2019 Belton Alliance Report
The Belton Alliance had a good year in 2019, with the major emphasis on the Rail Trail running beside North Main Street. Below is a report of 2019 activities.
Membership: The Alliance had 52 business and non-profit members and 21 individuals pay dues in 2019. A membership meeting was held at the Listening Room on St. Patrick’s Day. The meeting included a presentation of the Alliance’s 2019 plans and goals as well as food, drink and entertainment by the Combo Kings. We will repeat that meeting this St. Patrick’s Day…6:00 on Tuesday, March 17 at the Listening Room (see enclosed).
South Carolina State Chili Cookoff Championships: Another successful event presented by the Alliance was held on April 13 and 14 with cooks and visitors from throughout the east coast. The event was organized and directed by Chairman Matt Lusk. It was well attended and generated $11,500 for local non-profit organizations. The 2020 event is scheduled for April 4-5 (see enclosed), a week earlier than normal due to Easter.
Rail Trail: Significant progress was made throughout the year with efforts focused on completing Phase I of the project from the Belton Library to Stevenson Drive. The trail was paved and landscaping, fencing, benches, lighting and exercise equipment were added. All expenses were paid for Phase I with some funds remaining to begin Phase II. Paving and landscaping from Stevenson Drive to Calhoun Road were completed in the late fall. Two work days were held along the trail during the year with volunteers helping with clean up and landscape maintenance. The Alliance received notification of a $100,000 grant from a local business in late November. These funds, which will be available in early spring, will cover most of the cost to complete Phase II. This will continue the trail to Leda Poore Park, including a bridge to go under North Main Street (Highway 20) near the park. Phase II will include a nice Belton sign along the trail facing Highway 20 as cars drive into the city, which will be provided by the Alliance. A subcommittee is working to determine a name for the trail, which has been a true community project. Over 70% of the cost of the project has been funded with private donations and in-kind work from local businesses, with the balance provided by the state, the S. C. National Heritage Corridor, Anderson County and the City.
Community Support and Involvement: The Alliance partnered with the Belton Lions Club to sponsor and attend the United Way Anderson County Black History Ball where Hattie Green was honored with the Legacy Award. The Alliance is a member and Allie of the Development Corporation of Anderson County and a member of the Alliance board serves on the Anderson County Development Board. A Candidate’s Forum was hosted at the Belton Depot on October 17 with all candidates for mayor and city council participating. A large crowd was in attendance. Although not officially a part of the Alliance, the volunteers on the Belton Beautification Committee are doing great work to enhance The Square and will receive support moving forward.
Economic Development: Progress was made on the North Main Street project with demolition of several of the old buildings. A group has agreed to purchase the Wells Fargo building On the Square and the parking lot behind the building pending a new location for the bank’s ATM.
Website: The Alliance website (www.beltonalliance.com or www.gobelton.com) is updated regularly with news and pictures of things happening in the Belton community as well as a schedule of upcoming local events.
Belton Branding Champions: The Alliance continues to enhance and promote “Belton…A Historic Heart with A New Beat!” brand.
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