Council gets updates on city projects

The vision includes 500 college students living in the city of Lancaster – each one representing a $21,000 surge to the local economy.

They will live in housing units on Brook Drive, within walking distance of the University of South Carolina Lancaster campus.

The setting gives the area a “true campus feel,” while attracting young adults who may become permanent residents in the future.

But for all of that to become reality, the city of Lancaster and USCL have a long way to go as in terms of infrastructure and development.

Brian Tripp of engineering firm W.K. Dickson updated City Council on Tuesday about the process to bring sewer and road improvements to Brook Drive. That’s where property owner Wayne McBride wants to build apartments exclusively for USCL students.

USCL Dean Dr. John Catalano also spoke Tuesday about student housing.

“There’s no doubt that we’re going to have dorms and have them built within two years,” Catalano said. “That’s what we really need. It will be a big modern project.”

Officials say sewer upgrades are needed to accommodate the increase in usage hundreds of student will represent. The needed road work on Brook Drive will include widening, resurfacing and the raising of a dip in the road.

Tripp said that work will make the road safer while meeting state design standards.

Plans for the sewer work have been drawn. Tripp now awaits the proper permits, which would allow construction to possibly begin in January. He said the work should be complete by next summer.

Plans for the road work have also been drawn and submitted to the state for approval. But City Council must still decide if it will widen the road and raise the dip. Those items may be discussed at council’s Jan. 10 meeting.

No action was taken on the matter Tuesday.

Following are notes on other city infrastructure projects:

The city has not learned yet whether it will receive a grant to help fund the final phase of the city’s Main Street streetscape beautification project. This phase would begin at Emmons Street and run to the southern end of the city limits. The project is estimated to cost $854,000.

Tripp said designs have been started and a survey is already complete for the South Main Street water main project. That line has been in place more than 100 years, and portions have deteriorated and need to be replaced as soon as possible. Tripp said the project cost will range from $1.42 million to $2.53 million.

All of the new effluent pumps have been installed at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Those pumps send wastewater from the Lockwood Lane treatment plant to the Catawba River. Tripp said punch-list items are now being checked.

A report is being finalized and City Council will soon be updated on sewer flow in the Erwin Farms area.

Tripp undated council on road paving and the new water lines that have been installed in the Westwood neighborhood. Lancaster County and the city partnered on a Community Development Block Grant, which largely funded the work.

“It’s made a very positive impact on the community,” Tripp said.

By Jesef Williams, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News