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Revenue shortage delays projects around county

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Georgetown County’s capital improvement plan remains on track, but declining revenues resulting from a difficult economic climate mean some sacrifices will be made.

The plan, which called for $348 million in projects through 2018, was reduced to $309 million after an annual update by County Council this week. No projects were eliminated, but several were pushed into the second phase of the plan, which begins in 2019.

Revenues, including those from impact fees, property taxes, interest earnings and accommodations and hospitality fees, are all projected to come in at below what was predicted when the plan was last updated in October 2009, County Administrator Sel Hemingway said.

Among the Phase 1 projects on the chopping block are a new $11.25 million Georgetown Library. It was delayed to allow plans for a new Waccamaw Library to proceed.

Projected population growth for the Georgetown area has decreased enough that the existing library can meet demands for at least a few years longer, Hemingway said.

The library will still get a new roof next year.

A $200,000 beautification project that would enhance and add signs at county entranceways was also cut, along with a $956,250 reconfiguration of a baseball and softball facility in Andrews for the sports’ youngest players, and $100,000 each for historic preservation projects at Morgan Park and the Francis Marion Trail.

Cuts will also need to be made to recreation projects, but council members agreed last month to proceed with those plans for now and consider cuts later.

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