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Bids, easements mean Simpsonville sidewalk project moving

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Commissioners sworn in for their next terms

By Steve Doyle

In the air there’s feeling of Christmas, and the Simpsonville City Commission was busy with sidewalks at its meeting on Wednesday.

That would be the long-delayed and longer-awaited Village Center sidewalk project, to be built on the south side of U.S. 60 from Old Veechdale Road to Fairview Drive, which is about to clear some major hurdles toward actual construction.

City Administrator David Eaton told commissioners that bids will close next Friday on the contract to move the water and sewer lines and clear the area for construction.

And Assistant City Attorney William Brammell reported that the city had received the final remaining easement that the city had gone to court to acquire.

Brammell did not elaborate on proceedings that involved the property at 7026 Shelbyville Road, where property owner Henry Lee had declined to grant an easement for the project, but his announcement indicated a real sense of forward motion on the project.

“I hope to have a bid for you to approve at your next meeting,” Eaton said. “And as soon as I get copies of those documents [the easement], I will send it along to District 5 at the state, so that it can release the funds for the actual sidewalks to be built.

“I hope to have the bids on that toward the end of January so that we could start construction [on the sidewalks] immediately after the water/sewer work is complete.”

Eaton also said that he and other officials had met with the engineer for HNB and discussed the details of the project, traffic issues and other relevant points.

“Hopefully next spring we can have this done,” he said.

Also at the meeting, commissioners:

  • Were sworn in by Eden to serve for the next two years. All four commissioners were re-elected in November.
  • Reviewed a financial report from Commissioner Cary Vowels that showed the city’s general and sewer budgets were right on track through November.
  • Heard from City Clerk Debbie Batliner that there only remain 60 delinquent tax payments outstanding, which she said was “phenomenal for this time of year.” She also said there were two long-term delinquent payments that had eluded collection and that she and Police Chief Chip Minnis would be working on a new strategy.
  • Heard from Parks Director Chris Truelock that the winter basketball, soccer and cheerleading programs are under way and that the city is offering a scholarship program in which citizens can sponsor a child to participate.
  • Heard from Eden that because the commission’s next scheduled meeting would have fallen on Jan. 1 the next meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 16.