Fort Mill Times

Crowders Creek park planners to pitch plan for tax funding

York County’s hospitality tax advisory group should have a proposal for a 50-acre sports complex on Crowders Creek before its June 16 meeting.

Park backers plan to pitch an $8.5 million facility with three multipurpose fields, three baseball fields, parking, concessions, a maintenance building and press box.

The group had planned a public meeting the first week of June, but scrapped the idea to focus on the formal application.

“We don’t want to get everybody excited for nothing,” said Ron Domurat, Lake Wylie Athletic Association vice president.

Park planners must show the new facility will bring in large tournaments, because hospitality tax dollars must go toward projects that draw tourism. Restaurants in unincorporated areas, like Lake Wylie, charge the 2-percent hospitality tax on food and drink. The tax committee wants to see capital project drawing visitors to those restaurants.

“From everything I’ve heard, it’s going to be good for everybody,” said Brian Rich, co-owner of Q2U BBQ Pit. “The more you can bring in people for tournaments, the better it’s going to be for us. They’ve got to eat somewhere.”

Plans for the park date back to 2007. A 2008 land deal secured 50 acres donated to the county, near Crowders Creek Elementary School and the aquatic center being developed by the Clover School District and maintained by Upper Palmetto YMCA. Last month, York County Council approved $1 million of hospitality tax funding for an outdoor water park at that center.

York County Council previously approved money for a park study to determine what could be built on the site. Planners updated the county a year ago and asked that a sports commission begin to look at the park. A major county concern has been about park maintenance because the county doesn’t have a park and recreation department.

The latest plan includes artificial infields and features to reduce field maintenance. Lake Wylie Athletic Association would be responsible for upkeep.

The group also wants to raise $1.5 million to pay down debt and make the plan more palatable to county leaders.

John Marks •  803-831-8166