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$115,000 for stadium improvements

The Union Daily Times - 4/15/2019

April 13-- Apr. 13--UNION COUNTY -- New tickets booths, bathroom facilities, fencing, concession stand roof, and greater accessibility for the handicapped will be the result of the second phase of the $1.3 millionUnion County Stadium improvement project.

During their April meeting Tuesday evening, Union County Council voted unanimously to approve a request by Supervisor Frank Hart that $115,000 be allocated for the Phase II improvements to the stadium. Hart said the improvements will include:

--Construction of new ticket booths and adjacent bathroom facilities

--New fencing

--A new roof for the baseball concession stand

--Making access between the upper and lower areas of the stadium handicapped accessible in compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The project is being funded by Union County which is paying the $1.3 million cost upfront. The Union County School District will pay $130,000 a year to the county for five years or 50 percent of the project cost.

Hart said Tuesday that the $115,000 allocated by council for Phase II of the stadium improvements will come from the funds the district has already paid towards its share of the cost of the project.

The City of Union is also involved in the project, providing up to $150,000 in infrastructure upgrades including water, sewer, gas, and electricity.

The three-phase improvement project is designed to address the more pressing needs of the half-century old stadium including:

The project is designed to address the most pressing needs of the half-century old stadium including the construction of the new field house. Those other needs include:

--Safety issues.

--Accessibility issues to bring the stadium closer into ADA compliance.

The stadium was built in the 1960s and an engineering study reached the following conclusions about the facility:

--It does not comply with all aspects of the current 2006 IBC Code.

--It does not comply with the Americans for Disability Act or current ANSI regulations.

--Construction types required for the Department of Education does not comply in all buildings.

--Restroom facilities currently on site do not meet the fixture counts required by the Department of Education for a stadium facility.

--As stated in the structural evaluation additional testing needs to be conducted on the home bleachers to assure the foundation supporting of the double tee bleachers has no structural issues due to water collection under the stands.

The report also states that the stands on the south end of the baseball field are not safe for spectator use and need to be demolished.

Phase I of the project, which was completed in October, included the construction of a new field house, accessibility improvements on the home stands including improved steps and new railing, a new handicap accessible area, a new concession building with ADA bathrooms, upgrades to the press box, and new paint.

Detention Center Pond Draining

In other business, council voted unanimously to allocate $7,500 toward the draining of the pond at the Union County Detention Center.

Hart said the pond would be drained to help make the property available for industrial development. He said the funds allocated by council would be used to hire a firm to look at the draining of the pond with an eye towards the required approval from DHEC for the project.

Land Sale

Council also voted unanimously to authorize the county to advertise and accept bids for the sale of a parcel of land at the Jonesville Recycling Convenience Center.

Appointments

Council also voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Patricia Nichols to the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Vacancies

Council also voted unanimously to advertise for applicants to fill staff positions on the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and a vacancy in the Public Works Department.

Siren Upgrades

Council also voted unanimously to approve referring requests by five fire departments for a frequency upgrade of their station sirens at a total cost of $15,000 to its Planning and Development Committee for review and recommendation.

Convenience Centers

Council also voted unanimously to approve referring a request that the county issue stickers to Union County residents to put on their cars to ensure that only county residents dispose of garbage at the county's recycling convenience centers to its Public Works Committee for review and recommendation.

Ordinances Approved

Council also voted unanimously to approve the following ordinances:

--Second reading of an ordinance establishing a multi-county industrial park in Union County encompassing the Milliken Cedar Hill and Gillespie plants.

--First reading by title only of the budget ordinance for fiscal 2019-2020.

--First reading by title only of the budget supplemental appropriation ordinance for fiscal 2018-2019.

Topographical Study

Council also voted unanimously to approve a request by Union County Development Board Executive Director Kathy Jo Lancaster that it allocate funds for a new topographical study of the Trakas Industrial Park.

Lancaster said the study is needed for the further development of the park and to attract industry to it. She said the county has received a $28,000 grant from the SC Department of Commerce toward the cost of the $37,500 study and a local match is required for the balance..

The $9,500 local match will come from the county's Trakas Park Improvement Account.

Funding Re-Direction

Council also voted 3-1 with Councilman Ben Ivey opposed (Councilmen Ralph Tucker and Tommie Hill were absent) to permit $6,000 allocated for the purchase of a golf cart to be used by code enforcement officers in trash collection to instead be used to purchase a van for the Animal Shelter to be used to transport animals out of the county for adoption.

For more about these stories see upcoming editions of The Union Times.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.

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(c)2019 The Union Daily Times (Union, S.C.)

Visit The Union Daily Times (Union, S.C.) at uniondailytimes.com

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