Anderson County seeking Public Input on Piedmont Riverfront Park

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Anderson County is applying for funding from the National Park Service Land &
Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). If awarded, funds will be used to support
development of Piedmont Riverfront Park, a public access facility on the Saluda
River. This new facility will become an integral part of the Saluda River Blue Trail,
which currently extends along a 17.5-mile recreational corridor in Anderson
County and includes existing locations at Dolly Cooper Park in Powdersville, Dr.
James A. Timmerman Access in Pelzer, and the Sen. M.W. Gambrell Access near
Belton. The project site is located at 550 River Road, Piedmont.

The project will provide new public access opportunities, including an ADA accessible kayak launch, boat landing, and shoreline trail, at an as-yet
undeveloped 30-acre site owned by Anderson County on the Saluda River in
Piedmont, a mill community with a rich and vibrant historical tradition. All
project elements are designed to be wholly accessible by persons with
disabilities or impaired mobility in keeping with Anderson County’s mission to
make all county facilities accessible to all persons.

“We see this as being a project of regional significance and a potent economic
development tool” said Steve Newton, Anderson County’s Governmental Affairs
Director. “More than 1.8 million people live within a 50-mile radius of the site, and
market research indicates that 7.2% of them participate annually in kayaking or
a similar paddling activity. Attracting just 4.4% of those persons to the Piedmont
Riverfront Park will yield a direct impact of $300,000 and indirect impact of
almost $1 million annually, not including persons visiting the site to engage in
boating, fishing, wildlife-watching, or passive outdoor activities.”

A draft environmental assessment has been prepared for this project and will be
available for public inspection at www.andersoncountysc.org beginning on
Wednesday, February 16th. The review and public comment period will begin
on February 16th and run through March 17th, 2022.

Comments on the environmental assessment may be submitted to Steve
Newton, Anderson County Governmental Affairs Office, at the following
address: snewton@andersoncountysc.org

Anderson County will hold a public information and comment session concerning the development of Piedmont Riverfront Park from 5 pm to 7 pm Monday February 28.

The “drop-in”-style session will be held at the Piedmont Community Center, 1 Main Street in Piedmont.

A conceptual site plan, draft environmental assessment, and information regarding an LWCF grant application for the project will be available for public review and comment. For more info contact Steve Newton, Anderson County Administrator’s Office, at (864) 260-1010 or snewton@andersoncountysc.org