By Stan Welch
Anderson County Council District Six representative Ken Waters will hold another in a series of town hall meetings at the end of this month.
The subject matter for the January 30th meeting will be determined by the citizens who show up, said Councilman Waters. “I’m bringing my ears because I want to know what the folks in my District have on their minds. I have invited representative from Innovate Anderson to come and discuss the proposed countywide two cents hospitality tax but I haven’t received a confirmation from them yet. But there are plenty of other things to be discussed as well.”
The two cents hospitality tax would be used to fund various recreational and tourism projects, such as the Dolly Cooper Park. Nearly every municipality in the county currently collects the tax, but the latest proposal would implement it countywide. Projected figures indicate that more than three million dollars a year could be raised through the tax on all prepared foods sold at any retail location in the county, whether restaurant, convenience store or lunch bars in supermarkets.
At the last meeting, traffic was a major topic, to no one’s surprise. The growth of the Highway 153 corridor keeps a steady strain on the roads and infrastructure in the area. With the recent announcement that WalMart plans to locate a SuperCenter near the intersection of Highways 81 and 153 , those demands seem certain to increase.
Traffic concerns raised by the opening of the new Powdersville High School were also discussed and residents were told that an additional traffic study was scheduled for after the school actually opens. One possible result of that study could be the installation of a traffic light at the exit from the school.
Waters also announced that the county had funding and was looking for seven acres of land to locate a full service convenience center on, so that area residents wouldn’t have to travel so far, especially for disposal of yard debris and clippings. An update on that search may be forthcoming at the January meeting.
Another topic at the earlier meeting was the use, or lack of it, of the Dolly Cooper Park. County administrator Rusty Burns, on hand for the meeting, informed the audience that a $245,000 grant had been obtained from the state and that the funds were tied to water related recreation. “We are very interested in making the Saluda River more accessible because it is such a wonderful resource for the county. We are looking to establish some entry points, and the Dolly Cooper Park would be one excellent location.”
Burns also explained that the county had received a transportation enhancement act or TEA grant. Those funds are federal and must be used on areas adjacent to highways and roadways. Burns said that the funds would most likely be used along the Highway 153 corridor but added that the process requires significant public input.
The meeting will take place at the Powdersville Library and will begin at 6:30 p.m.