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More shenanigans from the Edgefield County Council?
Column by the Editor
posted January 10, 2008
COLUMN – Is the Edgefield County Council
going to pass on another golden opportunity to make things better for
county citizens? If information available so far is correct, yes. The
fire last year that destroyed the county building used by the Edgefield
County Senior Citizens Council and other government agencies that
leased office space from the county has culminated in a settlement
offer by the insurance company, which was discussed in executive
session in Tuesday night’s meeting. Will the county rebuild the
building on the location and use it to house county offices? No.
Edgefield County Council Chairman Monroe Kneece stated that the county
is looking “ahead” for the growth expected over the next twenty years
and they had “other plans” in mind. “Other plans”? If you are like me,
when a politician says that the hair on the back of your neck stands on
So, the county owns a tract of land with plenty of available parking,
room to build a building to house all non-judicial operations of the
county now located in the courthouse, including those occupying leased
office spaces in other locations. The logical thing to do would be to
rebuild the building, move the above county offices to the location,
and relieve a great deal of the parking problem of Downtown Edgefield.
That makes too much sense, so obviously it is off the table.
According to Chairman Kneece the insurance settlement is not enough to
rebuild the destroyed building. That is curious, as insurance is there
to place the insurer to the stated position prior to the loss. If there
is not enough money to rebuild, who dropped the ball and allowed our
county owned property to be underinsured? Surely that person, or
persons, should be fired.
However, what is not publicly known is how the county council intends
to spend the settlement money. Of course, as everything in Edgefield
County is done for the benefit of the taxpayers, the same “players” are
once again involved and will no doubt the ones who actually “benefit”
from our loss with the taxpayer being inconvenienced to boot.
Information obtained so far indicates that the county is looking to buy
a local business located near the Edgefield Town Square. Naturally
there is very little available parking for the location and the present
building would not be suitable for offices and would have to be
demolished and rebuilt or undergo extensive renovations.
A certain developer that has his hands in every cookie jar the county
owns will probably be instrumental in the sale and purchase of the
property. If I had to place my bet it would be that the county will
provide the money, the developer will actually purchase the property,
and then in turn lease it back to the county after our tax dollars are
used to improve the property to make it half-way usable.
That is speculation on my part, the county could always go the route of
buying the property outright and then pour our money into it, after
paying off any liens, and build the required office space.
But wait… there is not enough money, according to Chairman Kneece, to
rebuild a building on property the county already owns, but it can find
enough to buy property it does not own and then renovate or rebuild it
to suit “our” growing needs?
Something does not make sense, but then again, we are talking about the
Edgefield County Council.
Only time will tell if the aforementioned is a reality. If it does come
to fruition it will be no surprise. And, as with all Edgefield County
Council’s dealings... just follow the money.
Don’t forget, be a good citizen and pay your taxes on time. I don’t
want them to have to borrow money to fund more of the same old
shenanigans so our money can end up in the same old pockets.
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