Lots going on for the City of Clinton
Council reviews projects as March draws to close, including school district's move.
Beginning in April, the downstairs portion of the Police-Fire Building on North Broad Street, Clinton, will see demolition, as extensive renovations to the former city hall begin.
Bond proceeds are funding this work, according to Interim City Manager Rebecca Vance, and there also will be work at the MS Bailey Municipal Building.
Hogan Construction and DP3 architects are designing and conducting this work - one of several projects reviewed during a wide-ranging discussion last night by city officials at a City Council called meeting. Normally, the Clinton City Council meets the first Monday of each month.
From recreation to residential housing, the City has a role in many projects that are on-going. Two are funded by the Capital Projects Sales Tax, approved Nov. 3, 2020, by a wide majority of Laurens County Voters - the rehab of city streets, sidewalks and water/sewer lines, and construction of a new Clinton Public Library on Pitts Street.
Also, the City will have decisions to make about space in the MS Bailey Municipal Building when School District 56 moves out in August. The council was told the school district office is moving to East Main Street.
Part of the vacated space and the building’s surplus space will be administrative and evidence storage areas for the Police Department.
There are construction signs on the school district property, the council was told.
Council was concerned about the continually leaking “new roof” on the MS Bailey building. Vance said work is continuing to fix the problem.
“To spend that much money and have a roof that leaks is not acceptable,” Mayor Bob McLean said.
The City has $6.5 million to do the Police-Fire renovations, with leftover money going to the MS Bailey building for a museum-welcome center space and a new courtroom.
The City’s major project is the Recreation Complex on Hwy 56. A price tag of $46 million has been set for a top of the line complex, but the City has nowhere near that much money to spend. McLean said what the City could do right now is build a splash-pad and pool on Clinton YMCA property within the city.
“We used to have three public pools in the city and now we have zero,” McLean said. “Nowhere for the kids to swim."
The City has received bids that indicate a waterpark is too expensive for its available funds right now, McLean said.
Vance said recreation complex planners are assembling comments from a March 14 citizens-response meeting.
“That takes a week?” Council Member Ronnie Roth said. “It’s been three years now (that the recreation complex in the planning stage).”
“You will be surprise by some of the surveys,” Vance said.
Aside from recreation, Public Works Director Joey Meadors said the Clinton Mill property rehab phase one work is continuing, with pipe-bursting work completed in July. Streets in the mill area are being resurfaced; Council Member Robbie Neal commended Public Works for sending out a letter in homeowners’ light bills explaining the project, as she had concerned citizens “knocking on my door.”
The City is extending its major water line on East Main Street to accommodate a large subdivision envisioned for a tract near Eastside Elementary School. The project was estimated three years ago at $250,000 - now it’s going to cost $750,000. That could have an impact on how many streets can be rehabbed with the Capital Projects Sales Tax money.
Some money will be reimbursed to the city for streets paving by the County Transportation Committee, the council was told.
In other reports, council was told sidewalk projects around the being-rehabbed former Hays Hospital are on-going, the Hampton Woods subdivision is progressing, a new Bojangles has started construction (near I-26), Forest Glen apartments permits are in process, and acquisition of the Whitten Center property being acquired from the state has not yet closed. Council members were concerned that a new “for sale” sign was posted on North Adair Street property that they said was projected for assisted living.
American Relief Plan Act money will pay for a master plan for the Whitten Center property, among other infrastructure projects. The City has received the first batch of the money in a total appropriation of more than $4.1 million.
Council gave first reading approval to an annexation ordinance regarding property on Hwy 76 East (not Hwy 72 as listed on the meeting agenda) in the neighborhood of Renfro and Sunset Drive. Council had a closed session discussion of personnel in the city court department and the city manager’s office, and took no action.