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Details for CPST to be outlined for council

At the final 2020 meeting of the Laurens County Council next Tuesday, County Administrator Jon Caime is expected to introduce a

Laurens County Administrator Jon Caime

resolution that will set the path forward for the Capital Project Sales Tax.

The CPST was approved overwhelmingly during the Nov. 3 General Election by county voters who voted “yes” to a referendum. The referendum passed with 58% of the vote.

“The resolution before council will wrap everything up that was committed to in the referendum,” Caime said. “I don’t know if council will have a conversation about it, but we’re going to continue to work on bonding and the logistics of getting things started.”

The 1-cent sales tax is expected to raise $35 million over the next eight years and fund 16 different projects around the county, including a new Clinton library, an agricultural and business center, park upgrades, renovations to the EMS Medic 1 facility and digital radios for emergency personnel among others.

A bond will be issued for the sum of the budgeted $35 million and county leaders have noted that interest rates on bond issues are favorable for the county presently.

“We don’t want to borrow to fast, but we also want to make sure the money will be there,” Caime said.

Caime also said he expects the loan to be paid off in six years, two years before the CPST is set to expire.

The 1-cent tax will not go into effect until May, and the county should expect to begin receiving revenue from it form the state by July or August.

Caime said some of the projects will progress quickly, while others will take time and involve state and federal agencies in addition to the county itself.

For instance, the E-911 digital radios will be a quick purchase through a state plan, but expansion and improvements traffic flow at Exit 22 near Fountain Inn will involve permitting and coordination with state and federal agencies that would take an indeterminate amount of time.

Regardless of how long a given project takes, Caime said the process will be as transparent as possible as the county makes plans, takes bids for work and works toward the completion of all 16 projects over the coming months and years.

“We want to keep people updated on a regular basis and be as transparent as possible so that people continue to have trust in the process,” he said. “We will report regularly on the county website and update the public regularly as far as progress. This is a wonderful opportunity for the county, and we want people to see the benefit and fund future investments.”

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