IRMO, S.C. — Extra land is in the hands of the Town of Irmo thanks to a local woman selling 9.78 acres this week, and residents are about to get a whole lot more space to spread out and enjoy the fresh air.
"The Irmo community park is like the central park of the Town of Irmo. So, everybody likes to eat here, meet friends here, walk, exercise, let their kids play," said Whitt Cline, director of public services with the Town of Irmo.
It was a big $450,000 purchase thanks to hospitality tax and the town's general fund. As far as the amenities that they're looking to add in that space, that cost will be paid through their American Rescue Plan money.
"That's a lot of money to spend today on that land, but if we didn't buy it today and somebody else bought it, they'd put something in here that was not conducive to the park and we wouldn't have any control over it," Barry Walker, Irmo mayor said.
The idea is to build everything they want on this land in phases.
"I want to do the fourth of July, the Juneteenth, the chili cook-off, any of those type of events to get people out of the house and get them back into some normal rhythm in life," Walker said.
First, they'll clear out the underbrush and gauge the perimeter. That should be finished before next summer.
That'll allow for areas of grass parking, and then the mayor and council hope to extend the walking trail. Eventually they'd like to add a pavilion, open air market space for receptions and events, a food truck court and eventually the beginning to a downtown area with retail space.