York County residents will vote on Aug. 2 whether to continue the county's 1-cent sales tax and embark on plans for $161 million in new road construction.
If voters again say "yes" to the county's "Pennies for Progress" program, the county will collect the tax for seven more years, embarking on 53 miles of highway widening and safety improvements, plus 39 gravel road-paving projects.
Here's what those who live and work in various parts of the county can expect:
Fort Mill: $52.4 million for five projects covering 6.75 miles
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Rock Hill: $51.4 million for nine projects covering 13.1 miles
Lake Wylie: $30.1 million for two projects covering 4.5 miles
Clover: $10 million for three projects covering 9.9 miles
York: $7.5 million for five projects covering 11.7 miles
Countywide: $9.5 million for 39 gravel roads
Voters first passed the Pennies 1-cent sales tax for road improvements in 1997 and then again in 2003. To date, the program has been the only significant source of road-improvement dollars in York County, funding nearly 40 road projects totaling more than $200 million in improvements.
The program came under fire late last year when residents of the Flint Hill and Sunset Park neighborhoods in Rock Hill complained that none of the upcoming Pennies projects are aimed at helping their neighborhoods, where damaged streets and poor drainage pose safety problems.
Former County Councilman Roy Blake and Rock Hill NAACP leader Melvin Poole asked the County Council to vote against the list of projects. The process for getting public input in creating the project list wasn't as inclusive as it should have been, they argued.
The commission was formed to seek input from local governments and citizens before creating the list of recommended projects. The County Council can only deny or approve the list.
In December, the council approved the list. On Monday night, council members set the date for the voter referendum.
County staff had planned to schedule the vote in June but pushed it back to allow more time for educating the public, said Phil Leazer, Pennies project manager.
Informational meetings are often put together by citizens groups and chambers of commerce, Leazer said.
"We've got to use any opportunity to get out there and answer the public's questions."