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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Penny tax would lift Johnsonville

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Penny tax would lift Johnsonville

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I would like to take this opportunity to bring attention to the many projects and organizations in and around the Johnsonville area that will benefit if the referendum question passes and the penny tax continues in Florence County. A “yes” vote to continue the tax already being assessed will ensure funding over the next seven years.

The referendum will give $2,670,000 to construct a new state-of-the-art EMS Station in the Johnsonville area. This will be a huge benefit to our citizens, as it will improve emergency medical treatment and services and could save countless lives.

Lower Florence County also will benefit from a new Emergency Management communications tower in Johnsonville. The cost to acquire land and build the new tower is estimated between $1million and $2 million.

Fire protection services also will be vastly improved in the Johnsonville area. The Johnsonville Fire Department is slated to receive more than $1 million in upgrades. That is in addition to the $370,000 to benefit Station 1 and $250,000 earmarked for improvements to Station 2 in Johnsonville.

Johnsonville has a beautiful new athletic complex managed by Florence County. Our citizens are very appreciative and proud to have this wonderful facility, but a paved parking lot was not included. Passing the penny tax referendum will mean that we get $565,000 for the paving of parking lots at the complex.

Other improvements to sports and recreation facilities include $3,900,000 to purchase and renovate the old Wellman golf course. This not only will benefit residents who enjoy golf but will attract hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists to Johnsonville. That in turn could bring more restaurants, retailers and maybe even a small hotel along the S.C. 41/51 corridor.

The referendum also allocates $1 million for a new manned convenience center or sanitation transfer station in the Johnsonville area. Our current facility is very old, and local residents will definitely benefit from a new facility.

Road improvements are needed all over the county and especially in the lower end. District 2, which includes roads in the Pamplico and Johnsonville areas, will receive $4,300,000 to make those improvements. Residents and visitors benefit from road and highway improvements.

If you include the district road improvements, the Johnsonville area stands to receive as much as $16,155,000 over the next seven years if citizens vote “yes” to continue the tax. It’s important to note here that this is not a new or added tax. The boost to our local economy, increase in public medical services, added fire protection and improved roads will benefit the whole community.

JOHNNY HANNA

Johnsonville mayor

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