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Aiken City Council meets Monday; intersection improvement contract on the table

September 9, 2018

The Aiken City Council will meet Monday, Sept. 10, and, among other things, will debate whether or not to formally enter into an agreement to improve the Rutland Drive-Laurens Street intersection.

On City Council’s agenda is the second reading of an ordinance and contract that would partner the city with WTS of Rutland LLC, the group currently redeveloping a 5-acre parcel at 1012 Laurens St. N.W.

WTS of Rutland LLC is transforming the 5-acre area – located adjacent to the intersection now highlighted for improvements – into a Northside commercial hub. The development, named the Rutland Corner Commercial Center, will be anchored by Dollar Tree and Sprint Foods, according to Jim Price, who is helping build up the area.

Price hopes the center will be open by spring 2019.

City Council approved the first reading of the intersection improvement ordinance on Aug. 13.

Plans for the corner development include changes to Rutland Drive, Laurens Street and the lot’s egresses. Those changes include new medians and turn lanes.

All work in that area will be done with the state transportation department ’s blessing, according to a sidebar note on the site plans.

In total, the Rutland Drive-Laurens Street intersection upgrades are estimated to cost $120,000. The contract City Council is considering would lock the city into paying up to $90,000. WTS of Rutland LLC would pay any remainder, according to City Council documents.

The city’s money would come from its economic development fund.

The improvements – and related costs – are guided by a SCDOT traffic study, per the contract.

City Council on Monday will also hold a work session prior to its regular meeting. The work session begins at 5:30 p.m. The regular meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Between the two, City Council will hold a closed-door meeting – an executive session – to discuss the acquisition of land for the purpose of building a new road.

At the end of August, City Council discussed a spectrum of Whiskey Road improvement projects, which included building a Powderhouse Road and South Centennial Avenue connector southeast of South Aiken High School.

City Council meets at the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave. S.W.

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