The CPST Commission chooses the projects

May 26 – NEWBERRY COUNTY – The Newberry County Capital Projects Sales Tax Board has officially made its decision on which projects should be on the November ballot and in what order.

Over the course of three meetings, the CPST Commission made tough decisions and scrapped projects altogether, scaled back some, and decided where they should go on the ballot.

Here is the final ballot list, which includes 12 county-wide projects:

1. Newberry County Public Safety Complex, including facilities for emergency services, a relocated friendly fire department and a relocated Newberry Rescue Squad ($7.75 million).

2. Improvements to the Town of Newberry Recreation Complex including wading pool expansion, Miracle Field, skate park, paved sidewalk and walking path, shade structures, additional washrooms, lane access for maintenance and a maintenance building ($3,295,000).

3. Improvements to Town of Prosperity parks including Langford Street Park, Town Center Park, North Main Street Park and Town Center Football and Soccer Field ($3.15 million of dollars).

4. Construction of new cell blocks and improvements to support facilities at the Newberry County Detention Center ($8 million).

5. Improvements to Little Mountain Reunion City Park including park entrance upgrade, walking path, shelter renovation with stage conversion, smokehouse/picket shelter renovation lunch, including bathrooms ($2,015,825).

6. Newberry Town Center Amphitheater and Pavilion/Support Building ($3.65 million).

7. Newberry County Water and Sewer Authority Cannon’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade and Expansion ($5,154,560).

8. Renovation of part of Gallman High School on Brantley Street in Newberry for use as a community center by the Building Thriving Communities Foundation ($1.45 million).

9. Newberry County Courthouse Computer/Network/Security Upgrades ($295,000).

10. Roof replacement and HVAC upgrades at Newberry Museum ($815,000).

11. Improvements to the Old Pomaria School Community Center in the Town of Pomaria ($671,745).

12. Town of Whitmire Gymnasium Improvements ($800,000).

The decision of which projects to include was not made lightly, as the commission was tasked with cutting roughly $10 million from about $47 million worth of projects.

To begin, President Lisa Toland first asked the CPST Commission to scrap three projects entirely.

The initial cuts were Prosperity Well Rehab and Water Tank Construction ($4,562,500), Mawsons Way ($2 million) and Little Mountain Reunion Park Amphitheater ($1,976,803).

They then reduced the projects that appeared on the ballot by eliminating some of their components. The Newberry Recreation Complex lost four items, the Hidden Lake wharf and nature trail ($145,000), additional shelters ($295,000), a playground addition ($160,000) and the cabin driveway and parking upgrade ($190,000). The Town of Prosperity Park Improvement removed two park improvements, Downtown Square ($190,000) and Highway 76 Park ($100,000).

Little Mountain Reunion Park renovations were cut by $440,819, specifically limiting the scope of Smokehouse BBQ renovations. Whitmire City Gym upgrades have also been reduced from $1.38 million to $800,000.

During the second meeting, the CPST Commission chose the order of the projects, as seen above. During their third meeting, they chose the method of payment, which consists of guaranteeing the projects.

After approving the ballot and method of payment, the CPST Commission returned the ballot to Newberry County Council for approval. At the May 18 council meeting, they approved, in title only, the first reading of the ordinance imposing the 1% sales tax on these projects.

This will not be a new penny sales tax, but a continuation of the sales tax already in place in Newberry County.

To see details on the projects listed above, see previous articles written about the projects: “CPST Commission Hears First Round of Proposals” and “CPST Commission Hears Final Drafts”.

Contact Andrew Wigger at 803-768-3122 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.

Aurora J. William