Tag: State Farmers Market

State Agrees to Addition at State Farmers Market

Another perfect example of your taxpayer dollars at work occurred Wednesday when the state Joint Bond Review Committee approved purchase of 9.83 additional acres at the state farmers market in Lexington County.

The purchase needs final approval from the state Budget and Control Board.

The farmers market purchase has been an issue for two years. Initially the expansion of the farmers market was projected to be as high as $16.3 million. In 2012, Rep. Ralph Norman, a developer from York County, challenged the assessment and conclusions that went with that price.

The State Farmers Market and Ethics Reform

The seriousness with which SC General Assembly members are taking ethics and government reform this legislative session can be measured, in large part, by what happens in the budget with respect to the purchase of additional land at the state farmers market in Lexington.

The site has considerable environmental issues. It was a toxic chemical waste dump for many years. To this day, there are a number of EPA warning signs on the property and restrictive covenants that seriously inhibit the available uses of the land.

Nevertheless, proposals are back in Columbia for the state to pay approximately $13 million to add three additional lots to its holdings at the current farmers market.

State Farmers Market Purchase on Hold

State Farmers Market Purchase on Hold

Expansion of public ownership in the State Farmers Market in Lexington was avoided this year when House members of the budget conference committee would not agree to the $13 million the Senate wanted to appropriate.

S.C. Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers asked the General Assembly to appropriate nearly $17 million in this year’s budget to purchase the property. It is owned by Columbia developer Bill Stern who also serves as the chairman of the State Ports Authority.

According to Weathers, the $17 million amount was based on an appraisal provided by Stern. The Senate agreed but the House balked. The Senate came down to the $13 million amount in conference, but the House still wouldn’t agree.