Aiken Renaissance Plan on pause due to infrastructure delays

.Aiken, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken Downtown Revitalization plans are set to continue after infrastructure is resolved.

Aiken City Council member say they hope to get the ball rolling soon to develop what is in store for the downtown area, including some neighborhoods around it.

Councilman Dick Dewar says the Renaissance plan may include a parking garage, and that it will definitely include the expanding of the municipal center. Dewar also added that selling one of the city buildings for commercial and residential purposes is also being discussed.

“My concern is that given the terrible nature of our infrastructure the resolution required that we repair the infrastructure before we start that construction,” said Aiken City Councilman Dick Dewar.

Monday night Aiken City members agreed to continue the resolution, in other words, no pass it until the next meeting which is scheduled for March 27, 2017. by that time, council members will have an engineering report in exactly how they can go about repairing the infrastructure. These repairs includes water, sewer, and storm water around Newberry Street, Park Street, Lauren Street, and more. Councilman Dewer says the pipes are roughly fifty years old and need to be upgraded– depending on what engineers suggest.

Neighbors say since the city’s plans are taking so long, they have been working on the area themselves to make it more appealing to visitors and those who want to call Aiken County home.

“It would make sense from a planning stand point to fix that before we go spend any money just making it look nice,” said resident Phill Yarborogh.

Well nothing lasts forever, sometime in the future that’s going to need to be done,” said resident Kenneth Quigley.

Councilman Dick Dewar says the infrastructure in that area has been ignored for a long time and they’re finally coming to the conclusion that we need to take the initiative to get it fixed. They don’t know what the cost could be to fix the area, but by finding this information out they could figure out the cost of the total Renaissance plan. Councilman Dewar says downtown Aiken is not the only place infrastructure is needed– but throughout the city.

“We’ve been here for 10 years and we have needed this done years ago. So we’re ready and waiting for the city to take action and get the job done,” said resident Phill Yarborogh.

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