Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Richland County Council has voted for a $250 million bond to increase funds for road projects.
Currently construction for Richland Penny Program projects can be seen throughout the county.
Each year, nearly $60 million is collected for the penny program. Making up $15 million for the Comet bus and $45 million for road projects, but is it enough?
"The program has been moving along very well," says Penny Program Manager David Beaty. "And so the projects have been developed such that we have more projects to go to construction immediately than what there is sales tax revenue coming in on a regular basis."
Council Chairwoman Joyce Dickerson says this bond will help road projects in the future.
"We're just trying to get as many projects done as quickly as possible with as much funds as we have available," says Dickerson. "The bonds will allow us to expedite those projects a little bit faster."
Councilmen Bill Malinowski and Norman Jackson voted against the bond approval.
Both say that millions of dollars in interest rates will take away from from future construction.
"We have some money in reserve already," says Jackson. "So, in four years, if we're bringing in 60 million dollars, that s 240 million dollars in four years.If we do the bond, we'll not start spending the money until two or three years down the line. So it makes sense not to do the bond because we're bringing in the money. Why do a bond?"
Councilwoman Dickerson says projects could cost more in the years to come, but knocking them out now, could lower the cost in the long-run.
"People want their roads done. We're just trying to improve their quality of life. This is what they asked for and we're just trying to give the voters what they asked for."
County council will pay for the bond through the money received by the penny tax program.
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