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Mt. Vintage topic off limits for discussion? Not hardly

A Column by the Editor
web posted March 5, 2009
COLUMN – With Edgefield County Council Chairman Monroe Kneece preventing any discussions on the ongoing problems at Mt. Vintage citing litigation, it is clear all the deadlines set for MV Development that came and went were mere window dressing. The recent lawsuit by Mike Caldwell and Caldwell Design and Construction Inc. against the county and MV Development has nothing to do with the issues regarding the infrastructure and trying to get people into their homes.

Not to mention it comes conveniently when the county requested security for the infrastructure and Mr. Rainsford just got $2 million and never gave the county a dime. Nope, not a word from the county council, and there will be no words on the matter, except mine.

According to deed records, MV Development sold several parcels of property to Talmadge Knight through P. K. Knight Construction for the total of $2 million. The deal was signed in August 26, 2008 and was consummated with the filing of the title to real estate in the Clerk of Court’s Office on February 11, 2009 at 10:51 am.

Mr. Knight and Mr. Rainsford are the partnership that is MV Development, but the sale takes those parcels out from under the direct control of MV Development and gives it solely to Mr. Knight.

So, Mr. Rainsford, who has been the face of Mt. Vintage since inception, has poor mouthed the county council saying the minor setbacks were due to the banking crisis so there are no loans, the ailing economy so there are no lots being sold, and a whole host of other aspects of a pity party for him while he sternly said he made no apologies to anyone. What a guy.

Of course the minor problems are major problems and people cannot get into their homes to live because of faulty sewage pumping stations, lack of water infrastructure, unpaved roads with craters feet deep. The area is nothing but a mud pit.

And with all the poor mouthing and excuses MV Development just received $2 million and has ignored the county’s request that Bettis Rainsford aka MV Development place security (cash money) to complete the infrastructure with the county. So with the muzzle on our county leaders he will flaunt around like a proud peacock thumbing his nose because once again the rules do not apply to him.

So I have a question I want answered. If there was this cash flow problem and there was less than $400,000 of work to be done, as Mr. Rainsford has stated, then why are the roads not getting paved or even getting scrapped and prepared for paving? I’m not a math whiz but I think $2 million will cover the cost of a $400,000 job. Maybe I need to do some more math to figure out this little problem.

$  2,000,000 money from sale minus
$     400,000 claimed cost of finishing all infrastructures minus
$     661,623 lien on infrastructure minus
$10,000,000 preliminary filing on foreclosure equals
Negative $9,061,623

Maybe I just answered my own question.

The county council may want to hide behind the slim veil of a pending litigation to not speak publicly on the matter, but that has nothing to do with following through with forcing MV Development to complete the work and provide the required bond or security as the law provides. The laws are on the books and they are enforceable, if the county council wants to enforce them.

The county council also needs to hold former County Administrator Wayne Adams and Building and Planning Director Howard Gibson responsible for not doing their jobs. We need to know how this happened to begin with and nobody has asked for an explanation on that still. I, personally, believe there may even be grounds for a criminal investigation into the matter.

We already know that laws were broken when lots were allowed to be sold without the proper bonds being provided to the county. Laws were broken when lots were sold with plats that were not legally filed. Maybe it is time law enforcement gets involved and find out just how many laws have been broken throughout this completely sordid situation.

The truth is there if they just want to look for it.


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