Economic development spurs water request for Winnsboro


December 21, 2013

Lucas Vance

Staff Writer

WINNSBORO — Fowler Realty has requested the Town of Winnsboro install and service 95 water taps for a housing development in Blythewood.

During the Dec. 17 town council meeting, project president John Thomas presented council with the opportunity to supply water to a housing development at the intersection of Rimer Pond and Longtown Road.

The plan has 97 lots but is designed for 95 units that would use an estimated 38,000 gallons per day.

Thomas is hopeful to receive the permits to begin building on Dec. 27, and said once that is done engineers will complete the plans’ drawing within 90 days. There is an eight-inch water line currently installed and he anticipated beginning construction in the spring of 2014.

“We have two builders right now that are interested in purchasing all or most of these lots,” Thomas said. “Being across from a school it will be a prime target for families moving into the area.”

Mayor Roger Gaddy said council would have to consult with their engineers to find out if the nearby water tank would have the capacity to service the development.

Thomas also presented council with a future mixed-use commercial development in Blythewood adjacent to Blythewood High School and behind the IGA grocery store. The development would potentially contain an apartment complex, a hotel, doctor’s offices, retail shops and restaurants.

Thomas anticipated the long-term project would use 80,000 to 100,000 gallons per day. The project is still two to three years away, but Thomas wanted to give council a look into the future.

“This a long-term project that is probably at least a couple years away from starting,” he noted. “But there will be a need in the future for water. We wanted to give you a heads up on it because it is something we are actively working on.”

Thomas said there has been interest in commercial retail and restaurants, which are high volume users. There is a water line currently on the property but the development would need a supplier.

“We have private equity investors that are stepping up as well as buyers,” Thomas stated. “It will just take awhile to get those contracts worked out but once that is done and there are actual users the plan would be modified based on the actual users.”

Thomas advised council that it would take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to receive permits. The housing development off of Rimer Pond is the immediate need. Those houses will be two to three bedroom homes for small families and priced in the $180,000 to $225,000 range.

Gaddy stated that council could not yet take vote on the matter.

“We will need to talk to our engineers and see if we have the capacity for that size development,” he said.