Development Corporation asks for qualifications
By Stephan Drew, Editor
On Tuesday, September 27th, the Hartsville Public Development Corporation (HPDC) held their monthly meeting in Council Chambers at 100 E. Carolina Avenue, in Hartsville. Among the items discussed was Resolution 23, which allows the city to solicit Requests of Qualifications from development firms for purchase and redevelopment of the Canal District.
A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is a document which asks potential suppliers or vendors to detail their background and experience providing a specific good or service. In this case, the buyer is only concerned about the vendor’s skills and experience. This allows the HPDC to see, at a glance, any dealings that particular company has had on projects within the area.
When asked for an update on the status of the Resolution, City Manager Daniel Moore said, “We are ready to move forward with putting this out for a bid and to receive the qualifications back from developers. But, we have received some edits and we’re ready to incorporate those in before a final vote.”
Within the resolution, some of the Canal District residents and areas are occasionally referred to as “low-income”, “distressed” and/or “disadvantaged”. Board member Kenzie Delaine expressed concerns about this terminology and felt it may cause confusion using multiple terms. In one section, where the resolution discusses Opportunity Zones, Delaine stated, “Where it says ‘low-income’, I recommend that be changed to ‘distressed’.” Other, similar changes were suggested and all were approved by the board. The resolution was passed unanimously.
The HPDC was first established in 2017. The board is a partnership between the city and the Byerly Foundation so that the city does not have to bear the financial burden of city development, solely, and to expedite some projects.
For the purpose of acquiring, constructing and leasing property for such projects, the foundation finances or refinances those costs through grants or loans to the city.
Specific financing tools by the foundation are identified for each individual project.The city has routinely acquired parcels of land at different locations around town for such projects as the dog park and the EdVenture Museum.
Members of the HPDC are Mel Pennington, Kenzie DeLaine, Johnny Andrews, Brianna Douglas and Patrick Youngblood.