Santee Cooper in early stages of finding long-term plan for Lake Busbee

Lake Busbee is located beside Highway 501 in Conway. | Source: Google
Lake Busbee is located beside Highway 501 in Conway. | Source: Google

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Driving in and out of Conway along Highway 501 puts you right beside Lake Busbee. The body of water is a part of the Grainger Power plant that closed in 2012.

Businesses on the Lake Busbee side of Conway say sometimes keeping business is a struggle. They want to see the City of Conway put attention on their side of Hwy. 501.

Santee Cooper owns Lake Busbee. Right now, the company says it is looking into long term plans for the lake and wants to work with the community to decide what best fits the community's needs. While plans are far from being decided, a company spokesperson says so far most of the input has been to keep the lake around.

The spokesperson says Santee Cooper is in the very early stages of discussing ideas. People who work on that side of the highway want to see recreation.

People can already walk and fish the area, but it has the potential to attract people from all over the county.

"I think it'd bring a lot of attention to this end of town," says David Shuck. "I think a lot of people, even people who have lived here, always go downtown."

Schuk owns Above and Beyond Furniture and Mattress Superstore in Conway. Lake Busbee is almost in his backyard.

"Tourists always visit downtown. I think there's a lot of businesses at this side of town that would of benefit from people coming and spending time in this area. And seeing that there's other stores, and there's a lot of other businesses this side of Conway that could benefit from people coming and enjoying the parks and stuff down here."

The City of Conway owns the land across the street and is putting in a dog park in the space. Schuk would like to see walking paths go up from Lake Busbee connecting to downtown. That way, people would have a reason to visit the side of Conway. Schuk says people can never even get over to because of traffic.

It would open his business up to customers who don't know he exists right now.

Other local business owners agree.

"You've got a lot of people that probably never come to this side of town," agrees Rick Woodward, owner of Rick's Bait and Tackle. "Whereas if you had that attraction, they would obviously come into the convenience stores and various businesses there and say "oh, I never knew that was there", but now they see it."

Santee Cooper says the company is in the very early stages of deciding what to do with Lake Busbee. The company has been in talks with the City of Conway for ideas.

The City of Conway could not be reached to comment on the story, despite many attempts.

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