More money needed for Brook Drive

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City Council allocates $80K at special meeting

By Jesef Williams

Less than a month after approving an extra $49,000 for the Brook Drive improvement project, Lancaster City Council has allocated even more money for the work.
At an emergency meeting Oct. 11, City Council voted unanimously to allocate up to $80,000 to address the rock that crews continue to encounter as they work to install a new sewer bore along Brook Drive.
Council voted 6-0 to approve the money, which will come from the gross revenue fund. Councilwoman Tamara Green Garris wasn’t at the meeting.
In September, council voted to add $49,793 to the project cost – $33,955 to address the rock issue via drilling and $15,838 to address “unsuitable soils” pertaining to the road portion of the project.
That money is coming from city reserve funds.
If the entire $80,000 is used, the project budget will increase to $518,983.
The original budget was $430,000. Costs were reduced after it was decided that city crews – and not an outside group – would perform some of the work.
“I am, of course, disappointed that the crew continued to find rock in the work area, but I believe the project will be beneficial to the city and well worth the money we invest in the project,” City Administrator Helen Sowell said.
The plan is for Brook Drive to serve as a location for future housing for University of South Carolina Lancaster students. Officials say the road improvements and sewer upgrades are needed for that population to be accommodated.
“As Councilman (John) Howard stated at the meeting, improvements around the university to support its growth will result in increased revenue for the community as students move here,” Sowell said. “Dorms will also bring jobs as the community finds ways to support the needs of the campus and its students.”
Sowell said the improvement project should be finished in December.
Meeting of councils
Immediately before the emergency meeting at City Hall to address Brook Drive, members of Lancaster City Council and County Council met to discuss the planned industrial park near the county airport off S.C. 9.
The two councils are working together on the effort.
The council members discussed the location and phases of the park.
The first phase  was initially planned for the northern side of S.C. 9 (same side as the airport) but it now will begin on the southern side with 101 acres.
The meeting also touched on the city’s role in providing water and sewer to the park.
Sowell said the city will provide the service to users at the same cost and with the same agreement used for Lancaster Business Park.
After a closed session to receive legal advice, the meeting ended with no action taken on the matter.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152