The front page of last week’s Anson Record featured an article on the county commissioners’ approval of borrowing up to $4.7 million for a 23,888-square-foot building that would house all of Anson County’s emergency services.
The front page of this week’s paper contains an article reporting that the Carolinas Healthcare System’s board has approved going to state lawmakers for $20 million to build a new hospital in Anson County.
There are also plans in the works to seek funding for a 22,000-square-foot agri-civic center with a price tag of about $10 million.
That’s a lot of multi-million-dollar figures floating around, all for new construction projects in Anson County. Will it be worth it to put the county in debt in order to have a few new buildings?
For County Manager Lawrence Gatewood, the answer is a resounding yes. In an interview with the Anson Record, he stated that he felt the county could not afford not to invest in improving the county’s infrastructure. Having a centralized area for emergency services would help the county to prepare for any disasters that may occur. According to Gatewood, the county is not currently equipped to handle a large disaster, either natural or man-made.
The county also has no facility to host large events that would attract tourism dollars. In fact, the Tourism Development Authority voted unanimously against advertising in a statewide tourism guide because the board members felt there is currently nothing worth showcasing in the county. Several members of the board asked for the tourism guide’s representative to come back, once the county has its agri-civic center.
However, even if county leaders are convinced that new facilities are needed, it would seem that many county residents are not. In an online poll on ansonrecord.com, 48 percent of readers voted that they thought the money that would be used for a new emergency services center “could be better spent somewhere else.” A total of 39 percent voted that “having centralized services could only be a positive thing for the county,” while 12 percent said they do not care either way.
But perhaps AEDC vice chairman and local Realtor Don Scarborough said it best: “Whether we want it or not, it’s going to be happen.”