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      Richland County selects team to manage penny sales tax

      RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WACH) - As a joint team, ICA, Brownstone, and MB Kahn Construction have been selected by the Richland County Council as the Project Development Team to manage the county's penny sales tax program.

      The decision comes five months after council realized a flaw in its first team selection, deciding to start the process over.

      "This is a long process, but we had to make sure everything was done correctly," said Councilman Norman Jackson. "That's why we had to do it a second time. We had the time to do it, we took the time to make sure we did it right."

      Voters approved the penny sales tax in November 2012 to improve roads, sidewalks, build bicycle trails and beef up public transportation among other things in the county.

      Even though the selection process was delayed, Rick Ott, Senior Executive Vice President at MB Kahn construction tells WACH Fox his team has been preparing for this project for two years and they're ready to hit the ground running.

      "Today is a huge day for our entire team, the three partners, primary partners, MB Kahn Construction Company, ICA, Brownstone. It's a big day for us. We have ten other partners primarily local firms and we're all extremely excited and thankful to be a part of this," said Ott.

      Ott says the first task is to go back and re scope, re estimate, and prioritize all of the projects.

      "Some we will be able to move into construction in 2014, some may require environmental permitting, and right away acquisition those will take just a little longer," added Ott.

      Another exciting aspect to the 22 year project Ott is happy to be a part of are the massive amount of jobs that will come with construction.

      "We think this is going to be a huge step up for Richland County, it is going to create about 10,000 new jobs," said Ott.

      Richland County Councilman Jackson adds that majority of those jobs will come from within Richland County.

      As for the next step, officials say they have arranged meetings for as early as Tuesday morning to start the process on the remaining projects.

      Council broke ground in May on its first project on Pilgrim Church Road, paving a dirt roadway.