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Edgefield County Council Covers 5-Page Agenda in 45 Minuets

web posted February 5, 2014

EDGEFIELD The Edgefield County Council held their February meeting Tuesday night and cleared the agenda in just 45 minutes, even with at least two debates on agenda items. Councilman Norman Dorn objected to every items on the Consent Agenda, which would force five additional votes and discussions. Later in the meeting, Vice-chair Genia Blackwell made Dorn's monthly meeting extending stunt all for naught with a motion of her own.

Under the regular agenda the county council took up a resolution to approve the rental agreement of the hangers at the Trenton Airport for $180 per month on a month by month basis. Councilman Rodney Ashcraft stated he thought that County Administrator Lynn Strom should be able to re-negotiate the lease terms if the hangers did not rent after a certain time period. That brought up questions of "equal protections" of renters if one renter got a better price than another.

Vice-chair Blackwell said the only problem she had with the lease was a sentence that contained the hand had to be used for aircrafts and aircraft related items. She suggested in be worded and/or, stating could had a problem during a zoning matter because the ordinance did not have the two words in the language.

In the end the $180 rent level was passed with the change in the wording as Blackwell had requested.

Under New Business the council considered bid on a new ambulance with three bidders turning in certified bids. The lowest bidder was Custom Truck and Body Works at $134,704. Administrator Strom stated staff recommended council accepting the low bid as all references were good on the company. The money had already been budgeted. The council approved the purchase unanimously.

Also approved was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for mutual aid during a disaster between Edgefield County and Columbia County. The MOU was approved unanimously.

The next item approved was an ordinance allowing the county to approve a $300,000 loan to the Edgefield County Hospital to be used as cash reserves during the implementation of required Electronic Heath Care Records. During the implementation and testing, the hospital would have to use operational funds to cover the costs until it could be repaid by Medicare. The loan was approved unanimously.

As the agenda advanced to the items removed from the consent agenda (multiple items to be covered by one vote than individually) and placed under New Business, Vice-chair Blackwell made a motion to approve the remaining items under one vote, which was approved by a 4-1 vote, Councilman Dorn voting no.

Prior to the vote Councilman Dorn ranted about there being 18 committees under the Chairman's appointments as council liaisons to various boards and committees. Dorn stressed that he objected to Chairman Dean Campbell and Vice-chair Genia Blackwell always being on the Finance Committee and said that "other people can count too".

Chairman Campbell explained that the finance committee is made up of the Chair and Vice-chair. Councilman Ashcraft asked if all the information that came out of those meetings is available to council members and the public, which was answered in the affirmative and that the information is also listed on the county website and citizens could review it as well.

Chairman Campbell said Mr. Dorn had only one position and asked how many times he attended the meetings of the PTC Board, which was never. As to appointing him to other positions Campbell simply stated Dorn was appointed to just one, "and we see where that went."

Following the vote, the floor was opened to public comments. One resident stood and stated that Mr. Dorn made the comment that there were 18 committees and of those three people held 13 of them. "Mr. Dorn also brought up a comment about who can count," he said. "There are only 13" (committees) he said, and then left the podium.

Under the administrator's report Mrs. Strom stated that she has been moving forward on studies on the Manor House property the county is considering and said that a review of possible asbestos in the building had been completed. She stated some had been found in a few locations and the estimated cost of abatement would be around $18,000. To get a accurate figure the job would have to be placed out for bids.

Mrs. Strom also reminded council the 1% Sales Tax Committee would be meeting Wednesday night at the council chambers for a work session to discuss potential projects to be presented to the county council by April 1.

Following the meeting council moved into executive session to obtain a legal briefing. Council returned to regular session and the meeting was adjourned with no action taken.

Councilman Norman Dorn did not attend the executive session.

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