Georgetown County is set to acquire about 130 acres of property near 3V Chemical off Pennyroyal Road, to help secure rail access. The land on Woodstock Street would allow the county to take advantage of possible rail access that could be utilized for an adjacent 948-acre parcel the county plans to buy.
During the Nov. 12, County Council meeting, Economic Development Director Brian Tucker asked for approval to execute an option on the land.
“We have discussed this with you over the past several years,” Tucker said. “This property by 3V Chemical will be pivotal in the Pennyroyal tract. We have had concerns specifically with them about rail access. We would require approval from them in order to bring rail. We hope that inclusion of this property, along with the larger piece, will alleviate some concerns.”
Issues for nearby property owners are traffic and buffers, he said.
Having this property “will shift the entire piece slightly to the left. It will allow the more eastern part to serve as a buffer.”
“It will also corral some of the traffic and funnel it along Woodstock Street, keep it away from the church. We are hoping the inclusion of this piece will represent to the residents our concerns,” Tucker said. Another benefit of adding this parcel would be some infrastructure cost savings. A road to get to the larger property wouldn’t have to be as long.
The cost to the county to obtain the option is $25,000. It gives the county until the end of March to acquire the property. Ultimately, Tucker said, the county expects to pay for the land with a grant; “During hat time we will update some due diligence that was done on that property some years ago.”
The county is partnering with Santee Electric Cooperative. “All of this is contingent on grant approval being finalized. The net financial impact to us should be zero dollars,” Tucker said.
This additional land would be for a rail bed. He said 3V did some construction of a rail bed, but “they stopped short of actually laying track.”
Councilman Everett Carolina moved for approval, Raymond Newton seconded, and the vote was 6-0 in favor.
In another matter, County Attorney Wesley Bryant brought up a new 10-year lease for a road leading to Bluff Landing in the Lamberttown area. About 10 years ago there was a lawsuit when the previous owner of the property – about 3,000 acres - decided to close access to the landing.
“Wadmacon Creek has been used for well over 100 years,” Bryant said. “It was quite controversial, to the extent that Council directed we enter a lawsuit.” That resulted in a 10-year lease, set to expire Dec. 1, 2019.
“The good news is, the property has recently been acquired by a new owner. He has a vested interest out there. He’s interested in continuing the lease and use of the road for another 10 years, at a dollar a year,” Bryant said.
Council agreed to that recommendation.