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North Augusta’s Trojan Horse: The Invasion of Merriwether
web posted November 29, 2010
Click on picture for larger view
Augusta is moving forward
on their Trojan Horse in the disguise of a multi-million dollar
recreational facility smack dab in the middle of the Merriwether
Community. Most Merriwether residents have heard of the plan but
very few know the size and invasive scope of the project to the rural
and quiet community. That is about to change.
The park, no doubt to be used as a lure to get residents of Merriwether
to vote to be annexed into the city to funnel tax money to their
downtown expansion, will be located between Murrah and Five Notch
However, the City of North Augusta has little concern, it seems,
in informing the residents of Merriwether of their plans as no meeting
has been held in Merriwether or Edgefield County for that matter of the
negative impact it will have on the community.
In fact, the map they use to show the
wonderful park (Left) specifically blurs the surrounding community to
further disguise the impact it will have on neighboring subdivisions. I
am sure this was just a simple oversight by the city planners just as
not holding meetings in the community they intend to invade.
In addition to placing five baseball fields in the back yards of the
residents of Carr Estates located on Murrah Road, the noise from games
played by the city teams will be piercing the once peaceful ambiance
that is Merriwether far beyond Carr Estates.
Other problems this monstrosity will cause are the costs to Edgefield
County taxpayers which cannot be calculated at this time. Remember,
once the City of North Augusta plays their
cards, the property will be removed from our tax rolls and the city
will not be contributing to our county operations in any way shape or
And make no mistake, the central "MTB Trail" shown is nothing more than
an expansion to North Augusta's "Greenway" and will be used to annex
the property using the former railway over the objection of Merriwether
residents. If you doubt that premise, why did North Augusta annex
Martintown Road beyond Gregory Lake Road to annex a subdivision miles
away with the Democrat County Council members (Kneece, Bright, and
Dorn) not saying a word in opposition?
Answer: Because it furthered their plans and the current majority of
the Edgefield County Council allowed it to happen. North Augusta has
plans to annex Merriwether up to Garrett Road and members of the county
council knows it, even if they dare not to speak about it.
Not to mention such a facility will bring an increase in traffic on
Murrah and Five
Notch Roads with the roads unable to handle the current traffic.
This is not to mention the number of collisions at the intersection of
these roads already. How is the Sheriff’s Office going to provide
traffic control with only three road deputies patrolling the entire 507
square mile county already?
Big surprise, the new Aiken County "penny tax" will also include making
Five Notch Road a four lane into Edgefield County. Who saw that one
coming. And who gets to pay for patrolling the area? Edgefield County,
not Aiken County or the City of North Augusta.
And how is Edgefield County going to provide EMS coverage to the park
during baseball, football, softball, soccer, and other activities with
only two ambulance crews covering the same area?
No doubt this wonderful park will place a drain on Merriwether
residents who currently pay taxes to support recreation in Edgefield
County with some deserting the county recreation program in favor of
North Augusta’s and diverting registration fees and other funds to the
city, not Edgefield County.
Will the new North Augusta park push Bettis Park into obscurity for
local recreation support after almost $2 million having been invested
in our own county recreational operations? Who wins in this situation?
Merriwether, Bettis Park, Edgefield County, or North Augusta? Without
question the latter, and that is their intent.
Do not believe for a moment that North Augusta has the best interest of
Edgefield County or the Merriwether Community at heart in their
decision process. They are seeking to expand their tax base at any
cost, including over $20 million for the new park.
Do you think they would spend that kind of money to further the
wellbeing of Edgefield County and get nothing in return?
The reality is North Augusta should spend their money and efforts
inside their own city limits and the county they reside in and leave
Merriwether and Edgefield County out of it. If Merriwether wanted to be
a part of North Augusta it would have done so long ago.
It hasn’t, and the people of Merriwether want no part of the “big city
life” North Augusta has to offer, much less the huge increase in taxes
they want to impose, as evidenced by Town Hall meetings held by
Edgefield County Council members Genia Blackwell and Rodney Ashcraft in
the area. The issue raised by a majority of residents in every
meeting has been how
to stop North Augusta's invasion of the community.
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