GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – When called to emergencies, Greenwood County fireman Paul Bagnoli says situations become even more dire with their current radio system.
“We have constant issues with messages being garbled can’t really understand what’s being said to us,” said Bagnoli. “If we’re on a scene and there are people in a house fighting a fire and you’ve got the incident commander who can’t talk to them, that’s really dangerous. You can’t have that.” He says they can also lose reception, and be forced to use their cell phones to communicate.
A new radio system is one of 27 items to be funded by a one percent sales tax on November’s ballot
“This tax is – we believe – an investment in Greenwood County,” said Greenwood City Manager Charlie Barrineau.
The tax would generate about $86 million dollars over its 8 years. If the money is raised before that, the tax would end, according to Barrineau.
Colie Rushton was one of several residents at a forum tonight to learn more.
“When the government wants to pass that, a penny’s something easy to ask for but when you start adding up all these pennies and it comes up to the fact that these projects are over 80 million dollars, that’s a lot of pennies,” he said, adding he would support the measure because of the impact it can have on the community. “It’s important that we’re able to protect our community, protect the people.”
About $1.4 million would go towards replacing a 1973 platform firetruck, and another $14 million will go towards the construction of up to 6 new fire stations.
If approved, the tax would go into effect by May 2017. Other public forums are scheduled before residents vote in November. Residents can find more information on the tax’s campaign website or Facbook page.
The projects are in the order they’ll be funded:
(1) $6,099,696 for the construction of the Upstate Center for Manufacturing Excellence on the campus of Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood;
(2) $5,578,754 for the construction or improvement of public parks in Hodges and Troy, the Grace Street Park, the Emma Gaskins Magnolia Park and a new public park in the area of Foundry Road in Greenwood, the Ninety Six Town Park in Ninety Six, and bike and pedestrian trails in and around Greenwood;
(3) $4,858,409 for the implementation of a countywide public safety radio system;
(4) $646,592 for the expansion of the Benjamin E. Mays Historical Site;
(5) $14,242,921 for the implementation of the Fire Service Master Plan adopted by the Greenwood County Council, including but not limited to the renovation and equipping of existing fire stations, the construction and equipping of new fire stations, and the construction of a public safety training facility;
(6) $810,000 for the implementation of the Lake Greenwood Master Plan, to possibly include but not be limited to the construction of public access areas, restroom facilities, and refuse collection facilities, and landscaping and signage on entrance ways;
(7) $1,569,339 for the replacement of certain sewer lines and the construction or refurbishment of a pump station in the area of the Carnell Bridge in Ware Shoals;
(8) $671,456 for the replacement of water lines in the area of Pinehaven, Saluda and Wingard Streets in Ninety Six;
(9) $10,723,817 for the renovation and expansion of athletic facilities of Greenwood County, including but not limited to the Wilbanks Sports Complex in Greenwood (the former site of the Greenwood Civic Center), Young Park in Ware Shoals, and the J.C. “Fox” Boozer Complex in Ninety Six;
(10) $8,456,666 for the development of the North Greenwood Industrial Park;
(11) $1,105,446 for the replacement of the storm water drainage system in the area of the Ninety Six Mill Village;
(12) $66,326 for the construction of a pedestrian trail in the Promised Land community;
(13) $33,163 for the construction of restroom facilities at Cokesbury College;
(14) $27,636 for the renovation of the Brewer Center in Greenwood;
(15) $1,326,535 for the purchase of a records management system for the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenwood Police Department;
(16) $1,747,000 for the modeling and study of flooding within watersheds of Greenwood County;
(17) $11,942,770 for the widening of Highway 246 from its intersection with Highway 221 to Emerald Road;
(18) $3,397,273 for the rehabilitation of Katherine Hall in Ware Shoals;
(19) $429,939 for the repair and maintenance of the Greenwood County Detention Center;
(20) $208,998 for the purchase of a case management system for the Eighth Circuit Solicitor’s Office;
(21) $358,283 for the installation of fiber optic cable and related equipment on the campus of the Greenwood Genetic Center;
(22) $2,447,774 for the construction of the Carolina Avenue Connector, a new road with related infrastructure between South Main Street and the campus of the Greenwood Genetic Center on Liner Circle in Greenwood;
(23) $685,987 for the renovation of the Arts Center at the Federal Building in Greenwood, including but not limited to the replacement of the roof and certain flooring, and painting of the exterior;
(24) $1,221,806 for the construction of an exhibition hall replicating the former Southern Passenger Depot for the Railroad Historical Center;
(25) $1,468,664 for the purchase of a platform fire truck and related equipment for the City of Greenwood Fire Department;
(26) $1,223,887 for the placement of lines for water service and fire suppression in the area of Harris Landing, and;
(27) $4,895,548 for the placement of lines for water services and fire suppression in the area of Highway 25 South.