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The Capital Projects Sales Tax starts paying off


On the first day of autumn, with the temp at 91 degrees, the City of Laurens dedicated its new downtown splash pad and cooling station. The next morning, also in downtown Laurens, the County broke ground for a major restoration of the Historic Courthouse.

The common denominator?

Both are projects of the Capital Projects Sales Tax, approved by a wide majority of Laurens County voters on Nov. 3, 2020. 

Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn said Thursday was a very special day in the history of Laurens and Laurens County. 

County Council Member Shirley Clark who represents District 3 where the splash pad is 

located said, “This is something great for Laurens County to come together to work together. We work and live here, do something nice for our people. This is for everybody and I want everybody to enjoy this.”

Senn acknowledged that Sept 22 was not the ideal time to open the splash pad. Work actually began early in January to come up with a design “that was a fun splash pad, but not only a fun splash pad, but also a wise use of taxpayer dollars.” When the weather’s not right to use it as a splash pad the mayor said people are invited to hold events there. As the Historic Courthouse undergoes renovations, on the Veterans Day, this is where the city’s event will be. Senn said people can have birthday parties, wedding receptions and dances there - it is “something we can be proud of decades to come” as its lights provide a Hwy 221S gateway to the city. 

Historic Courthouse renovations are being done by Mashburn Construction and designed by Craig Gauldin Davis architect. “We congratulate Laurens County on the decision to restore this historic building in the heart of their downtown community. Our team looks forward to contributing to one of many future improvements to Laurens County,” said Lee Mashburn, President of Mashburn Construction.

Laurens County Council Chairman Brown Patterson said, “It was vital for us to find a partner who understands the significance of this building to the county and our citizens. I can’t wait to see the final project.”

Other speakers on Sept. 23 were Laurens County Administrator Thomas Higgs, State Senator Danny Verdin, Walter Hughes, chairman of the Capital Projects Sales Tax Committee; and Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn.

The Historic Courthouse renovation’s voters-approved cost is $3,550,776.

- Article & Photos by Vic MacDonald