Activists show support for county square project ahead of vote

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Six community activists were the latest to throw in their support for a $1.1 billion county square redevelopment project that would build new local government office spaces and free up space for development near downtown.

“This debacle between council over this project has been quite embarrassing and has gone on long enough,” Dr. U.A. Thompson, an activist in the Greenville community, said.

Thompson called for an end to what he considered “petty bickering” between council members, adding the economic impact would be worth the cost by providing thousands of jobs and overall improving the quality of life for the community.

He added that funds could help better serve Greenlink transportation efforts, affordable housing, Greenville county deputies salaries and the county’s EMS. 

The activists’ support comes one day before Greenville County Council votes on whether or not to halt the county square development project, along with the budget.

On Friday, half of the county’s 12 council members expressed concerns with the cost and transparency of the project, providing an alternative that would move the county government offices from University Ridge to another location on Halton Road.

Council member Willis Meadows told 7News on Monday that he still believes the move will save taxpayers about $100 million.

“We’re saying move the County Square building from County Square, which would free up another twice acres. And that would give us the whole 37 acres to develop,” he said.

But nearly $3 million have already been spent with the development contract, according to County Council Chairman Butch Kirven, who said that not moving forward with the plan would mean that money would go down the drain.

“You’ve got a unique opportunity to generate millions of dollars in revenue to benefit the community, school, city, county… a number of things, all in one place, in a tight package, all in 35 acres of land,” Kirven said. “It’s a shame not to take advantage of that.”

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