Richland County Council unveils details of mass development plan; Some fear bankruptcy


Columbia, SC (WACH)--Richland County leaders are going public with the details on a possible 250 million dollar plan they call the Renaissance Project. But not everyone is on board. Last week, county council approved the plan by just one vote.

Tuesday afternoon, Richland County Council unveiled the details of the redevelopment plan. Supporters say it will consolidate county operations through development at the Columbia Place Mall. A new court house will be put in the County Administration Building and a multipurpose facility in Lower Richland. Opponents are asking how the project will be paid for.

"We need to have accurate numbers before you dive into something like this. I wouldn't treat my personal finances like this and we shouldn't treat the taxpayer's finances like this," says Councilman Seth Rose.

People who back the plan say the multi-part project will bring services "closer to home" and will not involve a tax increase.

"We're going to build these in phases. We look at what we're spending today, just like you're buying a new house. You rationalize and refocus your spending. That's what we're going to do in Richland County," says Rose.

A risk, as leaders put it, to become a leading county in the state. There is no timeline on when the project and the cost isn't clear. For now, leaders say raising the bar on developments and infrastructure starts with conversations.

"This will be a fully developed program once we get input back and forth from our constituents and from each other because we all represent different groups," says Councilwoman Dalhi Myers.

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