Shaw-Sumter welcome center gets go-ahead

City approves contract for $1.95M facility

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During its meeting on Tuesday, Sumter City Council approved a resolution to construct a welcome center on land near Shaw Air Force Base to provide a location for members of the municipal and military communities to interact.

The resolution includes a contract between the city of Sumter and Hardee Construction Co. Inc. of Sumter to complete the project for approximately $1,950,000.

City Manager Deron McCormick said the 1,000-acre property, which includes a pond, was selected years ago and purchased during the 2008 Capital Penny Sales Tax to protect Shaw from encroaching civilian developments and to provide space for the base to expand in the future if needed.

The purchase of the land and the construction of the welcome center shows what the community will do to protect the base, he said.

McCormick said the construction project will be funded by a grant given to the city by its local legislative delegation.

Later, council approved a resolution to adopt new guidelines for Historic Preservation Design Review.

Planning department senior planner Helen Roodman said the guidelines were updated during a year-long process using input from local property owners and members of the historic preservation design review committee.

The guidelines pertain to residential and commercial properties in the Hampton Park, Central Business District and the historic district included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Roodman said the previous guidelines were created in the early 90s, and the updated guidelines document is more user friendly in the way that it is written and organized.

In other news, council approved:

• First reading of an ordinance to annex approximately .5 acres of land at 3085 McCrays Mill Road into the city. According to the staff report provided by Sumter City-County Planning staff, the property is vacant and currently zoned agricultural conservation. The applicant, Pinnacle Properties of Summter LLC, has requested that the property be rezoned to residential-9 to incorporate the parcel into the Ashbrook subdivision; and

• First reading of an ordinance to allow the town of Pinewood to utilize Sumter City-County Planning Commission for certain planning duties that require a planning commissions recommendation. Sumter County Council approved first reading of an agreement with the same purpose during its meeting on Sept. 12.