West Pelzer approves $183,000 loan for Chapman Park

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ChapmanPark design graphic

By Stan Welch

Construction of a town park moved a step closer to reality last Friday when the West Pelzer Town Council approved the terms for a loan to build the park. The Council, in a special called meeting voted to accept the terms of the $183,000 loan. The closing documents were to be signed on Monday, January 30. The loan, which calls for an interest rate of 3.8 per cent over a ten year term, will be paid with revenues generated from the town’s hospitality tax. That tax adds two cents to every dollar spent in the town’s limits on hot prepared food.

Mayor Peggy Paxton told the Council at the first reading of the ordinance authorizing the loan that the Town annually collects approximately $30,000 a year through the hospitality tax. The Town currently has a year’s revenues on hand, and those revenues will be held in reserve. The first annual payment of $22,371.71 will come due in January of 2013, and each January after that until the loan is retired.

The Council approved the loan in order to begin construction on the proposed Chapman Park, which fronts Main Street and is adjacent to the Town Hall site. Also included in the design is a veterans memorial, as well as a covered area for use by the public, and a playground area for children.

The contract amount includes all costs, including legal and architectural costs. The Council voted unanimously to accept the terms, and to authorize Mayor Paxton to execute the documents on the Town’s behalf.

Minor language changes in the construction contract are being made by the town attorney, and construction is expected to start soon after those changes are approved.