Council approves outdoor fitness court resolution

NEWBERRY COUNTY – Newberry County Council recently approved a resolution to pass and allocate funds for an outdoor fitness court as part of the 2023 National Fitness Campaign.

“We are very pleased that the National Fitness Campaign has declared us eligible for the $30,000 grant, this resolution asks for a commitment that we can match that $30,000 and we will work to raise the additional funds, which we are doing. already actively. We have already reached out and will continue our efforts through community businesses,” said Jessie Long, director of parks and recreation for Newberry County.

The outdoor fitness court will cost around $170,000 and would be built at the Piedmont Technical College camps in Newberry Square. Long said there would be seven different stations where someone could practice doing activities like sit-ups, pull-ups, lunges, and more.

“Not good at first, but in the long run we would be programming,” she said.

Councilor Les Hipp asked what would happen if they committed to the grant, but they didn’t get the rest of the funds needed.

“It’s not going to happen; we won’t get their $30,000 until we’re ready to go. We have until mid-July, timing-wise, to set it up,” said Long.

Councilman Henry Livingston asked where the $30,000 would come from. County Administrator Christopher Inglese said they have several options including ARP funds, a budget amendment, a one off capital contingency and possibly budgeting next year as the money is not due before mid-July.

“The Spartan Race also brought in $20,000 in windfall revenue,” he said.

Livingston said $30,000 is a small part of the $170,000 needed and he thinks the outdoor fitness court is a good idea with a great concept, but he has reservations about funding.

“We have firefighters and paramedics coming in and asking us for things and we tell them it’s not in the budget, it goes against my belief to randomly come up with $30,000 when it’s not not budgeted,” he said.

Long added that Newberry County Parks and Recreation is actively looking for ways to raise money for emergency services.

The resolution passed 6-1, following a motion from Councilor Nick Shealy and a second from Councilor Travis Reeder, Livingston voted against.

Other business:

• Council held a third reading of a FILOT agreement for an amount of $89,000,000 solar project. The agreement includes special source revenue credits to allow for a predictable annual payment of approximately $216,050 for a 30-year term. It also includes a monetary contribution of $50,000 to install solar panels for two fire stations as well as a robust buffer requirement to ensure the project will not be visible for a right of way. There was also a public hearing where no one spoke for or against.

• Council approved a third reading of a budget ordinance to reduce courthouse copying fees from 0.50 cents per copy to 0.35 cents. A public hearing was also held where no one spoke for or against.

• Council approved a Third Reading for an Ordinance Amending Budget Order 22-23 to provide an amendment reducing building permit fees by: 1. Allowing the option of using a signed contract to determine the building assessment. 2. Reduce plan review fees from 50% of permit fees to 25% for residential projects. 3. Reduce the unheated space rating to half the heated space rating. The amendment would be retroactive to July 1, 2022. A public hearing was also held where no one spoke for or against.

• Council approved a first reading for a planning and zoning enactment amendment that provides by-laws to permit solar farms in the RZ Zone District as a special exception.

• Council approved a resolution requiring members of the Zoning Appeals Board and the Joint Planning Board to complete the annual statutory training prior to receiving the per-meeting allowance.

• The board approved a resolution authorizing the animal shelter to declare a temporary moratorium on admitting animals when the shelter is full to reduce euthanasia rates as needed.

Contact Andrew Wigger at 803-768-3122 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.

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