City approves plan to purchase Palmetto Compress - - Columbia, South Carolina |

City approves plan to purchase Palmetto Compress

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Columbia City Council approved a plan to spend $7 million taxpayer dollars on the Palmetto Compress Warehouse.

City Council spent more than two hours listening to nearly a dozen taxpayers who spoke out against how the city's handled the purchase.

Councilwoman Leona Plaugh and Mayor Steve Benjamin argued for nearly an hour over the city dipping into a city retirement healthcare account for the money.

"If you want to fund this building to purchase it, then do it the right way," said retired Columbia Police officer Thomas Reynolds. "The right way is to go and do a bond issue or take it before the tax payers and have them tell you because you work for them."

Opponents say the city's dodged the bond process in order to purchase the warehouse property. Those who support the deal say it's important to preserve the 100-year-old building.

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