Berkeley Co. officials host forum to discuss county population growth

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCBD) – Berkeley County officials held an open forum to discuss the county’s future.

“I think if you want to live in Berkeley County,” Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb said, “if you want to live in an urbanized area, that’s fine. If you don’t mind having neighbors right next to you, great. If you want to live on farmland, great. So there should be a lot of different choices.

Cribb gave updates on pending infrastructure projects to help manage the recent population increase in the area.

“176 Phase Two will be there,” Cribb said. “So we’ll go from the Nexton interchange to Jedburg Road, and a bit beyond. We are moving slowly towards Highway 27. It is a project of approximately $70 million.

Cribb thinks that with all the expansion, neighbors shouldn’t have to foot the bill for every new project.

“I think some of that new growth should help pay for those improvements,” he said. “The burden that falls exclusively on taxpayers is simply patently unfair.”

His presentation also touched on projects that have already been completed, including the new Berkeley County Veterans Affairs office.

“Being there that day,” Cribb said, “when it opened up, when the veterans came in and everything was really special.”

And Spiers Landing Park.

“This park had been abandoned for several decades,” he said, “and the county has the lease on this property from Santee Cooper. So we put almost $200,000 into this park, and it looks like we put $700,000 to $800,000 into the park.

Those in attendance say they are optimistic about the future of Berkeley County after hearing the supervisor’s presentation.

“He said he works with the community,” said Michael Gaston Sr., founder of the Berkeley County Exchange Club, “he works with churches and he listens to everyone. It’s excellent. When you listen to the people you serve, it will make us a stronger community.

The meeting was hosted by the Berkeley County Exchange Club and their next public meeting will be on Wednesday, October 19.e.