Anderson Council moves ahead with $2.7 million downtown park

Anderson City Council members enthusiastically moved ahead Monday with plans for a downtown park that will feature an outdoor amphitheater and interactive water elements.

Anderson Council moves ahead with $2.7 million downtown park
photo by Sefton Ipock

The council members unanimously approved a contract amendment with Trehel Corp. that should enable construction to begin on the $2.7 million project as soon as August. The one-acre park will be built on a city-owned parcel at the site of the old Belk Department store on East Whitner Street.

The money from the project is coming from a general obligation bond issue. Downtown property tax revenues and hospitality tax money are being used to repay the bonds, assistant city manager Linda McConnell said.

McConnell showed council members a video at Monday’s meeting depicting what the park will look like when it is finished early next year. Besides the amphitheater, the park will feature a wall of cascading water and fountains.

She predicted the park will be a “very friendly space.”

Council members were equally upbeat about the project.

“I think this is going to bring a lot of people downtown,” said council member Rick Laughridge.

Council member Beatrice Thompson is happy that the Belk site will no longer be an eyesore.

“I am really sick of looking at that hole,” she said.