GREENVILLE, S.C. – Member of the group that helped create the plan for the November Roads Referendum addressed some of the recent false statements made about the proposed project.
The Greenville County Citizens Roads Advisory Commission’s goal was to engage the community on what needs to be done with infrastructure in our county. That included finding the best long-term solution to highways, roads, streets, bridges and sidewalks in Greenville. The group was appointed by County Council members.
The group’s report is the basis of the November referendum. The one-cent sales tax referendum is limited to a period of eight years, and will fund needed road and infrastructure improvement projects including road resurfacing, intersection improvements, bridge improvements, and sidewalks around schools. The group lists safety, economic development, quality of life and monetary control of roads funding as key reasons to pass the referendum.
However, some in the community have been confused by a section of the ordinance about what County Council can do with the funds. Hunter Howard, a member of the Advisory Commission who is a certified public accountant and a former state tax commissioner, said the money can only be used for projects on the referendum list.
“These projects can’t be completed all at once, and this section was included to ensure that taxpayer money would continue to be spent in a responsible, efficient manner over the course of the eight-year tax. When you’re projecting what’s going to happen in the next eight years, you have to allow for some unforeseen circumstances,” he said.
“It does NOT allow Council to transfer money in or out of the budget specifically designated for these projects.”
Lisa Stevens, the Advisory Commission’s chairperson, said the group worked tirelessly for several months to make sure the projects on the list represent every part of the county.
“Some of the projects listed on the referendum have been on repair lists for over a decade, and it’s only through this local leadership initiative that these roads finally have the opportunity to be fixed,” she said.
Some of the facts and realities of the November 4 referendum are:
- 1,209 miles of roads will be repaved.
- 75 roads and intersections will be widened or improved.
- 23 bridges will be rehabilitated.
- 100 sidewalks will be expanded and improved – especially around schools.
- Voting no means nothing will change, cars will depreciate faster and require more repair, and Columbia will still charge for taxes with no intention of helping Greenville.
“Greenville County has a history and reputation of good leadership, and that’s only because we have a history of good leaders,” Stevens said. “We have been a state leader in economic development, and now we have the opportunity to be leaders in infrastructure.”
About The Citizens for a Better Greenville County:
The Citizens for a Better Greenville County is a local initiative to allow all Greenville residents the opportunity to decide the best way to fund infrastructure improvements county wide. Learn more at http://www.bettergreenvilleroads.com.