BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Berkeley County officials held an open forum to discuss the county’s future.

“I think if you want to live in Berkeley County,” Berkeley County supervisor Johnny Cribb said, “if you want to live in an urbanized area, great. If you don’t mind having neighbors right next to you, great. If you want to live on farmland, great. So, there ought to be a lot of different choices.”

Cribb gave updates on pending infrastructure projects meant to help manage the area’s recent increase in population.

“176 Phase Two will be on there,” Cribb said. “So, we’ll go from the Nexton interchange all the way to Jedburg Road, and a little beyond. We’re inching our way toward Highway 27. That’s a $70-something million project.”

Cribb believes with all the expansion, neighbors shouldn’t have to foot the bill for every new project.

“I think some of this new growth ought to help pay for these improvements,” he said. “The burden that falls on the taxpayers exclusively, is just patently unfair.”

His presentation also touched on projects that have already been completed, including the new Berkeley County Veterans Affairs Office.

“Being there that day,” Cribb said, “when that opened, when the veterans came in and all was really special.”

And Spiers Landing Park.

“That park had been abandoned for several decades,” he said, “and the county has the lease on that property from Santee Cooper. So, we put almost $200,000 into that park, and it looks like we put $700,000-800,000 into the park.”

People attending say they are optimistic about the future of Berkeley County after hearing the supervisor’s presentation.

“He said he’s working with the community,” Michael Gaston Sr., founder of the Berkeley County Exchange Club, said, “he’s working with the churches and he’s listening to everybody. That’s excellent. When you’re listening to the people who you’re serving, that’s going to make us a stronger community.”

The meeting was hosted by the Berkeley County Exchange Club and their next public meeting will be Wednesday, October 19th.