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County Council Approves Sweetwater Community Center Restoration Project, Initial Funding for Picnic Shelter at Bettis Park

web posted August 6, 2014

EDGEFIELD It has been nearly two years in the making, but final approval of the funding for the restoration of the Sweetwater Community Center was given at the county council's meeting Tuesday night. The building and property were donated to the county by Ambassador Henry Cooper and his wife in 2012. According to the owner of Stewart Construction, who was given the contract for the project, crews will be able to start work in two to three weeks.

The project, spearheaded by Vice-chair Genia Blackwell of Merriwether, will take close to six months to complete. When the restoration is completed, the building will seat 100 in a single large room with columns and stained woodwork, a large deck spanning the back of the building, a warming kitchen and will be available to citizens for weddings, meetings, or other such gatherings.

The cost of the restoration was awarded at $347,000 and the county will also set aside $15,000 for contingencies if needed. The contract was awarded on a 4-1 vote with outgoing councilman Norman Dorn opposed. The funding will come from a $1.2 million bond issued for building projects, repairs and restorations.

Council also gave approval of the $8,835.79 in Parks and Recreation (PARD) funds for 2014 to go towards a 24x40 picnic shelter at Bettis Park. County Administrator Lynn Strom said the shelter was part of the development plans for the park, something Councilwoman Betty Butler agreed to and said it was long overdue. The county will use the funds as a "match" to a $5,000 donation made to the park by Bridgestone earlier this year.

Once official blueprints have been completed, the project will go out for bids and return to council for final approval. The measure was approved on a 4-1 vote, again with Dorn opposed. Councilwoman Butler commented that projects being undertaken are for residents of the entire county, not just those in the area in which they are located.  

Another project approved was the replacement of the roof of the county's hangars at the Trenton Airport. Georgia Subcontracting Professionals, LLC, was awarded the contract with a low bid of $14,250.

In other business, the council voted to donate seven computers that are no longer in use to the Edgefield County School District after all information and programming has been removed. Approval was also given to place other county property that is no longer in use on GovDeals.com for sale.

Council also approved the re-appointment of James Bibbs to the board of GLEAMS.

With no other business the meeting was adjourned.

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