What is P4P?
About Penny for Progress
What has come to be synonymous with the progressive spirit of Sumter County is the “Penny for Progress.”
This term was coined by supporters of the Sumter County Capital Sales Tax Referendum, which was approved by voters in 2008. This referendum allowed Sumter County to levy a temporary sales tax that was implemented in the Spring of 2009 and has funded 16 capital projects.
This $75 million investment in the regional economy saw a number of improvements and large scale projects that are now known throughout the Southeast.
Penny for Progress Part Two
In 2014, voters again approved a penny sales tax referendum in what we know as the “Penny for Progress Continuation.”
With a total of 28 projects, this second “Penny for Progress” has a total cost of $75.6 million.
Already, the Sumter Fire Department and Sumter Police Department have moved into new facilities at the new Public Safety Complex. With over $10 million invested in these two new buildings, our first responders are also benefiting from a new $10 million E911 Emergency Services Facility so that they have coverage throughout the county.
Visitors to Dillon Park have probably noticed big changes as a new football complex has been built. The old track has been torn up and a new walking track was repaved and new playground equipment was installed.
Dillon Park also got a new parking lot, a new concession stand and pavilion. These projects cost $2.75 million.
Speaking of recreation, a new gym was built adjacent to the Recreation & Parks Department’s Haynsworth Street headquarters. The old gym, dating to the Edmunds High School era, was renovated to include a new floor, new roofing, new electrical infrastructure and a new HVAC system. New parking for the Cultural Center will also be part of this $6 million project.
The historic Sumter County Courthouse on North Main Street received a much-needed renovation as new energy efficient windows were installed and a new elevator tower was added to the structure. The main courtroom will get a makeover to return it to its former glory and to be used for ceremonial purposes. This project costs $3 million.
Next door, the Sumter County Administration building had a $2.8 million transformation that reconfigured County Council chambers, modernized some office space and installed security measures. A two-story building in front of the Administration building was removed and the new-look Administration building takes its aesthetic cues from the Sumter County Judicial Center across the street with a similar entrance.
Both the Sumter County Courthouse and Sumter County Administration received approval for these projects from the Historic Preservation Design Review Committee.
Intersection improvements came to Wilson Hall Road and Carter Road, following an upgrade to Wilson Hall Road and Wise Drive to facilitate better traffic flow during peak hours. Both of these projects cost a total of $1.5 million.
The North Main Street and Manning Avenue corridors will see pedestrian improvements, streetscaping and lighting upgrades as Penny for Progress funds are matched with $11 million in federal funds for this key entranceway into and through downtown Sumter.
We’re investing $2 million in industrial infrastructure to attract new industry with roads, water and sewer and we’re also dedicating $8.9 million to pave 18 miles of dirt roads. Another $3.1 million will be spent to resurface 19 miles of roads.
The Liberty Center offices received a $1.5 million renovation, and already, the 400 building at Central Carolina Technical College has been expanded and upgraded with $1 million.
To purchase and renovate property to provide workspace for five state agencies, $2.2 million will be spent, and $300,000 is aimed at restoring the Carnegie Library.
A pedestrian greenway will connect Dillon Park to the north, Swan Lake to the south and cross over several major corridors as the Shot Pouch Greenway is a $4 million project aimed at fostering a healthy lifestyle.
Downtown Mayesville saw $875,000 spent to renovate downtown buildings for public purpose.
In Pinewood, a $200,000 Sports and Wellness Complex and Recreational Park will serve those citizens with multi-sport fields, playground equipment, a picnic area, restrooms and parking.
In downtown Sumter, $3 million will improve intersections and infrastructure in the historic central business district as new pedestrian crosswalks take shape alongside landscaping and new lighting.
New lighting at Palmetto Park for this heavily used youth sports venue is a $500,000 investment. This park, along with Patriot Park, was the site of several games during the 2017 Dixie Youth Softball World Series.
A new Animal Control building saw a $300,000 investment and a 501(c)3 non-profit, Saving Sumter Strays, raised funds to create an all new facility for managing stray animals and finding new homes for them.
Mill Creek Park in southwestern Sumter County and not far from Lake Marion, saw $275,000 in renovations to the clubhouse of the 1940 Lodge with energy efficient upgrades and to make it ADA compliant.
And finally, $1 million was spent to acquire and/or demolish vacant, abandoned or distressed properties. Some of the land might become green space or a park while other parcels might go back onto the market for a new business or home.