Gills Creek Greenway A Update 9/22/2017

Greetings!

Richland County Council Transportation Ad Hoc Committee Report
The committee met on September 6. The agenda included a request by the Penny Development team to remove Gills Creek Greenway B from the project list. That section would run along Wildcat Creek between Ft Jackson and Kings Grant and St Marks Woods down to Leesburg Rd. The Kings Grant HOA's BOD voted to oppose the Greenway B and sent a letter indicating that.

Staff recommends funding from Gills Creek Greenway Section B be reallocated to Gills Creek Greenway Section A, thus removing Section B from the Penny Program.

From the recommendation:
"The referendum amount identified for Section A ($2,246,160) is estimated to construct the greenway from the Fort Jackson Blvd/Crowson intersection to near Bright Ave. By reallocating Section B funds ($2,785,897) to Section A, it is likely that Section A could be extended from near Bright Ave. to the near Lantana Dr."

The council members had a number of questions and misunderstandings about the proposal and postponed action until the next Transportation Ad Hoc committee meeting October 23.

City/County Greenway Maintenance and Security Agreement
The agreement between the City and the County for the City to maintain and provide security for the greenway is still waiting approval by both jurisdiction's attorneys. The agreement may be delayed as a result of the debate between the City and the County over who should pay for the utility relocation for current and future road widening projects. Unfortunately, any work on the greenway design is on hold until the agreement is finalized.

We sent a letter to the City and County asking them to approve the agreement as soon as possible and to work to increase cooperation in the future so Penny projects are not held up.

Transportation Penny Advisory Committee Meeting
We will attend the County's advisory committee meeting on Monday, September 25 and report back any new developments.

Transportation Penny Greenway Advisory Committee
We will participate in the meeting on Tuesday, September 26. The agenda includes both the transfer of funds from B to A and the letter of agreement, so maybe there will be good news.

GOOD NEWS!
GCWA proposal to the EPA for a 319 Grant for Stream and Riparian Buffer Restoration for the creek along Crowson Rd was approved. We are now waiting to officially start the grant which will happen after we sign a contract with DHEC which should happen soon. The City of Columbia is replacing a sewerline along Crowson Rd so we will coordinate with their design team to ensure the sewerline is incorporated into the plan. We will form a 'project steering committee' of landowners and key property owners and stakeholders including the Penny Greenway Team.

The goal is to reshape the creek banks, replant the stream buffer with native plants, and reduce stormwater and non-point source pollution entering Gills Creek improving the health of Gills Creek and the appeal of the Cross Hill/Rosewood Crossing area.

FEMA HMGP (Hazard Mitigation Grant Program) Update
The County has received approval on a number of property buyouts, but we don't have any details as of now.

The Transportation Penny Advisory Committee (TPAC)
The Transportation Penny Advisory Committee has 6 vacancies. The Town of Eastover has 1 vacancy and Richland County has 5 seats available. The County told us they are currently interviewing applicants and new applications would be placed on file. If you are interested in serving or know someone, contact your County Council member.

More info: http://www.richlandpenny.com/tpac/transportation-penny-advisory-committee-tpac/

More info on the greenway plans: http://www.gillscreekwatershed.org/gills_creek_greenway_a.html

The Richland Penny site: http://www.richlandpenny.com

You can subscribe to these email updates by sending an email to greenway@gillscreekwatershed.org
Gills Creek Greenway A

Gills Creek Greenway A Penny Project

The citizens of Richland County approved a penny increase in the sales tax to fund transportation improvements. A portion of those monies will be available for the development of greenways. Three locations along Gills Creek were identified as sites for greenway development including the area encompassed by our plan.

We believe a greenway could be a great asset to the community, as it has been for many others. We have been working with the Penny team to develop plans for the greenway, and have been seeking other funds to enhance the plan by improving the condition of the creek.

Gills Creek Penny Handout
The Penny Team's web site is richlandpenny.com and you can contact them by email at info@RichlandPenny.com.

Goals and Objectives

The Gills Creek Watershed Association's mission is to restore and protect the watershed primarily by reducing the impacts of the urban environment. Our goals include:
  • Improve water quality in the Gills Creek Watershed
  • Reduce stormwater runoff and flooding
  • Develop access for pedestrian and paddling recreation
  • Better habitat in and along the creek for wildlife and aquatic life
  • Create a great place for people to connect with nature
  • Provide new educational opportunities for schools and the community
  • A signature place in Columbia; a center of community pride
By getting folks out enjoying the creek, we hope to increase appreciation for the creek and generate interest that will help us achieve our other goals.

On the north end, trails will intersect the Capital City Passage of the Palmetto Trail on Kilbourne Road just below the Lake Katharine dam.

At the south end, the Gills Creek Blue Trail will connect to the Congaree River Blue Trail.

In between there are numerous opportunities for walking, jogging, cycling and paddling trails, nature observation, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

And there is the opportunity to restore, retrofit, and the institute best management practices (BMPs) to reduce pollution, the impact of stormwater runoff, and flooding in developed and undeveloped areas.

A Richland County Conservation Grant allowed us to develop a master plan that was presented in November 2013.
View or download the Gills Creek Middle Watershed Master Plan as a pdf file.

City of Columbia Commercial Devine St/Fort Jackson Commercial Node Plan evaluated the area of Devine St, Crosshill Rd and Fort Jackson Blvd for land use and urban design, market conditions, transportation, utilities and green infrastructure, and to propose a conceptual plan including recommendations and implementation strategies for future development.
More information about the study is available at the city's Planning and Development web site.

The City also has a Walk-Bike Columbia web page which allows the user to identify places on a map where they want improvements for biking, walking, access to transit, or a bike share station in Columbia!

The current route of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation's Palmetto Trail runs along Kilbourne Rd across Gills Creek. Our trail would connect to Kilbourne just east of the creek.
More info is available at the Finish the Palmetto Trail web site.


Greenway Facts...

General benefits, economic benefits, health benefits, safety and environmental facts.


Greenway Examples...

Swamp Rabbit Trail, Falls Park on the Reedy, Little Sugar Creek, San Antonio River Walk


Middle Watershed Plan

A working group in the Gills Creek Watershed Association developed an aspirational plan to improve the urban area from Ft Jackson Blvd to Rosewood and to preserve the other relatively undeveloped stretches of Gills Creek from the Lake Katharine dam to Shop Road as a greenway and a blueway. Based on the ideas developed in the initial plan, Gills Creek Watershed Association received a grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission to complete a Master Plan for the Middle Gills Creek Watershed which extends from Kilbourne Road to Shop Road. Additional funding was provided by Edens. The final results of this project is a community endorsed Middle Watershed Plan with greenways, best management practices for handling stormwater, and identified stream restoration projects.

Please note that this project plan has been superseded by the Richland County Transportation Penny Gills Creek Greenway Section A project. Perhaps as the benefits of the Greenway A are realized, the expanded plan presented here can be implemented.

See the old plan which includes maps of the area...


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Send an email to greenway@gillscreekwatershed.org

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