By Lucas Vance
WINNSBORO — Fairfield County Councilman Mike Trapp (District 3) unveiled part of his long-term recreation plan during a community meeting at the Greenbrier Fire Station on Saturday.
With his district covering nearly one-third of the land in Fairfield County, Trapp presented the assembly of 50-plus people with a plan to develop mini-parks in areas such as Smallstown, , Jackson Road Creek, Buckhead, White Oak and Blackstock.
“Every community should have some type of recreation,” Trapp stated. “These suggestions are not set in stone and can change, which is why we’re here today, to receive input.”
Trapp stated that mini-parks are coming soon to Jackson Creek Road and Buckhead.
Mini-parks include different amenities such as a basketball court, walking trails and swing sets. Each project needs roughly two acres of land and cost approximately $75,000 to build.
Trapp said he is still looking for land in White Oak and Smallstown.
Council members noted property for recreation projects either has to be purchased by the county, donated to the county or leased for at least 50 years to the county.
County council advised of issues when it comes to leasing property because owners have the option to no re-lease after the duration of a contract.
The county’s purchase price is determined by the courthouse’s assessed value of the property.
Trapp noted his long-term recreation plan includes all 12 communities in his district receiving a mini-park.
Council members told The Herald Independent there are no plans to combine all seven district’s $500,000 recreation bond for one large project.
Trapp said he could not vote for such a project while there are still communities in his district that have zero recreation sites available.
Fairfield County Councilman Kamau Marcharia (District 4) emphasized that the recreation bond money has to spent in the next 18 months before the county has to pay it back.
“We need to go ahead and start getting these projects started,” he said. “We need to focus on a strategy in the community. If we don’t communicate we’re not going anywhere.”
Marcharia organized the community meeting by distributing 250 flyers. Most of the 50 people in attendance reside in District 4.
However, Marcharia felt it necessary to invite Ferguson (District 5) and Trapp (District 3) because their districts are contiguous to one another.
Ferguson noted that there are strategic places in the county that need recreation.
“This is a good venture because our districts are so close and we can benefit as a whole rather than single district,” he stated during Saturday’s meeting.
Ferguson advised the assembly of a possible opportunity in the future for the Greenbrier community. According to Ferguson, John McGraw told him that the Greenbrier School could be on the market soon. The school’s site contains a football field and a baseball field.
Ferguson said the county might approach the owner about possibly leasing the property until the county could purchase it with the intent of converting it into a recreation center.
Before the meeting’s conclusion, Marcharia said their are plans to hold another community meeting toward the end of Aug.
In the meantime, questions or ideas concerning recreation can be sent to individual council members via email:
• Mikel Trapp (District 3): firstname.lastname@example.org
• Kamau Marcharia (District 4): email@example.com
• David Ferguson (District 5): firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucas Vance can be reached 803-635-4016 ext. 15