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Pine Island to become latest jewel in South Carolina parks system

The island, adjacent to Lake Murray, was previously used as recreation space for Dominion employees and their families.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — A state park expansion is in the works and it won't cost tax payers a dime. 

South Carolina Department of Parks of Recreation (SCPRT)  is working on a large state park expansion and Lake Murray's Pine Island is part of that expansion.

Pine Island will mark the first park the state has opened since 2006.     

“I just hate seeing all of that going to waste, because back in the day when SCE&G had it, it was a really nice place to go it had a lot of nice events. And just nice place to be,” said James Lindler a lifelong resident of the area said.

The 27-acre site will become South Carolina's smallest state park. 

Sam Queen with SCPRT says it's all because of a settlement between Dominion Energy and the State of South Carolina.

“South Carolina is in the process of acquiring properties Dominion had as part of a tax settlement," Queen said.

The settlement allowed Dominion Energy a pass on unpaid taxes from the failed nuclear power plant, VC Summer Power Station in Jenkinsville. 

Because of this agreement, taxpayers won’t have to pay for any changes to the park. The island already has picnic tables, shelters and boat ramps.  

Pine Island is just one of a few projects in the works.

“We’re acquiring Pine Island on Lake Murray, Bundrick Island also on Lake Murray, Misty Lake in Aiken County, and Ramsey Grove in Georgetown County," Queen added.

While it’s bringing more fun and entertainment to the state, it's also putting money back into the state with tourism.

“It’s creating economic impact in all these small towns all over South Carolina by being a draw to come in and then in turn we get admissions fees to then pour back into the state," said Queen. 

The property acquisition is not complete between the state and Dominion, but the hope is to have this park open to the public later this year.


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