Lexington Council will decide fate of Barr Pond - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Lexington Council will decide fate of Barr Pond

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Lexington City Council members will decide Monday night if they want to sell a pond the town bought back in 1997 as a source for city water.

It's Barr Pond -- a piece of property valued at $293,030, according to geographic information. Mayor Randy Halfacre says the city purchased the property for only $5 just 16 years ago and now has the option to make a profit on their investment.

"We have been brought a contract for $60,000. My way of thinking, that's a pretty good return on your investment," said Halfacre.

But Pat Caughman, a Lexington taxpayer, says he's not hooked on the deal.

"That's a very low price, $60,000," said Caughman.

Caughman has been fishing on Barr Pond since he was a kid. He brought his kids here, and now this is a spot where he spends time with his grand kids.

"It means a lot to me," said Caughman.

He's a member of the Lexington Wildlife Chapter who rents property on the pond from SCE&G. Caughman says the group does a lot of the community, and that stands to lose a lot should this waterfront development break ground.

The developer is not only looking to buy the city's property. They also have a bid out on the land the wildlife group rents. If that deal goes through, Caughman says the club is through. He says he's also concerned that the city he pays taxes to is selling the property for such a low price.

Mayor Halfacre says the city didn't try to lure in a bid and the developer approached the city. He adds that if the development is a success it will be a boon for business.

"The key to it is, we no longer have a public interest in that pond to protect the water source that fed our old water plant, so we have no use for the pond now," said Halfacre.

The city would have to invest about $140,000 dollars in the pond should they keep it. That money would go to repair the pond's dam. Halfacre says should this sell go through, they wouldn't be on the hook for the repairs.

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