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Clarendon, Newberry County residents to vote on capital project sales tax in November

On Election day, Clarendon and Newberry County residents will give their two cents on a one cent Capital Project Sales Tax.

SUMMERTON, S.C. — On November 8, Clarendon and Newberry County residents will give their two cents on a one cent capital project sales tax. 

The tax, which will add one cent on every dollar, will fund 15 projects across Clarendon County.  The biggest project would be an $8 million countywide emergency operation center. 

Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce Director Jennie Lee said this center will help decrease response times across the county. 

"We have a large lake here in Clarendon County, so they could be doing rescues that involve more remote areas and more difficult situations such as on the lake," said Lee. "The faster we can have those response times the better everyone in the area is going to be."

For residents like Akiva Ford, it's the recreational parks proposed in St. Paul, Paxville, and Summerton that are making her vote yes for the tax. 

"To be able to have a recreational facility where these children can play and enjoy and grow, it just enhances overall everything," said Ford. "

If approved, the tax will start May 1, 2023 and end April 30, 2031, totaling $35,755,000. 

RELATED: Summerton hosts unveiling of Briggs vs. Elliott historical park

In Newberry County, residents will be asked to continue the sales tax already in place. It will fund 12 projects across the county, the biggest being an $8 million dollar new cell block building at the Newberry County Detention Center. 

"The Detention Center was built in 1978," said Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster." It's had a few minor renovations over its history. But really nothing to bring it up to more modern states."

Foster tells News19 maintenance crews are making almost daily repairs on the jail's HVAC, plumbing, locking systems, and ceilings and walls.  

"We will continue to use the old facility for those other functions other than the housing units," said Foster. "So it's actually a way that we can move the population to a better, more secure facility, while saving quite a bit of money on that."

Newberry's previously approved Penny Tax helped fund a communications network which allowed 100% communication coverage on walkie talkies. 

"Not only has it helped our local first responders, but when we had situations where we have to bring in other law enforcement or other fire services, they are able to communicate," said Foster. 

"If we don't have the penny sales tax, then it falls on the backs of the taxpayers," Foster added. "And there's going to be a time that we will eventually have to do this jail project."

A majority of residents need to vote yes in order for the tax to pass. 

A total of 26 counties in South Carolina currently have a penny sales tax including Richland, Lexington, Orangeburg, and Sumter. 

RELATED: Lexington County Penny Tax ballot proposal passes second reading, 8-0

Newberry County Projects:

  •  Newberry County Public Safety Complex, including facilities for Emergency Services, a relocated Friendly Fire Department and a relocated Newberry Rescue Squad ($7.75 million).
  • Improvements to City of Newberry Recreation Complex, including splash pad expansion, Miracle Field, skate park, sidewalk and paved walking trail, shade structures, additional restrooms, and maintenance access drive and maintenance building ($3,295,000).
  • Upgrade and Expansion of Newberry County Water and Sewer Authority’s Cannon’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant ($5,154,560).
  • New cell block building and upgrades to support facilities at Newberry County Detention Center ($8 million).
  • Improvements to Town of Little Mountain Reunion Park, including park entrance upgrade, walking trail, shelter renovations with stage conversion, renovation of smokehouse/picnic shelter including bathrooms ($2,015,825).
  • Renovation of a portion of Gallman High School on Brantley Street in Newberry for use as community center by Building Thriving Communities Foundation ($1.45 million).
  • Improvements to Town of Whitmire City Gym ($800,000).
  • Improvements to Town of Pomaria’s Old Pomaria School community center ($671,745).
  • Roof replacement and HVAC improvements at The Newberry Museum ($815,000).
  • IT/Network/Security Improvements at Newberry County Courthouse ($295,000).
  • Improvements to Town of Prosperity parks, including Langford Street Park, Town Center Park, North Main Street Park and Town Center Football-Soccer Field ($3.15 million).
  • Downtown Newberry amphitheater and pavilion/support building ($3.65 million).

Clarendon County Projects:

  • County wide emergency operation center - $8.1 million
  • Church street park (Manning)-  $4,540,000 million

  • Town Hall in Paxville ($350,000)

  • Town Hall/Police department in Summerton ($2 million)

  • Fire Station in Turbeville ($1.7 million)

  • Centrally located park/facilities with competition ballfields ($6.5 million)

  • Library branch facility in Summerton ($2.6 million)
  • 1-95 wastewater improvements in Manning (1.25 million)
  •  Recreation Parks in Paxville ($1.5 million)
  • Downtown beautification in Summerton ($1 million)
  • Downtown beautification in Turbeville ($250,000)
  • Recreation parks in St. Paul ($1.5 million)
  • Fire/rescue sub-station in Paxville ($650,000)
  • Clarendon county industrial park infrastructure ($840,000)
  • Centrally located county wide fire training facility with burn building ( $5,750,000)
  • recreation parks in Turbeville ($1.5 million)
  • Fire/rescue sub-station in Brewington area ($725,000) 
  • Fire/rescue sub-station in Liberty area ($725,000)

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