$20,000 in PARD funds allocated for local projects

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By Stan Welch

The Anderson County Legislative Delegation held one of its two annual meetings last Thursday. In addition to making a number of appointments to various boards and commissions, they also allocated more than $70,000 in PARD funds.

Williamston received $10,000 for park improvements, while West Pelzer got $5000 for repairs and upgrades to Chapman Park, which has yet to formally open. Hurricane Springs Park received $5000 for facility repairs and upgrades.

Honea Path which received $7500 for use in lighting their girls’ softball fields. The city of Belton was awarded $10,000 to be used as match funds for their plans to repair and restore the tennis courts that host the state championships each year.

PARD funds, which are administered by the Parks and Recreation Department, require a local match on a four to one basis. They are released every two years. Representative Brian White, referring to the diminished revenues available through PARD, which is funded by the sale of bingo tickets in the state, suggested that the delegation consider funding fewer, but larger, projects in the future.

“Since the amount we have to work with is getting smaller, we might actually accomplish more by not trying to give a little bit to everyone, and instead fund large projects,” said White. Delegation chair Mike Gambrell agreed that the idea is worth consideration.

In the appointments to boards, all seven incumbents on the elections commission were retained. On the Social Services Board, Robert Opperman was appointed to fill one vacancy, while Charles Wham was appointed to fill a seat on the Anderson County Transportation Committee, following long time member J.R. McClure’s retirement.

On the Powdersville, Sandy Springs, and Renewable Water Resources boards, all the incumbents remained on the boards. The next delegation meeting will be held in June of 2014.