BY JOHN MARKS
LAKE WYLIE – York County may put its go-to building consultant on the job in hopes of hastening a long-awaited sports park in Lake Wylie.
York County Council will vote March 5 on whether to name Cumming Corp. as project manager for the park. A $287,500 contract the the company was up for a decision last week, but Council delayed the vote to allow the Lake Wylie recreation tax board to review it.
“I just think that it’s a good idea for the folks where the money’s coming from, that the folks on that board get a chance to look at it and understand it and know why we’re spending this money,” Councilman Chad Williams said at a Feb. 19 council meeting. “My understanding is the full committee has not had a chance to do that.”
In fall 2016, Lake Wylie residents approved a new recreation tax district to generate local money to build a new sports complex on county-owned land along Crowders Creek. The county agreed to allocate $2.45 million in hospitality tax money if the community agreed to pay a tax for the rest of the estimated $9.45 million project.
The park would include baseball and multipurpose fields, trails, a dog park, basketball courts, disc golf and more on 50 acres conveyed to the county a decade earlier, and could include 18 adjoining acres.
While the residents campaigning for a new park showed drawings and layouts ahead of the 2016 vote, ultimate decisions will be made by county management and the tax board. The new tax district is overseen by a board made up of residents, formed last year, under county management. Four of the five members were part of the group that put the tax district referendum on a ballot.
“The county has received a number of responses to its request from contractors to see who is interested in bidding on the design and build of the park,” said Ed Lindsey, tax board member. “No pricing yet. We are looking for competent contractors with the experience to do the work.”
The county could look for help guiding the process.
“Cumming provides project management work for the county on all of our very large projects and, some believe, having someone watching our back on these types of projects actually adds value,” Lindsey said.
Cumming Corp. is the main construction consultant for York County, along with Fort Mill and Clover school districts and other groups. Ongoing county projects include a Moss Justice Center expansion, a county administration facility and renovation of another site, a new family court, public works sites and magistrate offices in Fort Mill and Clover.
“When we make the decision, we can have feedback from them as well,” Williams said.
There isn’t a time line for when park construction will begin or end. However, a new website with park information should be “up and running very soon,” Lindsey said.
“We looked at the initial design of the website last week, made some suggestions and it may be up this week,” he said. “As to construction, we are still working through the contract bid process.”