Road issues

Greenville County Council notes: Road issues remain a thorny issue as council grapples with growth

Here is a recap of the August 16 meeting of the Greenville County Council:

Approved: Street Repaving

The Council unanimously approved several measures through its consent program, including the County of 2023 tessellation list.

The list totals 32.3 miles of repaving projects on portions of 123 roads. The length of the repaved portions for the majority of roads is well under 0.5 miles while only three roads will see repaving on sections longer than 1 mile.

Denied: rezoning requests

Council rejected a number of rezoning applications at second reading for fear of the impact the proposed projects would have on adjacent roads. One road in particular, Log Shoals Road in the southern part of the county, was cited as being of particular concern by several council members.

Vice President Dan Tripp (District 28) urged his colleagues to vote against several of the rezoning requests. He said the uncontrolled growth in parts of his district and neighboring districts is creating serious traffic problems.

In comments at the end of the meeting, Councilor Ennis Fant (District 25) said it was high time for council to address the issue of road funding. He suggested the council start gathering feedback from residents and business leaders in preparation for a referendum on adding a one-cent local sales tax to fund road repairs.

Fant said such a sales tax would generate about $90 million a year and was probably the least painful of the options that have been discussed in recent months.

Announcement: Financial Literacy Program for Teens

County Administrator Joe Kernell told the council about a new program called Money Smart Teens that will teach financial literacy skills to high school students aged 16 to 18.

The new program is a collaboration between Workforce Development, the Greenville County Human Relations Commission and Greenville County Financial Empowerment Center.

The inaugural class of 10 students will begin Sept. 6 at the SC Works Center in McAllister Square. Students who successfully complete the program will earn a free tablet.