Greenwood County Council established a committee to determine the fate of the Greenwood Civic Center at their meeting on Tuesday evening.
The civic center has been closed since 2009 and council has held numerous discussions about the fate of the longtime social hub of Greenwood County. At their regular meeting on Oct. 20, council held a public hearing on the civic center. A dozen people spoke during the public hearing with only one person speaking in favor of tearing the civic center down.
Councilman Robbie Templeton said he felt no viable option for keeping the facility open had been presented. Councilwoman Edith Childs said she felt that many people were in favor of renovating the civic center, but they were unwilling to pay any additional taxes to keep the civic center.
Chairman Mark Allison sought input from other council members on the formation of the committee. Childs said she felt that each of the seven districts should be represented equally on the committee. Councilman Steve Brown said the committee should be comprised of various experts who can provide viable options for the facility.
Councilman Chuck Moates said he was opposed to forming a committee to present council with options.
"I don't think a committee will tell us anything we don't already know," Moates said. "A committee only delays the process and kicks the can further down the road."
Thee majority of council agreed that a committee would need specific direction from council as to what the committee should accomplish. Most council members also agreed that the committee would need have a detailed plan for their recommendation, including sources of revenue.
Councilman Gonza Bryant suggested that a third party evaluate the facility and make a recommendation. Moates agreed that, if a committee was to be established, that he would be hesitant to appoint community members because of their emotional investment in the civic center.
Council will again take up the discussion on the civic center at their next regular meeting.