Mt. Pleasant to vote on $50M in bonds for parks referendum
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money could soon be used for future park projects in Mount Pleasant from November’s referendum that passed by 700 votes.
A total of $50 million could be used for future projects in the town, and council are set to vote on the measure’s first reading.
The referendum increases property taxes for the next 15 years. The money will be used to build new ballfields, tennis courts and fix up old fields and facilities.
“When I coached, I coached for 37 years, I’d have to go over to Sullivan’s Island to play in that field next to the hill because there were no fields available for me to practice over here,” Councilmember Gary Santos said. “We needed to fix some of our facilities, our pools that are really old and dilapidated, so to speak, so and not only that, we have parents that have to take their kids over to North Charleston to play other Mount Pleasant teams, and that should not happen.”
Just off Rifle Range Road sits 145 acres of land the town currently uses as greenspace.
As part of this referendum, the town wants to turn 25% of the land into ballfields and tennis courts while keeping the rest as a wooded area.
However, not all locals want to see the land developed…
“For me, I find a lot of enjoyment in the woods, and there aren’t many spaces around Mount Pleasant that are like this protected patch of woodlands,” neighbor Amy Cyzman said.
Neighbor Daniel Brownstein said if the referendum didn’t pass, the park at Rifle Range may have never had enough money to start construction.
“I have two young kids, and they’re very involved in sports and the arts,” Brownstein said. “I really wanted to see this park come to fruition after all these years.”
Santos said the town hasn’t kept up with demand for parks and greenspace as the population nears 100,000.
He said they’re hoping to start construction on the planned park at Rifle Range in the coming months and already working on fixing some ballfields.
“It’s kind of a balance, and that’s what life is all about,” Santos said. “It’s about balance, and that’s what we’re doing now. We’re trying to put some balance in there, so everybody can have a little piece of something that they want.”
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