New revenue could fund water park in Springdale - - Columbia, South Carolina |

New revenue could fund water park in Springdale

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Lexington County voters will be asked this fall for a penny tax to fund capital projects county wide. Voters will know exactly what that penny will buy. A commission is now assembling a list of projects.

Capital projects are expensive. They're not what you want, but more what a town needs, such as sewer improvements, new sidewalks, or a new town hall. In Springdale, they're considering five projects and one's a little different.

"It's kind of the give the man a fish or teach the man to fish, I'd rather have the money to be able to build my own town hall," said Mayor Michael Bishop.

One big project Springdale is considering is fourth of five on the priority and involves 25 acres on Platt Springs Road, but Bishop feels it may best meet the criteria.

"It has things like return on investment, impact outside your community, innovation," said Bishop. "It just seemed like a project that would generate funds in stead of just costing money."

It's a 20 acre water park and aquatic center.

"It would have a six mat racers, a wave pool a lazy river, the serpentine slides, more like a Carowinds concept obviously not as large," said Bishop.

It's one of 139 projects submitted for consideration to the Penny for Progress Committee. The committee has until April 30 to rank the projects submitted by 24 Lexington County cities and towns.

"This is when the real work begins: evaluating and scoring and studying all the projects that have been submitted," said Bishop.

There are criteria.

"Things like community impact, economic impact, readiness to proceed, so that everybody knows going into the development of these projects, how we will score them," said Bishop.

Bishop looks at the park as an economic engine, spurring development and could generate $550,000, rather than a project that will continue to cost taxpayers.

"I think it makes the list more attractive," said Bishop. "I know the people I speak with most people don't necessarily care about other municipalities' infrastructure and don't necessarily want to pay more taxes, but to have a local attraction as part of that that they can take advantage of, I think make it more appealing."

Ultimately it will be voters who decided if the tax will sink or swim.

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