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Edgefield County Council Chairman’s Update
web posted March 11, 2013
COUNTY – Edgefield County Council Chairman
Dean Campbell has issued his most recent "Chairman's Update" today
concerning county issues, plans and progress.
Council holds works session on Land Development ordinance
At a called meeting at the end of February, the County Council took
action to iron out the wrinkles in a land development ordinance we have
been discussing since early November. (The County’s Planning Commission
began discussions on it last summer, so the issue has been on the table
for some time.)
It may not sound like a glitzy topic, but I believe it will play an
important role as our County develops.
While we have discussed the details at various meetings, the Economic
Development Committee, an advisory group for the County Council, as
well as the Upper Savannah Council of Governments, reviewed the
ordinance and gave us some specific changes, which we passed.
Keep in mind the genesis of this ordinance goes back to the Edgefield
County Strategic Plan, which was discussed at numerous stakeholder and
public meetings more than a year ago, held specifically to gather input
on what the County needs to focus on for the next few years.
It’s an important ordinance that I believe should help protect property
values, improve the way future development will look across every part
of the County, and will have a positive impact on economic development.
The Planning Commission will review our recommendations one more time
at its meeting this month, and then it will be on the Council’s April
agenda for final approval. You’ll find the ordinance on the County’s
website, if you’d like to review the details and offer any input to us.
New EMS billing company chosen
At the County Council meeting on Tuesday, the County selected a new
automated billing and collections company for Emergency Medical
Services provided by Edgefield County EMS. That company is called
EMS/MC. They will be responsible for filing claims with private
insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid and private citizens. They will
receive payment from the County as a direct result of collections. The
County will reimburse EMS/MC at 6.5% of any collections that they
receive for the County.
State recreation money spending
Also at the Council meeting on Tuesday, the County Council also
discussed spending PARD funds, which are funds that come from the state
for use only on recreation. Edgefield County had $16,717.44 total to
spend in PARD money but $7,280 must be spent by May 2013 or we lose it.
The Council decided to pay for the Sweetwater Community Center
structural assessment and site assessment at $8,700, which we need to
do to determine if the building can be renovated. We also agreed to
spend about $1,300 to put cement floors in the dugouts at Bettis Park.
Highway Overlay District passes
Recommended by the Planning Commission, this ordinance, which passed
Tuesday night, allows County Council to place a highway overlay
district on any area approved by Council. The overlay provides
regulations that are somewhat stricter than the zoning regulations
currently in place as a benefit for citizens.
This Plan places guidelines for signs, open space, parking, buffering,
architecture, landscaping, etc. for all new construction and major
expansion or developments other than single family residential that
wish to locate within this district.
The highway overlay applies to Murrah Road Extension, Five Notch Road
from the Aiken County line to Murrah Road Extension, and Sweetwater
Road from the intersection of Five Notch Road to the Aiken County line.
Additional areas could be added in the future through three readings by
County Council began discussing this issue in its September meeting,
and this topic is also a part of the Edgefield County Strategic Plan.
Just like the Land Development ordinance discussed earlier, this
Highway Overlay has the potential to attract development into our
County. It covers only a small area today, but when others see what
good can come out of it, I think other parts of the County may want to
do the same thing.
Preparing for a rebid in our auditors contract
To prepare us to rebid our contract for third-party auditors, County
Council agreed on Tuesday night to purchase some financial software at
a cost of about $1,000 per year so our Financial Director can be
trained during this year's audit to produce the County's financial
statements. Currently, it costs about $5,000 per year to produce the
statements since the current auditors do it for us. By going in this
direction, we will cause the bid prices for the audit to be more
reasonable, while saving the County some money, when we rebid the
contract for auditors in the next year.
Resolution on solid waste disposal passes
The County Council approved a Resolution emphasizing Edgefield County
Council's opposition to the special interest-focused legislation
pending in the South Carolina General Assembly on how solid waste is
handled. Our Council agreed that this proposed law is an effort to
circumvent home rule.
Specifically, the South Carolina legislators are considering a solid
waste bill that would greatly hinder operations within Edgefield
County, as well as counties all over the state. Currently, about
$900,000 is in the Edgefield County budget to pay for solid waste
disposal for Edgefield County citizens. The funds come from taxpayers,
who pay an $80 fee to the County. If this bill passes, the state will
cause that amount to rise to a level unknown at this time. In addition,
it creates a lot of risk in how solid waste is handled. It’s really a
lose-lose proposition some in the State Legislature are pushing.
Until next time,
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