Salem and Walhalla make 1-cent pitches

Salem and Walhalla are the latest to make pitches for 1-cent funding—should Oconee County voters say yes to a referendum this November. But first the two municipalities must convince the Oconee Capital Project Sales Tax Commission to include their projects on the ballot. Last night, representing his town, Salem town attorney Brad Norton, requested funds for a couple of water lines. The benefits, he says, would not only be expansion of water service and the enhancement of fire protection—but economic development. Norton says a building sits empty on highway 11 because it could not obtain adequate water service. And, at one point, Hampton Inn inquired about building a hotel along 11. A second request seeks $736, 200 to build a Salem recreation center. Next up Scott Parris, the Walhalla utilities superintendent, presented a proposal to allow his city 1-cent sales tax funds to help it achieve a long-time goal: upgrades to a treatment plant built in 1963. According to Parris, Walhalla’s water responsibilities will pick up late next year—when the new high school on highway 11 is scheduled to be finished and opened.