Still in search of donations for an outdoor water park in Lake Wylie, those raising the money are looking to hospitality tax funding for help.
Clover School District and Upper Palmetto YMCA are partnering to build an aquatic center near Crowders Creek as part of a bond referendum approved by residents last year. The bond included at $14 million aquatic center, but not the additional outdoor water park priced at $1.7 million. The YMCA wants the park, but the school district doesn’t see the educational value present with pools, meeting space and other aquatic center features.
If the YMCA raises the money or commitments for it before the district bids construction, it can be included. Moe Bell, Upper Palmetto CEO, was meeting Feb. 20 with his committee.
“We have about $300,000 pledged,” Bell said. “As in most campaigns, some disappointments along the way and still some that seem interested but have not committed.”
Bell said his group will apply for hospitality tax funds for the project. That 2-percent charge on food and drink in unincorporated parts of York County must be used on tourism-generating projects, such as facility construction and event promotion.
“We think we are a good fit since the 50-meter pool will draw many visitors to the Lake Wylie/Clover area,” Bell said.
Tom Smith, who represents the Lake Wylie district on the hospitality tax advisory committee, has another idea for reaching the goal.
May Green Properties soon will begin construction on The Bluffs, a 59-lot residential project off Pole Branch Road. The developer is committing $600 per sold lot to be split between the water park project and plans for a 50-acre public park site along Crowders Creek. Smith, who runs May Green with his father, said sales at The Bluffs could bring in $36,000 in the next three years.
“That’s just a way for us as developers to help with the recreational needs of this community,” he said.
He’s challenging other developers to do the same, as well as Realtors.
“It’s a small thing but if we all did it, we could really put some capital into recreation in this area,” Smith said.
Smith spoke with Crescent Communities, the developer behind two large residential projects coming to the area. Smith served on York County Council when the group reached a deal with Crescent for property for a future park.
“They gave the 50 acres to begin with,” Smith said.