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Proposed Amick’s Ferry school site draws opposition

Posted on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 at 5:23 am. Posted to Community.

Lexington-Richland School District Five Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hefner reported after an executive session Monday, “We continue to explore the acquisition of property for an additional elementary school to serve our families and students on the west side of Chapin. Tonight we ask our consultant to request a 30-day extension of the option agreement on the proposed Amick’s Ferry Road site, in anticipation that I will ask the board to move forward with acquiring this property at our next meeting, which will be June 26.

“As our do diligence process moves to a conclusion, the site, in my view, still appears to be the best site and the best location to serve our students and community to the high quality instruction for which our district is noted.

“As I mentioned at our last meeting, an additional elementary school is needed due to the increasing student enrollment in the Chapin geographical area. All indications are that the Chapin area will continue to grow, and the district must respond to this growth as we believe that it is very important that the children in Chapin continue to be able to attend school in Chapin.”

The district has paid earnest money which is held in escrow until the contract is completed,” Chief Finance Officer Len Richardson said at the last meeting. “The earnest money will be deducted from the purchase price. Ten-thousand dollars ($10,000) was deposited for each piece of property.”

Richardson also confirmed the option agreement has a time deadline, “not more than 150 days from the agreement date of January 28, 2017.” A 30-day extension, if approved would move the option agreement into July.

But the idea of a new school along Amicks Ferry Road doesn’t sit well with many people who live in the area, many of whom were present at Monday night’s media to express their displeasure. Seventeen people came forward to offer public comment.

Charli Wessinger, co-owner of Bear Creek Christmas Tree Farm, said an elementary school along the heavily-travelled, two-lane Amick’s Ferry Road could not function as a neighborhood school where children could walk or bike to classes.

“You now want to build this new elementary school on a hairpin turn that only serves a limited area,” said Kim Murphy. “I just ask that you do your due diligence district wide.”

“The future impact of having a school on that particular location on Amicks Ferry Road, means more development will come,” said Charli Wessinger, co-owner of Bear Creek Christmas Tree Farm.

Several question the amount the district is offering to pay for the property. Leisha Huffstetler asked, “Why is the district offering to pay $740,000 for a 20 acre tract that the county has assessed at $186,000?”

Kim Murphy wants to know the status of a required DOT traffic study, which she says could require the district to build roads which would require the district to purchase additional property. She said, “We want to know what the total cost will be?”

Mike Whitehurst advised the board that the Save Amick’s Ferry Group has 406 members, and has received 755 signatures on petitions opposing the proposed school. “This group is not obstructionist, or has the philosophy of “not in my back yard.” He said some homeowners could actually make a lot of money if a school is built, but they are acting in what they consider the best interest of the community.
Some refuted Dr. Hefner’s assertion that student enrollment in the district and populatlon growth in the Chapin area are increasing to the extent that a new elementary school is needed. Concern about safety was an often-repeated theme.

“Traffic congestion, its possible negative impact on emergency services, and eventual additional development also were mentioned as big concerns.

 


Council to apply for loans for wastewater treatment plant

Posted on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 at 12:04 pm. Posted to Community.

The Chapin Town Council Tuesday heard an update from Utilities Director Andy Metts on a plan from funding engineering and construction of a new waste water treatment plan estimated to cost $14.5 million over 30 years.

Council approved a resolution to apply to the State Revolving Fund for a $10.5 million bond issue for 30 years at 1.9 percent to construct concrete and steel, and  a $1.45 million bond issue for 20 years at 1.9 percent to construct mechanicals and electricals.  Total debt service on the bond issues over the first 20 years is projected to be $548,880 per year.   After 20 years the debt service rate rises to $2.4 percent, and amounts to $472,524 over the last 10 years of the loan. The Town of Chapin would be asked to contribute $1,981,558 million, with $1 million to be used for equipment purchase.

The financial plan as presented by Metts assumes tap fees of $3,900 each through 2018; $4,200 through 2022, $4,500 through 2027, with a $300 increase every five years thereafter.  The initial monthly user fee rate would be $35, with a $5 increase in 2018.   Monthly user fee rate increases would be 1.5 percent per year.

Details of the plan are outlined by Metts in the attached vide0

 

The new plant can serve 8,000 customers. Metts projects that the town will add an average of 120 new taps each year over 30 years.

In other business, Metts reported on the Murray Lindler Road/Old Lexington Highway Roundabout.  SCDOT continues their review of the proposed utility relocation plan as presented by the Utility Department staff.  To date, the DOT project engineer has not responded to several calls from Town staff nor provided any written communication.  The utility relocation is at a standstill until Chapin receives further communication from DOT.

Metts reported resolution of another legal issue. A few years ago, a Town-owned sewer pump station was mistakenly sold by Lexington County at a delinquent tax sale. Subsequent court action determined that the Town should retain ownership of the pump station.  This court action was appealed and on April 19, 2017, the appeals court has affirmed the grant of summary judgment. This means the Town has won the case unless there is a petition filed with the Supreme Court.

Town Council voted to create a new RS-3 zoning District and to re-zone all of Revelstone Subdivision from RG to RS-3.

Council voted to re-zone property at 161 Columbia Avenue (across Lexington Avenue from Wells Fargo Bank) from RS-1 (Residential) to General Commercial.

Council proclaimed May 14-20 as “Food Allergy Awareness Week” and resolved to commend Chapin’s American Legion Post 193 for their support of We Care, the Community Food Bank.

Gerald Meetze and Eagle Scout Jake Powers reported on recently completed welcome sign projects, and on plans for redesign of the Town Square at a cost estimated at $54,000.  The Arbor Day committee homes to fund the proposed improvements through grants and donations, and is requesting contributions from the town in next year’s budget.

Council also approved a contract to lease a town-owned house and property (formerly the Cholie Slice residence) for a base fee of $850 per month.

After executive session, council voted to offer the McNair Law Firm a contract for legal services for the Waste Water Treatment Plant Project.

 

 


Public Meeting on Proposed Widening of I-26

Posted on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 at 9:12 am. Posted to Community.

 

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has scheduled a public information meeting for the proposed widening of Interstate 26 in the Midlands area of the state.  The proposed interstate widening would be for approximately 16 miles and would extend from approximately 1.6 miles west of the SC 202 (Exit 85) interchange to approximately 0.4 miles west of the  US 176 (Exit 101) interchange in Lexington, Richland, and Newberry counties.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Chapin High School, 300 Columbia Ave., Chapin. The meeting will have a drop in format with displays for viewing, informational handouts and comment forms. Project information, including meeting materials and comment forms, will also be available on the SCDOT website http://www.dot.state.sc.us/inside/i26_wide_85-101/i26_85-101.aspx.

Proposed road improvements would include increasing interstate capacity, improving interchanges and exit ramps, and replacing overpass bridges. The purpose for this highway widening effort is to increase vehicle capacity, improve safety and upgrade to current design standards.

For more information, the public may contact SCDOT Program Manager Michael Hood at (803) 737-3485.


Agenda Chapin Town Council Tuesday May 16

Posted on Saturday, May 13th, 2017 at 9:51 am. Posted to Community.

agenda

The Chapin Town Council will hold Public Hearings on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 5:45 p.m. and its Regular Town Council Meeting at 6:00 p.m. (or upon the completion of the Public Hearings) in the Council Chambers at Town Hall (157 NW Columbia Avenue, Chapin, SC 29036).

 


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