Big chunk of Greenville’s proposed capital improvement plan budget earmarked for Unity Park

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Unity Park is expected to span 60 acres. Rendering provided by City of Greenville / MKSK

More than one out of every five dollars in Greenville’s proposed $31.7 million capital improvement plan for next year would go to Unity Park.

The Greenville City Council is expected to give initial approval to the spending plan on April 8. Final approval is expected on May 13, the same day the city will approve its operating budget for 2019-20.

The proposal earmarks $2 million of tourism-generated taxes to repay bonds the city is expected to issue for construction of the new park on the west side of Greenville. It would be the first of 20 years of repayment.

Groundbreaking for the park is expected in the spring. The first phase of the park is nearly $41.2 million. Some of the park could open in 2021. Future phases could include an observation tower, wetland restoration, and a nature area.

The other $5 million earmarked for the park will pay for improvements to the Reedy River. The money will come from stormwater fees.

If the current version of the CIP is adopted, the city will also pay to replace Main Street lighting, draft final plans for a cultural corridor urban trail that would connect Heritage Green with Main Street, start putting back money to replace the Stone Avenue fire station, and assess the condition of all city facilities.

The CIP also includes money for affordable housing and to replace parking garage equipment in all of its garages. The new equipment will eventually allow motorists to reserve spots in the city’s garages and pay using license plate recognition software.

In addition, the plan includes $1 million each for new sidewalks and street repaving.

Of the budget, nearly six out of every 10 dollars will go for infrastructure improvements. Economic development accounts for 18 percent of the expenditures, while parks and recreation and public safety account for 12 percent each.

Money to fund the capital improvement plan comes from five pots: general fund generated from property taxes and business licenses, tax-increment-financing funds that come from property taxes generated from specific areas of the city, tourism funds that come from hospitality taxes on prepared meals and accommodations taxes on overnight lodging, utility and parking funds that come from fees and must be spent primarily on the activity that generated the revenue, and capital improvement fund money that comes from money not spent on completed projects and interest earned on money not yet spent.

Where the money will go

Parks and Recreation, $3.7 million

Greenways and trails, $1 million

Main Street tree rehabilitation, $75,000

Neighborhood park improvements, $501,078

Swamp Rabbit Trail bridge maintenance, $120,000

Unity Park (construction financing), $2 million

Economic Development, $5.25 million

Art in Public Places, $75,000

Commercial corridors, $500,000

Economic development project account, $2.15 million

Economic development project account – Viola, $220,740

Fluor Field maintenance, $150,000

Fluor Field stadium improvements, $1.1 million

Greenville Convention Center FF&E, $500,000

Corporate office recruitment strategy, $250,000

S.C. Children’s Theatre headquarters, $300,000

Roads and Bridges, $3.75 million

Bridge maintenance, $200,000

Intersection improvements, $400,000

Main Street bridge repairs, $750,000

McDaniel/Cleveland Park area improvements, $100,000

New sidewalks, $1 million

Salters Road realignment, $100,000

Sidewalk accessibility improvements, $200,000

Street resurfacing, $1 million

Streetscapes, $900,000

Village of West Greenville improvements, $100,000

Cultural Corridor Urban Trail, $500,000

Main Street lighting replacement, $200,000

Street lighting maintenance and upgrades, $100,000

Wastewater, $2.8 million

Sewer basin rehabilitation, $2.8 million

Public Safety, $3.89 million

Fire Station improvements, $433,041

Police administration facility lease and upfit, $800,000

Police body cameras, $219,432

Public safety cameras and infrastructure, $200,000

Public safety dispatch consoles, $225,000

Public safety radios, $700,000

Stone Avenue Fire Station replacement, $1 million

Traffic signal communication upgrades, $315,000

Parking, $3.95 million

Parking garage rehabilitation, $1.25 million

Parking garage control equipment, $2.7 million

Stormwater, $6.58 million

Culvert level of service improvements, $1.15 million

Stormwater asset management and modeling, $425,000

Unity Park stormwater improvements, $5 million

General government, $935,000

Affordable housing, $500,000

City Hall improvements, $110,000

City facilities assessment, $325,000

Total $31.7 million

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