Small Springdale is dreaming big.
Officials in the Lexington County town are looking at several steps to bring vibrancy to a community best known as a neighbor of Columbia Metropolitan Airport and the home of Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson.
“For too long, we’ve been stagnant,” new Mayor Michael Bishop said. “We need something to move forward.”
Key ideas that town leaders are preparing to pursue include:• Adding 400 tracts on its northern edge that would increase population from 2.700 to 4,000 residents and bring in commercial areas on U.S. 1.
• Creating a small upscale retail area on Platt Springs Road in the center of town.
• Developing a new neighborhood of about 100 homes off Wattling Road on its western edge.
“We look at ourselves as the best-kept secret in Lexington County,” town administrator Joe Boyes said.”It’s time to share what we have.”
The aggressive push for new development is a major change in emphasis for leaders of the 59-year-old town of quiet neighborhoods straddling Interstate 26.
Springdale is “making some noise” as a community ready to shed its low profile, said Gregg Pinner, president of the West Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Town leaders are making community welcome signs more noticeable with bolder colors and landscape.
“It burns me that people aren’t familiar that they are in Springdale when they come through,” Bishop said.
In addition to the new projects sought, water and sewer service could be expanded in the community if voters countywide approve a penny-on-the dollar sales tax for several improvements.
Springdale’s share of the package on the Nov. 4 ballot includes $7.5 million for replacing septic tanks with sewers. West Columbia also plans a series of upgrades to improve the delivery of drinking water that will benefit some parts of the town.
The town’s quest to expand north to U.S. 1 and take in neighborhoods and stores between Wattling Road and Beverly Drive is an ambitious effort. It will require approval by voters in that area, a ballot that town leaders hope will happen as soon as late autumn.
Town officials will serve more as cheerleaders for the new retail area and neighborhood wanted, working with developers to adopt guidelines to make both ideas happen.
Projects such as those will put the town on the map regionally and make it more attractive for longtime residents and newcomers alike, Bishop said.
“We need to set ourselves up with our own identity,” Bishop said. “I want it spotlighted.”