137,366 to buy a Kubota Terrain King Tractor and Mower from Parker Farm Equipment.
The city also will contract with Stutts and Williams LLC for $73,211 to repair a water line on Sunset Blvd.
On an emergency basis, the city applied for a state Rural Infrastructure Grant to make the repairs on the water line over Shell Creek; it erupted not too long ago and shot water 30 feet into the air, the council was told.
Cannon also called the near-capacity audience at the city council’s July 1 meeting attention to a sheet outlining a 9% increase in water and sewer rates.
The increase went into effect July 1 as the first day of the city’s new fiscal year. Garbage pick-up increased $1.50.
Looking at South Broad Street, Public Works Director Joey Meadors said talks are on-going with SC DOT about grinding stumps, rebuilding curbs and sidewalks, and a late-July, early-August repaving of the thoroughfare (Hwy 72/56 Business).
The city has budgeted $50,000 for the care of trees, the council was told. Meadors indicated the city is maintaining an on-going “cut list” for trees that may be considered diseased. Mayor Bob McLean said the city needs to work with property owners about planting “size-appropriate” trees on private property - “If we cut 10, let’s plant 15,” he said. The mayor also said he would like to see overhead utility lines placed underground along South Broad Street.
Now that the trees are gone, Cannon said the “utility strip” between the street and the sidewalk is a perfect place to bury currently overhead phone and TV cable lines. He and McLean said the street needs decorative lighting.
Council Member Gary Kuykendall and audience member Dr. Justin Brent said South Broad Street needs to become “bicycle friendly.” Council Member Megan Walsh said if that happens it could help citizen’s mobility, since the North Broad Street area has no grocery store and people with limited mobility find it difficult to travel South Broad/Jacobs Highway to Bi-Lo and Ingles.
“I’d love to see a bike path that runs down Broad Street,” Brent said.
“It deals with our accessibility issues (since) there is no grocery store on this (northern) side of town. People have even asked us if we can run a trolley,” Walsh said.
Cannon said for recreational biking and walking there will be 2.6 miles of trails within the city’s new recreation complex - bidding will start on Phase 1 at the end of this month.
He said a mountain bike trail also is planned in a later phase. Cannon unveiled a consultant’s new rendering that shows the complex’s centerpiece as a “cluster” of five baseball/softball fields. Multi-purpose fields are in Phase 2, and a 3,000-seat amphitheater is in Phase 3. Some recreation expenses can be repaid to the city through the $5 million proposed bond issue and $4.7 million currently in the city’s hospitality tax/recreation complex fund.
This fund replenishes itself at the rate of a half million dollars year, Cannon said. The city can spend this money only on projects that encourage tourism.
“I’ve looked at some tremendous recreation complexes,” Cannon said. “(Clinton’s) will be a tremendous looking complex.”