Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a four-part series on round two of Aiken County’s Capital Projects Sales Tax program. Round two of the program is drawing to a close, and local government administrators are transitioning into round three, which was approved by voters in 2010. Round two was approved by voters in 2004. Today, the Aiken Standard takes a look at the projects in Aiken County’s municipalities that were slated for sales tax funding.
Town of Burnettown• $500,00 for the construction of a community recreation center (present town hall will become community center) – bids out• $150,000 for the construction of a town storage building to support the waterworks department – complete• $72,000 to purchase a new dump truck and a new pick-up truck to support the town and the waterworks department – complete• $70,000 for the purchase of two new police cars and related capital equipment – complete• $50,000 for the construction of a concession stand, press box, and restrooms at softball recreation facility – complete• $50,000 for the purchase of new police capital equipment including radar units, cameras, radios, GPS units and alcohol sensor lights – complete• $40,000 for the purchase of new office and capital equipment for town hall – complete• $30,000 for the purchase of capital equipment for maintaining recreation facilities – complete• $27,000 for capital improvements to recreation facilities – complete• $20,000 for beautification projects within the town including streetscaping, landscaping and new signage – complete• $30,000 for the construction of sidewalks – completeTown of Jackson• $90,345 for the demolition and renovation of the municipal complex – complete• $60,000 for park capital improvements – complete• $100,000 for capital improvements to the Jackson Agricultural Building – complete• $70,000 for capital improvements to the town’s little league baseball field – complete• $105,000 for capital improvement to the Jackson Fire Department – complete• $57,000 for the town’s football field capital improvements – complete• $160,000 downtown development (along Highway 125/Main Street) including sidewalk improvements, streetscaping, landscaping, and drainage improvement – complete• $20,000 for the construction of a Public Works storage facility – complete• $45,000 for the purchase of an activity bus for the town – complete• $25,000 to pave the parking lot at the Jackson Municipal Complex – completeTown of Monetta• $12,000 for asphalt parking areas in from of Town Hall and an apron in front of the Monetta Fire Department – complete• $2,000 for office capital equipment for town use – complete• $4,000 for playground capital equipment for town use – complete• $30,000 for capital renovations to a building for a municipally owned health services facility – complete• $16,000 for repairs and capital renovations to the Head Start building – complete• $35,000 for additional payment on USDA loan for water system – complete• $25,000 for repairs and upgrades to the town’s water system – completeTown of New Ellenton• $450,000 for additional Municipal Complex expansion, equipment and capital improvements – complete (renovations to existing building and construction of new fire station.)• $247,000 for park development and capital improvements at Evans Park and Greendale area – complete• $200,000 library relocation, expansion and capital materials – complete• $361,750 for infrastructure improvements and equipment to support several city departments including police, fire, sanitation, recreation, streets and roads and sewer – completeTown of Perry• $45,000 for the purchase of a backhoe and a commercial lawn mower to support the town and water district – complete• $25,000 for the construction of a storage building to support the town and the water district – complete• $11,145 for town signage and other capital improvements to town hall – complete• $3,000 for new computer system – complete• $15,355 for a lighting project (for new park) – completeTown of Salley• $66,000 for water system improvements – complete• $95,000 to make additional debt payments on fire pumper truck – complete• $28,000 to purchase a new police car and equipment and to purchase a new copier for town hall – completeTown of Windsor• $54,300 for capital renovations and repairs to the recreation facility and town hall – not available by press time
The municipalities in Aiken County – including the towns of Perry, Salley, Jackson and Burnettown – used the bulk of their revenue from the one-cent sales tax to infrastructure and equipment purchases for their fire, police and public works departments.
For instance, Burnettown allocated $70,000 for the purchase of two new police cars and related equipment; Jackson allocated $105,000 for capital improvements for its fire department; and Perry allocated $45,000 to buy a backhoe and commercial lawn mower for the town and its water district.
“These are things we would never be able to do (without the sales tax),” said Jackson’s Mayor Todd Etheredge. “It would take us 10 years to save up enough money to do these things. I assure you we have used every nickel – stretched and squeezed that nickel to get the most bang for the buck.”
Small municipalities also get a chance to beautify their towns with these funds. Perry has completed some work at its main park that took an old railroad bed and leveled it out to make a walking track, added trees, benches and lighting.
“It’s amazing the amount of people who use that park day and night – not just people in Perry but people from all around.” said Perry Mayor Tommy Williams.
Work in that park will continue with Capital Projects Sales Tax round three funds.
Monetta accomplished a diverse group of projects with these funds, from installing playground equipment to renovating a building for a public health services facility.
Monetta Mayor Charles McCormick said that since his town is so small in size and population, it doesn’t qualify for many grants.
“If it wasn’t for the Capital Project Sales Tax, for a small town like Monetta, we wouldn’t be able to get anything done,” McCormick said.
Salley Mayor Bob Salley said all of their round two projects are complete and they are ready for round three.
“I’m sure most of our small towns are very, very grateful for these funds,” Salley said.
New Ellenton Mayor Vernon Dunbar said the City got a lot done with round two. Though the City had planned to construct a new municipal complex with those funds, the money went toward building a new fire station. They were able to make improvements to the front of the municipal building by replacing old wood and installing new windows. A new, digital sign in front of City Hall was also installed.
Another big New Ellenton project was the completion of the library.
“We are very pleased to say our library project is complete,” Dunbar said. “It is visually beautiful, and our citizens are thoroughly enjoying their experience.”
• $70,000 for the purchase of two new police cars and related capital equipment. In a related note, $500,000 was allocated for the construction of a community recreation center. The current town hall on Augusta Road will become the community center, and bids are out now. The town’s administrative offices and police department, which share the town hall currently, will move into the vacant funeral home across the street. The old chapel will converted into a community rental space.
Purchase of two new police cars and related equipment: Complete
Community recreation center: In progress
• $200,000 for library relocation, expansion and capital materials. The New Ellenton Branch Library opened in April 2012. The brand new, 2,337-square-foot building is located next to City Hall. The new library has more reading and meeting space, more computer stations and a self-checkout station at the circulation desk.