City Council approves plan to demolish former Economy Inn on Pine Street
Council agrees to grant $80,000 to the Spartanburg Development Corp. for demolition
City Council approved a plan on Monday that could help pave the way for future redevelopment along one of downtown's most prominent gateways, voting 7-0 to grant Spartanburg Development Corporation $80,000 toward the demolition of the former Economy Inn on Pine Street. Under terms of the agreement, Spartanburg Development Corporation will loan the funds to the property owner for demolition. Payments on the loan would be interest only, with a balloon payment covering the balance at year 7. If the property is sold during the lone term, the loan will be paid back in full.
Council also voted 7-0 to purchase 85 body cameras and 85 tasers for City Police Department officers from Taser International for $633,665, using a multi-year payment plan. Under the plan, the first payment would be $229,774, and $100,980 annually for the next four years. The City plans to seek reimbursement from the state for the purchase.
Also at Monday's meeting, Council heard an overview from staff of the City's traffic calming program. Currently, the policy allows neighborhood streets with speed limits at 30 mph or below to petition for speed humps to curb speeding and to discourage drivers from using neighborhood streets as cut-throughs. In order to be approved, 25 percent of property owners on the street must sign a petition requesting traffic calming, after which a traffic study is completed, identifying the potential impact area and the volume and speed of traffic on the street. Property owners then vote on the proposed calming. The vote requires a 40 percent participation rate among the affected area's homeowners, and 60 percent must vote in favor in order for speed humps to be installed.
Several Council members expressed interest in adding other traffic calming methods, such as stop signs, traffic circles, and raised crosswalks, to the city's policy. Council members Jan Scalisi and Laura Stille also expressed a desire to broaden how the City defines a traffic calming project's impact area to include more of the surrounding streets. Staff is expected to bring recommended changes to the policy back to Council at a later meeting.
For more on Monday's City Council meeting, see the full video below as well as a roundup of our live tweets.