Gills Creek Greenway A Update 01/22/2018

Greetings!

Greenway Maintenance and Security Agreement
We have been informed the maintenance and security agreement between the City and the County has been approved pending some minor changes. When this is finalized, work can begin on design of the greenway and a determination of the extent the available funds will finance. Representatives from GCWA continue to meet with the City, the County and the Penny Development Team.

Crowson Rd 319 Grant Stream Restoration Project
The big news is that GCWA has received a 319 grant from DHEC to restore Gills Creek along Crowson Rd from Ft Jackson Blvd to Devine St and beyond. The 3 year grant provides funds to address nonpoint source pollution and improve water quality conditions through an 1800 foot stream restoration project that incorporates a riparian buffer enhancement and stormwater green infrastructure retrofits and BMPs. The City of Columbia has stepped up with matching funds and an agreement to maintain the stormwater improvements. GCWA is actively seeking additional funds to enhance and extend the project.

You will see construction in the area beginning this spring, but that is a City of Columbia sewer line upgrade! We have met with the City regarding this project to ensure planning coordination with the stream restoration plans.

Read more about the project...

Current Greenway Funding and Scope
County Council seems reluctant to reassign funds from any project designated in the referendum to another project even in the same category. In our case from Gills Creek Greenway B (Wildcat Creek adjacent to Kings Grant) to Gills Creek Greenway A. County Council has received a letter from Kings Grant stating the adamant opposition to a greenway. At this time, Gills Creek Greenway A funding will allow it to extend from Fort Jackson Blvd to Mikell Lane.

Liberty Tax/Title Max, Subway, and TitleLoan Property News
The Title Max property at 4624 Devine St which was bought by a local developer is still eligible for a buyout, but at the current post-flood value.

The status of the Subway and the TitleLoan buildings and property is unknown at this time.

Transportation Penny Advisory Committee Meeting (TPAC)
We attended the County's advisory committee meeting on Monday, November 27. There was a quorum with many of the new members attending. GCWA made a short public comment about the timeline of the greenway and the delays that have been encountered. We urged the members to contact their City and County council members to approve the maintenance and security agreement.

The January 22 TPAC meeting did not have a quorum.

There were reports from the CMRTA, the Office of Small Business Opportunities program, and the PDT at both meetings.

Gills Creek Greenway A Update 10/26/2017

Greetings!

Slow Greenway Progress
After at least three months, the County has drafted and approved an agreement between the City and the County for the City to maintain and provide security for the greenway. It is currently being reviewed by the City. Unfortunately, any work on the greenway design is still on hold until the agreement is finalized. We have not seen the agreement. Call County Council representatives for more information.

Liberty Tax/Title Max Property News
The Title Max property at 4624 Devine St which has been a focus of the flood disaster has been bought by a local developer. The developer lives in Columbia and has expressed interest in incorporating the greenway into his development of the property and using best management practices for stormwater management, though we have seen no plans. We will work to make sure any development has proper stormwater management and is greenway friendly.

Transportation Penny Greenway Advisory Committee
We participated in the meeting on Tuesday, September 26.

The City has developed greenway guidelines that define requirements for urban and recreational greenways. The City considers most of Gills Creek Greenway A an urban greenway which requires a 14' wide base with 12' wide asphalt pavement. This would also probably require boardwalks to be 14' wide. Considerations include access by emergency vehicles, and space for pedestrians, bicyclists and wheelchairs.

We will be meeting with the City to discuss the application of the guidelines to different sections of the greenway.

The next advisory committee meeting is scheduled for December 5.

Transportation Penny Advisory Committee Meeting (TPAC)
We attended the County's advisory committee meeting on Monday, September 25. Again, there was not a quorum so no business could be conducted. There were reports from the CMRTA, the Office of Small Business Opportunities program, and the PDT.

We also attended the Monday, October 23 committee meeting. Again, there was not a quorum so no business could be conducted. However, new members were announced:

Brian Colclough
Jennifer Paolucci
Karim Johnson
Richard Brown
Rick Mohn
Tiajuanna "Tia" D. Evans

Of the new members, we believe only Mr Johnson and Mr Brown were in attendance.

There were reports from the CMRTA, the OSBO, and the PDT.

Gills Creek Greenway A Update 9/22/2017

Greetings!

Richland County Council Transportation Ad Hoc Committee Report
The committee met on September 6. The agenda included a request by the Penny Development team to remove Gills Creek Greenway B from the project list. That section would run along Wildcat Creek between Ft Jackson and Kings Grant and St Marks Woods down to Leesburg Rd. The Kings Grant HOA's BOD voted to oppose the Greenway B and sent a letter indicating that.

Staff recommends funding from Gills Creek Greenway Section B be reallocated to Gills Creek Greenway Section A, thus removing Section B from the Penny Program.

From the recommendation:
"The referendum amount identified for Section A ($2,246,160) is estimated to construct the greenway from the Fort Jackson Blvd/Crowson intersection to near Bright Ave. By reallocating Section B funds ($2,785,897) to Section A, it is likely that Section A could be extended from near Bright Ave. to the near Lantana Dr."

The council members had a number of questions and misunderstandings about the proposal and postponed action until the next Transportation Ad Hoc committee meeting October 23.

City/County Greenway Maintenance and Security Agreement
The agreement between the City and the County for the City to maintain and provide security for the greenway is still waiting approval by both jurisdiction's attorneys. The agreement may be delayed as a result of the debate between the City and the County over who should pay for the utility relocation for current and future road widening projects. Unfortunately, any work on the greenway design is on hold until the agreement is finalized.

We sent a letter to the City and County asking them to approve the agreement as soon as possible and to work to increase cooperation in the future so Penny projects are not held up.

Transportation Penny Advisory Committee Meeting
We will attend the County's advisory committee meeting on Monday, September 25 and report back any new developments.

Transportation Penny Greenway Advisory Committee
We will participate in the meeting on Tuesday, September 26. The agenda includes both the transfer of funds from B to A and the letter of agreement, so maybe there will be good news.

GOOD NEWS!
GCWA proposal to the EPA for a 319 Grant for Stream and Riparian Buffer Restoration for the creek along Crowson Rd was approved. We are now waiting to officially start the grant which will happen after we sign a contract with DHEC which should happen soon. The City of Columbia is replacing a sewerline along Crowson Rd so we will coordinate with their design team to ensure the sewerline is incorporated into the plan. We will form a 'project steering committee' of landowners and key property owners and stakeholders including the Penny Greenway Team.

The goal is to reshape the creek banks, replant the stream buffer with native plants, and reduce stormwater and non-point source pollution entering Gills Creek improving the health of Gills Creek and the appeal of the Cross Hill/Rosewood Crossing area.

FEMA HMGP (Hazard Mitigation Grant Program) Update
The County has received approval on a number of property buyouts, but we don't have any details as of now.

The Transportation Penny Advisory Committee (TPAC)
The Transportation Penny Advisory Committee has 6 vacancies. The Town of Eastover has 1 vacancy and Richland County has 5 seats available. The County told us they are currently interviewing applicants and new applications would be placed on file. If you are interested in serving or know someone, contact your County Council member.

More info: http://www.richlandpenny.com/tpac/transportation-penny-advisory-committee-tpac/

Gills Creek Greenway A Update 7/25/2017

Greetings!

Richland County Council approved the greenway plan at the June 6 council meeting. Councilperson Greg Pearce's amendments 1) to offer any interested party a statement that the greenway alignment will not be changed from the west side of the creek to the east side between Rosewood Dr and the Norfolk Southern railroad trestle over S Beltline, and 2) that the City of Columbia formally agree to maintain and provide security for the greenway after it is built were approved.

That agreement between the City and the County has been drafted and is waiting approval by both jurisdiction's attorneys. Unfortunately, any work on the greenway design is on hold until the agreement is finalized.

The approved plan would begin at Ft Jackson Blvd and end at Bright Ave unless funding allows extending it to Timberlane Drive.

The greenway portion of the County Council agenda for June 6 is available here: http://www.gillscreekwatershed.org/pdf/RCC_Agenda_06-06-17_Gills_Creek_Report.pdf

Bad Information!
It has come to our attention that there is a 'fabricated' map circulating on Facebook which shows the current approved greenway route plus overlays of a route down Gills Creek Parkway and bridges connecting the east and west banks of the creek. This is NOT the Penny's plan and does not reflect the scope of the Gills Creek Greenway A project! Please assure anyone who asks that this is NOT the County's secret plan to invade anyone's backyard!

FEMA HMGP (Hazard Mitigation Grant Program) Update
A representative from SCEMD attended a recent technical committee meeting and stated decisions on buyout offers should be made by September 2017. This would include the commercial properties on Crowson Rd and Devine St as well as residential properties in the Timberlane Drive area. These buyouts would include demolishing the structures and returning the areas to greenspace. This would greatly enhance the greenway thru those areas.

319 Grant Crowson Road Restoration
The GCWA grant request has been preliminarily accepted by DHEC. We have been asked to provide some revisions including information on maintenance, cost estimates and property ownership.

This project will be done in coordination with the Penny Team and will reshape the creek banks, replant the stream buffer with native plants, and reduce stormwater and non-point source pollution entering Gills Creek improving the health of Gills Creek and the appeal of the Cross Hill/Rosewood Crossing area.

Transportation Penny Advisory Committee (TPAC)
The Transportation Penny Advisory Committee has 6 vacancies. The Town of Eastover has 1 vacancy and Richland County has 5 seats available. If you are interested in serving, contact your County Council member. The application is available at http://www.gillscreekwatershed.org/pdf/Richland_County_Committee_Application.pdf. Return the application to Kimberly Roberts (williams-robertsk@rcgov.us). Ms. Roberts staffs the Rules & Appointments Committee, which is responsible for conducting interviews for the vacancies. Rules & Appointments will then make recommendations to full Council on who to appoint to the committee. TPAC's mission is "to review, comment on and provide recommendations to Richland County Council regarding the Council’s use of the one-cent additional sales tax that voters approved in the November 2012 referendum." The committee meets on the fourth Monday of most months at 5:30pm in the fourth floor conference room of the Richland County Administrative Offices at 2020 Hampton Street.
More info: http://www.richlandpenny.com/tpac/transportation-penny-advisory-committee-tpac

Gills Creek Greenway A Update 6/2/2017

Greetings!

The Transportation Ad Hoc Committee of Richland County Council met on May 16. The recommendation was to move forward with Gills Creek greenway beginning at Ft. Jackson Blvd and proceeding to Bright Avenue and possibly to Timberlane depending on estimates and the actual contract value when bid will be presented.

The agenda from the Ad Hoc committee which contains results from the February public meeting and other recommendations is available here: gillscreekwatershed.org/pdf/Transportation_Ad_Hoc_Commitee_05-16-17.pdf

Richland County Council will consider the Ad Hoc committee's recommendation at the June 6 6pm meeting. Councilperson Greg Pearce whose district includes the greenway stated he would likely offer amendments at the meeting. First that a guarantee will be included that the greenway will never be built on the east side of the creek below Rosewood adjacent to the Hampton's neighborhoods. Second that the City of Columbia formally agree to maintain and provide security for the greenway after it is built.

The greenway portion (which is contains the Ad Hoc Committee report) of the County Council agenda for June 6 is available here: gillscreekwatershed.org/pdf/RCC_Agenda_06-06-17_Gills_Creek_Report.pdf

The Transportation Development Team will host a Greenway Advisory Committee meeting on Monday, June 5 which GCWA representatives will attend.

The Transportation Penny Advisory Committee may have up to 5 vacancies. If you are interested in serving, contact your County Council member. TPAC's mission is "to review, comment on and provide recommendations to Richland County Council regarding the Council’s use of the one-cent additional sales tax that voters approved in the November 2012 referendum."
More info: richlandpenny.com/tpac/transportation-penny-advisory-committee-tpac/

319 Grant Crowson Road Restoration
The GCWA has submitted the full application to DHEC. We received letters of support from the City of Columbia, Delta Devine (owner of Crossroads Commons where the Gamecock BiLo is located), and Bright-Meyers (developer of Rosewood Crossing). Approval of the grants should be announced in July. We will be coordinating with the Penny Team in planning and construction so the greenway and the creek improvements will be integrated. This project which would reshape the creek banks, replant the stream buffer with native plants, and reduce stormwater and non-point source pollution entering Gills Creek. This restoration would dramatically improve the health of Gills Creek and the appeal of the Cross Hill/Rosewood Crossing area.

Gills Creek Greenway A Update 5/8/2017

Greetings!

Richland County Meetings
The Transportation Ad Hoc Committee of Richland County Council will meet on May 16 at 3pm. The recommendation to move forward with Gills Creek greenway beginning at Ft. Jackson and proceeding to Bright Avenue and possibly to Timberlane depending on estimates and the actual contract value when bid will be presented. It could go to full Council that same day but if not to the next Council meeting on June 6.

Transportation Director Resigns
Richland County’s first director of its Transportation Program Rob Perry is resigning effective June 1 to accept a job at the SC Department of Transportation (SCDOT). We are sad to see him leave as he has been very responsive to our concerns and has met with us on a number of occasions. An interim Transportation Director will be named May 25.
Richland County press release

319 Grant Crowson Road Restoration
We have been asked for and are preparing the full application for DHEC for a 319 grant for Crowson Road creek restoration which would occur in conjunction with the greenway construction. We are still actively seeking support and cooperation from the property owner of Rosewood Crossing to grant an easement for the project. That cooperation is crucial for getting the grant for this project which would reshape the creek banks, replant the stream buffer with native plants, and reduce stormwater and non-point source pollution entering Gills Creek. This restoration would dramatically improve the health of Gills Creek and the appeal of the Cross Hill/Rosewood Crossing area.

Here is an informal study of that area former GCWA president Emily Jones did in 2011: Gills Creek at Crowson Road: Peeling Back the Pavement

Adopt-A-Highway Clean Up
Saturday, May 13, 10am-12am, South Beltline Blvd from Plowden Rd to Bluff Rd Meet in the Intertape Polymer Group parking lot located at 2000 S. Beltline Blvd. Reflective vests, trash bags, gloves and 'pickers' will be available. The AAH cleanup is done in partnership with Heathwood Hall school. We have periodic volunteer cleanups. Check the website or Facebook page for details. If you have a group who would like to organize a cleanup, we will be glad to help you coordinate the event. For you intrepid paddlers, we may arrange a trail blazing paddle sometime this spring. Call Erich at 727-8326 if you are interested.

Gills Creek Greenway A Update 4/18/2017

Greetings!

The Transportation Ad Hoc Committee of Richland County Council will meet on May 16 at 3pm. The recommendation to move forward with Gills Creek greenway beginning at Ft. Jackson and proceeding to Bright Avenue and possibly to Timberlane depending on estimates and the actual contract value when bid will be presented. It could go to full Council that same day but if not to the next Council meeting on June 6.

Richland County’s first director of its Transportation Program Rob Perry is resigning effective June 1 to accept a job at the SC Department of Transportation (SCDOT). We are sad to see him leave as he has been very responsive to our concerns and has met with us on a number of occasions. An interim Transportation Director will be named May 25. http://www.rcgov.us/Home/News/TabId/101/ArtMID/479/ArticleID/1299/Richland-County-Transportation-Director-Resigns.aspx

319 Grant Crowson Road Restoration
We have been asked for and are preparing the full application for DHEC for a 319 grant for Crowson Road creek restoration which would occur in conjunction with the greenway construction. We are still actively seeking support and cooperation from the property owner of Rosewood Crossing to grant an easement for the project. That cooperation is crucial for getting the grant for this project which would reshape the creek banks, replant the stream buffer with native plants, and reduce stormwater and non-point source pollution entering Gills Creek. This restoration would dramatically improve the health of Gills Creek and the appeal of the Cross Hill/Rosewood Crossing area.

Here is an informal study of that area former GCWA president Emily Jones did in 2011: http://www.gillscreekwatershed.org/pdf/Gills_Creek_at_Crowson_Road_Study.pdf

Adopt-A-Highway Clean Up
Saturday, May 13, 10am-12am, South Beltline Blvd from Plowden Rd to Bluff Rd Meet in the Intertape Polymer Group parking lot located at 2000 S. Beltline Blvd. Reflective vests, trash bags, gloves and 'pickers' will be available. The AAH cleanup is done in partnership with Heathwood Hall school. We have periodic volunteer cleanups. Check the website or Facebook page for details. If you have a group who would like to organize a cleanup, we will be glad to help you coordinate the event. For you intrepid paddlers, we may arrange a trail blazing paddle sometime this spring. Call Erich at 727-8326 if you are interested.

Join the Greenway email Update List

Send an email to greenway@gillscreekwatershed.org

More info on the greenway plans: Gills Creek Greenway A

The Richland Penny site: Richland County Transportation Program
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