For Powdersville AreaBy Stan Welch
District Six Councilman Ken Waters will host a public meeting on Monday, February 13 at the Powdersville Library to begin the process of formulating the Northeast County Area Plan (NECAP).
The meeting is a reflection of the extraordinary rate of growth in that part of the county, a rate that County Planning Director Michael Forman says requires additional effort and preparation.
The process necessarily begins with a review and acknowledgment of the existing conditions in the area.
“The growth rate in the Powdersville area is higher by double digit figures than any other area in the county. We need to determine the elements growth, and then begin forming a plan to deal with that extreme growth, so that we don’t get overwhelmed,” said Forman. “Mr. Waters is very aware of that growth, since he sees it personally every day, and his involvement in this effort is very helpful.”
The meeting, which Forman calls the first step in a long discussion, will both provide information to the public and solicit information and ideas from them as well. “We will display maps and other data on population and trends in terms of retail and commercial growth. We would also like to hear what the area’s residents think about the pressures and forces at work, in terms of their day to day lives.”
Coincidentally, the SCDOT is currently studying traffic flows and trends in the area, among others parts of the Upstate, and are seeking ways to address the ever increasing traffic. According to DOT representatives who held a public forum recently they are preparing a plan that will carry them through the next four decades.
Three schools in the area add their own stresses to the infrastructure; schools which are almost certain to continue to grow in the coming decade. As the economy begins to recover, if sluggishly, residential construction is expected to increase, while commercial and retail elements of the local economy continue to grow as well.
The County’s economic development department’s recent success in attracting industry and creating jobs, specifically in the nearby Piedmont area and along the I-85 corridor will likely continue to fuel that residential surge, along with Anderson’s relatively low tax rate, compared to Greenville County.
“There are many factors to be identified and studied, and it won’t be done overnight,” said Councilman Waters. “We have tasked the planning department with gathering and presenting the kind of information that we need to make informed decisions. I have every confidence in Michael and his staff, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.”
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. On Feb. 13th