LEXINGTON, SC — The longtime dream of converting Old Mill Pond near the center of Lexington into a town park may blossom soon.
Town Hall is developing a plan for a walking path and other features around the privately owned pond of more than 20 acres, a feature could be ready for public use by 2015.
“We finally have a chance to make something we’ve long wanted to do happen,” Mayor Randy Halfacre said. “It would be a great addition to everything else we have going downtown.”
The park envisioned would take shape through a partnership with owners of the Old Mill, a 24-store retail center that was once a cotton mill powered by the adjacent pond the owners are acquiring.
That purchase opens the way for the partnership between mall owners and town leaders for the project.
“We’re all for that,” center owner Ryan Condon said. “I’d like to help them. It would be mutually beneficial.”
Town leaders foresee a path of a mile sprinkled with docks for walkers to pause and enjoy the view along with scattered picnic facilities. No price tag is known.
The path would connect with those at three other parks to create a network of nearly four miles of trails, fulfilling a plan outlined 10 years ago.
“These things often take time to happen,” Halfacre said of the system of paths taking shape.
Use of the pond would remain under the control of Condon’s company.
Swimming and waterskiing probably won’t be permitted but fishing and boating may be, he said.
That’s similar to what’s allowed in town-owned Gibson Pond Park a mile south.
Town leaders hope to tie the pond path to a small area at the base of its dam, making the site the start of a series of trails someday extending along Twelve Mile Creek.
The pond path follows a separate plan for a public plaza a few blocks west on Main Street.
Both projects are among steps that town leaders hope will help revitalize the community’s struggling downtown retail hub.
“It’s all coming together to develop what one day will be called our city center,” Halfacre said.
Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.