In September 2008, the Richland County Council gave approval to $50 million in recreation bonds to:
1) Buy needed land for current and future development.
2) Update existing facilities.
3) Construct new parks around the county.
This is the second bond for recreation passed by Richland County Council in 25 years.
The cost to the taxpayer:
The Recreation Commission and Richland County Council were careful to keep the cost to the taxpayer as low as possible and the bond has been designed to cost no more than 3 mils per year. The bond has been carefully designed to roll out the projects so that the cost to manage new projects would not exceed the millage cap required by law.
What does it mean to the average homeowner?
The owner of a $100,000 home will pay no more than $12 per year to help pay off the bonds. Over the life of the bonds (about 24 years), that same homeowner will have contributed less than $300 towards this important investment for Richland County.
The bond funds will be disbursed in three phases spaced about three years apart.
Phase I of the bond will be about $21 million and will include land purchases, projects that will improve current facilities, will not affect operational costs and include the rebuilding of two recreation centers, Bluff Road Park and St. Andrews Park.
As of January 1, 2010, land purchases made with bond monies include 8.5 acres on Parklane Road, 9.5. acres behind Caughman Road Park, 41 acres on Garners Ferry Road adjacent to the Garners Ferry Sports Complex, 12 acres on Marley Drive, 37 acres near Rimer Pond and Hard Scrabble roads and 115 acres on Kelly Mill and Bombing Range roads.
At our Board of Commissioners (the “Board”) meeting on October 26, 2009, the Board voted to increase the amount of its next borrowing from not exceeding $13,000,000 to not exceeding $27,000,000. This decision was made as a result of the Commission being able to take advantage of the Build America Bonds financing option offered by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With the additional bond proceeds, the Commission will be able to complete Phase I and begin Phase II of its improvement plan earlier than expected.