Florence City Council approves $15M bond for parks and recreation

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – The City of Florence wants to revamp its parks and recreational buildings.

Tuesday, Florence City Council approved a resolution to take out a $15 million bond to improve parks and sports facilities.

Sandra Thomas sits at Maple Park after her doctor’s appointment at Hope Health. Thomas says the park is nice but parking needs improvement.

“On game days, both sides of the road are full [as] people try to get through. Traffic is so hard,” said Thomas.

Councilwoman Teresa Myers-Ervin says since more children are playing sports in the city, it’s time to update the facilities.

“The young people are so active now in the city in the various leagues. We want to be sure that when we’re working with the youth, that we provide them with the very best,” said Myers- Ervin. “We have programs that really have been growing over the years. Just as our population has expanded, young people in the city have expanded. So we want to be able to give them the accessibility to nice facilities so that as they’re growing academically, physically we can address that need.”

Council agreed to take out a $15 million bond to improve parks and sports complexes. City Manager Drew Griffin says the $15 million will:

  • Build a new community center at Iola Jones Park
  • Build a new building at Maple Park
  • Create trails to connect to the new soccer fields
  • Add a new track
  • Improve park buildings, fields, and courts that were delayed over the years

Mayor Stephen Wukela says the bond is an investment in the future.

“In order to be a successful community you have to have those kinds of facilities. You have to have them for the quality of life and quite frankly, you have to have them for economic development,” justifies Mayor Wukela. “As industries look at our community, they want to know what kind of quality of life amenities we have. That is true of a downtown. It’s also true of your parks, basketball facilities, baseball faculties and so forth.”

City officials want to make sure taxpayers know this will not impact taxes. The city has also agreed to create a non-profit for the “public facilities corporation” after a recommendation from the bond advisor.