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Recreation plans move forward in Kershaw County

If it is approved, money would be split, with $10 million going to Woodward Park and $2 million toward other parks in the county.
Credit: Walker Lawson

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — We've been following the possibility of a large-scale recreation project in Kershaw County. Now, it's taken one step forward with some changes. 

"We've accepted the $6 million and agreed to look for matching funds," said Kershaw County Councilman Russell Brazell.  

It all started last month when Kershaw County Council was presented with an offer from the Kershaw County Health Service District of $5 million to put towards building the county's first recreation facility, with the county being asked to match that total dollar-for-dollar, for a total of $10 million to spend on the project.

At the last County Council meeting, council members asked the Health District to pump up its contribution to $6 million, which they did, as $3 million comes from MUSC and the other $3 from the Health District. 

That means there's a chance the project could have a budget of $12 million, two more than originally planned, but those matching funds still aren't guaranteed as council has to see if they can up with their half of the money. 

If it is approved the money would be split, with $10 million going to Woodward Park and $2 million toward other parks in the county.

"The finance committee is comprised of 3 council members who take extra time out of their day to sit down and make sure the money is in the budget and able to be allocated," Brazell said. "We've got different resources available. Named in the motion were the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds that can be used in underserved communities, so we've got to make sure that allocation is correct. We've got to make sure that we've crossed all the T's and dotted all the I's." 

Area residents have mixed thoughts about the plan.

"I think that county council should not be approved to accept the $6 million for Woodward park, I think it's not a good choice," Camden resident April Few said. "I understand it might bring families and it's good for the area, but we have bigger fish to fry." 

"I think it's a great idea, as long as it doesn't come out of property taxes," Kershaw County resident Paul Pierre said."That's a main concern for a senior citizen like myself."

If council cannot match the $6 million, the project won't move forward. 

The finance committee is expected to know more by the end of April. 

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