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Opinion

Special delivery, but who is paying the bill?


A Column by the Editor
web posted August 31, 2009
COLUMN – It is great to see that the Northside Park across from Liberty Springs Baptist Church is being used, even though it is not being used by the county recreation department. However, mysteriously enough, bleachers were taken from Bettis Park, by county employees, using county equipment, and put in place last Tuesday. Mysterious because there were no recreation programs being held there this past weekend, and stranger still is the same county employees will be taking the bleachers back to Bettis Park this week.

I checked to see if there was a county sponsored celebration or a special function by the county recreation department at the Northside Park during this time frame and found none.

I wonder why the county would use county equipment and county employees to move county property to a place it is not needed.

Then I learned that Recreation Department Director Nick Wates knew about it, as did lame duck County Administrator John Pettigrew. I knew then the use of all this time, effort and money had to be county sponsored.

But it’s not. It was a “youth event” sponsored by the church. I know that they must be reimbursing the county to cover the cost. Otherwise that would be a misuse of public funds and I know County Councilman Norman Dorn would never allow that to happen at the park he has championed for county recreation.

That is going to be quite a bill. A full day of several workers, use of at least two pieces of county equipment, and the same amount of time, number of employees and equipment to return the bleachers where they belong is adding up.

County residents can have their private roads scraped by the county road crew if they are in the area scraping county roads. You have to contact the building and planning department, sign a release form, and pay a fee equal to $125 per hour for the single employee and a single piece of county equipment to complete the task.

So, if we consider it took two to four employees and at least two pieces of equipment a full day to complete the task, that comes to $2,000 for the two employees with the equipment, at least one truck and one trailer. (To be fair, the other two employees are worth around $500 for a total of $2,500.)

But that is just one move, the same would hold true for the move back to Bettis Park giving us a grand total of between $4,000 and $5,000 for the person that “requested” the bleachers and they must be paying to have this task performed. Everyone else does.

All I can say is - when it is all over; I want to see the check.

EdgefieldDaily.com would like to thank those who began sending in tips about this activity from Tuesday through Friday of last week seeking answers. Answers that have yet to be fully explained.
 
During a look into the situation this is not the first time such a request has been submitted and honored.




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