CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A plan to make capital improvements and renovations at parks and recreation facilities all around the City of Charleston will be determined by voters in the upcoming general election.
“I’ve now been Mayor almost eight years. Not one time has anyone come to me and said ‘Mayor, you got too many parks and they’re too beautiful.’ We can always be adding to our park system it’s part of what makes Charleston such an incredible place,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.
A $70 million bond referendum on the November ballot proposes improvements to parks, pools, playgrounds, trails, and recreation facilities throughout Charleston.
For example, the W.L. Stephens Aquatic Center at Forest Park, will be up for a major upgrade under the proposal.
“It’s been around a long time it’s beyond its useful service life and the big idea for Forest Park W.L. Stephens is to create a new master plan for the entire park, create a new pool facility, rearrange the whole park in the most efficient way,” said Jason Kronsberg, the Director of Parks and Capital Projects for the City of Charleston.
The move would also bring brand-new park space and recreation complexes to areas in the city lacking those types of facilities, such as Johns Island and Cainhoy.
“We have an existing park on Johns Island, and we’ve secured additional land that would be used for a future rec center,” explained Kronsberg.
These potential changes are part of the Charleston Parks and Recreation Master Plan, approved in 2021, and would occur over a 10-year period.
According to Mayor Tecklenburg, the money for the projects will come from a rougly two millage increase on property taxes.
“Parks and recreation are just the underlying fabric of our city’s quality of life and it’s really worth the investment,” he told News 2.
The 2023 general election will take place on November 7th.