VIC'S VIEW: 2023 (optimistic).
I am the eternal optimist so I am just going to go out on a limb here and say it, We are going to have a great 2023.
Oh, sure, there will be the usual shenanigans in Congress, with our 3rd District Congressman and our two U.S. Senators right in the midst of it, although I must say Lindsey Graham seems to have disappeared and Tim Scott is transitioning into the nation’s greatest proponent of charter schools.
Those things affect us but not to a great degree. Congresspeople are going to have a lot more to do than passing bills that help average Americans like you and me.
No, what’s going to be great for us is that a lot of highways and bridges are going to get fixed - no, wait, South Carolina is sending its infrastructure money back? Governor Nikki Haley says it’s a boondoggle. Well, it can help somebody else, I guess.
No, what’s really going to be great for us is that after March 7 we will have the mayor and city council settled and we can re-apply to get our $4 Million back. That way, we can stabilize our electrical rates when those big winter bills come due.
Oh, wait, that’s not going to happen, either?
Wow, I am on a roll.
Well, let’s see, we are bound to have even more progress on the county’s Capital Projects Sale Tax front. Remember, that’s the tax we all agreed to tax each other with a majority vote on Nov. 3, 2020 - the now infamous “rigged election (trademark).”
There was fraud somewhere - not here, mind you - but somewhere.
Seriously, the CPST has started to bear fruit. Clinton fixed some streets. The Historic Courthouse is getting a facelift. There is a loop trail at the Chamber of Commerce. A house got moved so Clinton can get a new library.
In 2023, I expect to see some major progress on the county’s new agricultural building - maybe, a rodeo or two? Splash pads will continue to spring up, although we’re kinda unsettled as to whether or not Clinton’s going to get one. Hickory Tavern already has a new water tank, so that’s a project checked off the list as accomplished.
Next year will put us into Year 3 of CPST and, remember, it sunsets in Year 8. So time is coming for us to consider the new sales tax vote, and what other projects we would want to have, just for keeping that one penny in place.
We’ve gotten so used to it, we don’t even feel it.
2023 will see Laurens make progress on a boutique hotel downtown in a bank, and will see Clinton get an uptown bar in a lumber yard. It will see more housing in Northern Laurens County on rural roads - ah, progress.
Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle, and it was MLK Day in 2012 when he found out he was coming to work in Clinton. In June, 2025, he will observe his 50th year in community journalism. Reach him at 864-833-1900.
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