Tega Cay to include new elementary school by 2014

jmarks@fortmilltimes.com May 29, 2012 

— Fort Mill School District’s planned elementary school along Gold Hill Road will sit within Tega Cay city limits after all.

Last week, the city finalized an annexation and rezoning for almost 27 acres near the entrance to Shoreline Parkway. The property was considered for annexation last year, but concerns about stormwater fees and tap fees derailed that attempt. Those issues have since been resolved, said Chuck Epps, school district superintendent.

“We revisited the deal, and it appears to be a win-win for both sides,” he said.

Council voted unanimously to annex and rezone the property, saying there shouldn’t be much additional impact to the city. Resident Frank Adams wondered how the costs would shake out, given the tax nature of school property.

“Schools pay no property taxes whatsoever, yet we provide public services,” he said.

Councilman Stephen Perkins noted that the property already sits within public service districts. Plus, it will become a Tega Cay Utilities Department customer, which, for the city, should “outweigh any negatives,” he said.

“Because it’s an elementary school, there’s typically no resources other than the policing that we would normally do (anyway),” Perkins said.

Written into the ordinances for the new property was language that gives the city rights-of-way adjacent to the city’s boundary. Council passed first reading on an ordinance to make the same adjustment all along the city’s footprint, affecting properties like the Living Memorial Gardens, Hwy. 160 at Stonecrest Boulevard, Dam Road and others.

“That wasn’t done in the past,” said Dennis Pieper, city manager.

Pieper called the move a “housekeeping effort” and said it’s mainly designed to make uniform public service calls.

“It’s more of a GIS issue than anything,” he said, referring to York County’s digital mapping system. “It’ll help clear up 911 calls.”

As for the elementary school, it should open to pre-K through fifth-grade students in August 2014, Epps said. It will be a bit larger than existing elementary schools, serving 1,000 students with a multi-level layout.

“With the scarcity of new land, we’re trying to maximize our property,” Epps said.

In other action at the May 21 meeting:

•  Council tabled the final reading of an ordinance that would have annexed about 10 acres into the city “to a future meeting.” The council did finalize an $850,000 bond ordinance for the former First Properties building at 2222 Gold Hill Road. Perkins and Councilwoman Dottie Hersey opposed that move.

• The city also voted to spend up to $82,000 for police equipment and to lease a wood chipping facility.

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