health Fitness

The council fixes the external exercise court decision

NEWBERRY COUNTY – The Newberry County Council recently approved a resolution to adopt and fund an outdoor exercise court as part of the 2023 National Fitness Campaign.

“We are very pleased that the National Fitness Campaign has said we are eligible for a $30,000 grant, and this resolution asks for a commitment to match that $30,000 and we will try to raise additional funds that we are already actively working on. Entertainment Director Jesse Long said.

The outdoor gym will cost approximately $170,000 and will be built on the Piedmont Technical College campus in Newberry Square. Long said there will be seven different stations where someone can work to do sit ups, pull ups, lunges, etc.

“Not exactly at first, but in the long run, we’ll do the programming,” he said.

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

“That won’t happen; We won’t get their $30,000 until we’re ready to go. Until mid-July, we have time to install it,” Long said.

Councilman Henry Livingston asked where the $30,000 would come from. District Administrator Christopher Inglese said they have a few options, including ARP funds, a budget amendment, a one-time capital contingency and next year’s budget, because the payment won’t be made until mid-July.

“The Spartan Race generated $20,000 in windfall,” he said.

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

“We have fire and rescue and we’re asking for supplies and we’re telling them it’s not in the budget, and to come in with roughly $30,000 when it’s not budgeted is against my faith,” he said.

Long said Newberry County Parks and Recreation is actively pursuing ways to raise money for emergency services.

Following a second motion by Councilman Nick Shealy and Councilman Travis Reeder, the resolution was approved 6-1, with Livingston voting against.

Other Business:

• Council held third reading of FILOT contract for $89,000,000 solar project. The agreement includes special source revenue credits that allow for predictable annual payments of approximately $216,050 over a 30-year term. It also provides a $50,000 cash contribution to install solar panels for two fire stations, as well as a strong buffer requirement to ensure the project stays on track. There was also a public hearing where no one spoke for or against.

• Council approved the third reading of a budget ordinance to reduce court copying fees from .50 cents to .35 cents per copy. A public hearing was also held where no one spoke for or against.

• Council approved third reading of Ordinance to Amend Appropriations Act 22-23 to provide an amendment reducing building permit fees: 1. Allowing the option to use a signed contract to determine the construction estimate. 2. Reduction of plan review fee for residential projects from 50% to 25% of clearance fee. 3. Reducing the unheated space rating to 1/2 the heated space rating. The amendment will come into effect from July 1, 2022. A public hearing was also held where no one spoke for or against.

• Council approved first reading of a planning and zoning text amendment that would provide regulations to allow solar farms in the RZ zoning district as a special exception.

• Council approved a resolution requiring members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Joint Planning Committee to complete a statutory, annual training before receiving meeting stipends.

• The council approved a resolution authorizing animal shelters to declare a temporary moratorium on animal consumption when the shelter is full to reduce euthanasia rates when necessary.

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

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