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Edgefield County Council Chairman’s Update
By Dean Campbell
web posted September 10 2012
COUNTY – In August, the County Council
began this year’s round of “field trips” to various meetings held by
other elected and appointed groups in Edgefield County. It’s a great
way to keep each group informed on what’s going on and how we can
assist each other.
So far, we have been to Town Council Meetings in Edgefield, Trenton and
Johnston. We have also met with the Edgefield County Legislative
Delegation and Edgefield County Water and Sewer Authority. We will meet
with the Edgefield County School Board on September 11 at their
regularly scheduled meeting.
At each stop, we have learned about what each entity was working on,
and they learned more about the County’s work and goals. I specifically
concentrated on the Edgefield County Strategic Plan, put together by
citizens and adopted unanimously by Edgefield County Council earlier
this year. It is the one place where all these groups see an
intersection of work to be accomplished.
I look forward to continuing these opportunities for governmental
officials to share information. It is a great benefit to taxpayers that
we continue to understand each other’s goals and plans.
County Council Meeting
The County Council moved its September meeting to September 10, due to
a scheduling conflict. We hope to see you there!
Kicking off the ‘Give Food’ Project
I have officially kicked off this year’s Chairman’s Charity Project:
With the growing need for food among low income residents in Edgefield
County, the Give Food Project is one in which everyone can make a huge
Proceeds from the Give Food Project will be given to the Johnston Food
Bank, which services many citizens in Edgefield County. About 64
percent of the Food Bank’s clients are from Johnston, with 23 percent
from Edgefield, 10 percent from Trenton, and about 3 percent from North
Augusta or Modoc.
Last year, I sponsored the Give Heat Project, which raised money to
help pay utility bills for local citizens who qualified for help during
the winter months. The Edgefield County Department of Social Services,
which administered the program, spent more than $10,000 from federal
money and local donations to help pay utility bills of many citizens.
Thanks to a warm winter, DSS still has about $2,000 in seed money to
help the needy this year with their utility bills.
Deborah Henderson, Johnston Food Bank Director, told me the citizens
they serve are truly needy, which is verified by those in charge of the
local Food Bank. The amount of food given to families each month is
based on USDA financial guidelines.
The statistics show the need for food is going up in Edgefield County.
In 2010, the Food Bank served an average of 116 families per month.
That figure jumped in 2011 to an average of 148 families per month. So
far in 2012, the average has risen to 171 families per month.
With the increase in the number of families served and the rise in the
cost of food distributed, the Food Bank is spending more each month. In
2011, they averaged spending $911 per month. So far this year, their
average is $1,580 per month.
Did you know that a donation of $1 can buy $5 worth of food, since the
Food Bank can purchase food more inexpensively because of its mission?
Monetary donations can be mailed directly to the Johnston Food Bank c/o
Deborah Henderson, 97 Weaver Rd., Johnston. Citizens can drop food off
at the Food Bank, 505 Academy St., Johnston. (Where the old Mobley
Library used to be located.) Anyone planning to drop off food should
call Deborah at 275-1953 or 480-0678 before doing so.
The Project runs during the month of September. I am asking citizens to
join me this month by making a donation of cash or food to the Johnston
Food Bank! It will be greatly appreciated.
Meeting in Merriwether last Month
I was invited to attend a panel discussion with the Merriwether
Community Coalition, as that group of citizens discussed their future.
On the panel were Vice Chair Genia Blackwell, Sen. Shane Massey, County
Administrator Lynn Strom, County Development Services Director Roger
LeDuc, Sheriff Adell Dobey and North Augusta Administrator Todd Glover.
There was a great discussion on numerous topics during the meeting.
While there was a lot of information covered, here’s a very brief
snapshot of just a few of them:
· Todd Glover
said there is no plan for North Augusta to annex any additional land in
Edgefield County unless landowners approach them first.
Blackwell and Roger LeDuc explained, among other things, how a draft
Highway Overlay District would work, since it is being proposed for
part of Martintown Road in the Merriwether area.
· Shane Massey
praised the Edgefield County Strategic Plan, saying that it was a
roadmap that includes the Merriwether Area.
· Sheriff Dobey
said he was thankful to get two new deputy positions this year, but
added that more will be necessary to reduce response times.
· Lynn Strom
discussed some details of the Strategic Plan.
I congratulate the Coalition for working to determine their future.
This meeting was a good step for them. Meetings like these with
citizens help ensure everyone is on the same page in how growth will
‘Coffee with the Chairman’ Update
Thanks to all who came out to my “Coffee with the Chairman” at
McDonald’s in Edgefield last month. It was great to drink a little
coffee and hear what’s on your mind! My next “Coffee” will be held in
October. Stay tuned for details!
Until next time,
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