Hospitality Tax Revenue; Traffic Plan Update

In September, 2015 the Lexington Town Council approved a 2% tax on prepared foods as a means to fund much needed traffic improvement projects.  The “Hospitality Tax” went into effect on 1 October and will terminate in September, 2023.

In the first quarter, September-December 2015, the new tax generated revenue of $608,529.06.

Despite protestations from anti-tax groups and some restaurant owners that the “H-Tax” would drive away business, several new eateries have opened since the implementation of the tax and more are in the process of planning or construction.

As for the projects for which the tax funds are to be directed, Town of Lexington Administrator Britt Poole provided the following and explained that plans are submitted in four phases;

  • traffic plan (overview i.e. proof of concept)
  • 30% complete construction plans
  • 60% complete construction plans
  • 90% complete construction plans

This allows DOT to follow the design and not have any surprises.” said Poole.  “Also, this keeps the town from submitting a complete design and bid package then having to go back to the start because they want a major change.

Downtown Improvements (One Way Pair)
Improve traffic flow through the downtown Lexington area.

  • Traffic plan is complete and submitted to SCDOT for final approval.
  • Survey work is in progress
  • 30% Plans expected to be submitted to SCDOT by end of January
  • Construction on schedule for Late Summer / Early Fall 2016

Crossroad Improvements @ Lake Dr. & Sunset Blvd.
Improve safety and operation of an intersection that serves over 40,000 vehicles per day.

Part 1 – Harmon Street Extension

  • Traffic study planned for January 2016
  • Scope & Fee* Development in progress
  • Mid 2017 construction planned

Part 2 – Lexington Middle School Roundabout

  • Traffic study planned for January 2016
  • Scope & Fee Development in progress
  • Mid 2018 Construction planned

Corley Mill @Sunset Blvd. Gateway Improvements
The focus of the project is to improve current traffic flow through the Corley Mill Road and US 378 intersection which serves as the primary Gateway to the Town.

  • Preliminary Traffic Study is in progress
  • Final Traffic study expected January 2016
  • Based on Traffic study a small improvement (Ginny Lane) will begin design while larger scale improvements will begin Scope & Fee development
  • Fall 2016 construction planned for Ginny Lane
  • 2018 Construction planned for larger improvements

*Scope and fee is the process engineers to determine responsibilities and deliverables while establishing a cost for each section.  Engineers are reimbursed on the level of work completed.  This process protects the town so only agreed upon design specifics are paid for.

 

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