Economic development and quality of life are the two principal motivations for acquiring targeted historic properties for either renovation or for the creation of green spaces for recreational purposes.
In regards to the acquisition of historic properties for renovation, the lessons learned from other communities have shown that public-private partnerships are powerful tools in creating economic development and growth. In many cases, the renovation and adaptive re-use
of historic properties is only feasible with participation from the private sector.
Acquiring properties to create green space and passive recreational areas is also a strategy that has been proven highly successful in other areas. When areas of slum and blight can be replaced with attractive green spaces that can serve as neighborhood recreational areas, the entire community benefits. Research shows that when you remove blight you reduce crime and instill in the residents of the area a sense of pride. In the future, as the areas redevelop, some of the green space that has been created can be utilized for commercial and/or commercial development thus creating a stronger tax base in what was previously an area of blight.
This $2 million project will improve the quality of life of our citizens, stimulate economic development and preserve Sumter County's most historic buildings. To reach this goal, the City of Sumter must do as other local governments have done — become a catalyst for economic development and historic preservation. Typically it is more expensive to adapt and redevelop an old structure than to build new. Private sector developers must be provided incentives if we are to preserve our history. This project will enable local government to acquire targeted historic buildings and then provide economic incentives for private sector developers to embrace a public-private partnership for the restoration of these buildings.
In other areas of the City, historic structures need to be acquired for redevelopment into public green space and neighborhood recreational areas. This will eliminate slum and blight in targeted areas of the City.
The Penny for Progress Will:
Original Budget: 2,000,000
Budget Remaining: 376,274.49
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