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Edgefield County Council Chairman’s October Update
By Dean Campbell
web posted October 16, 2012
EDGEFIELD – Edgefield County has had two
industrial announcements this year by companies that have been in the
county for many years, US Fibers and Bondex. Bondex, the most recent
announcement, has been in Edgefield County since 1997. (US Fibers
announced their expansion earlier this year.) Bondex plans to invest $
6.4 million and create 13 new full time jobs. We are very proud of our
existing industrial companies, and we know that 85 percent of all new
capital investment and job announcements come from these existing
In another announcement I am sure you have seen reported: Enova Energy
Group says it will build a plant along Hwy. 121 between Trenton and
Johnston. Our economic development group, The Economic Development
Partnership (EDP), has met with representatives of this company in the
past. But the company initiated this announcement themselves and,
according to EDP, this announcement was very premature as the company
must first purchase land, secure building permits, have the plant
approved by DHEC and address other items that are typically done prior
to an announcement being done in conjunction with the State of South
Carolina and Edgefield County. We hope to learn more, and we
certainly wish them good luck as their investment and jobs would be
welcomed in Edgefield County.
The $12 million of new investment and 61 new jobs that have been
announced so far this year (Bondex and U.S. Fibers) are one of the best
years Edgefield County has had in the last 5-6 years. If Enova does
come to fruition, it would mean that 2012 would be the best year that
Edgefield County has had in at least 20-plus years.
Economic Development doesn’t happen by accident; it involves a lot of
work. I appreciate the work by The Economic Development Partnership,
County Staff and County Council.
It’s Time to Update the Edgefield County Strategic Plan
The Edgefield County Strategic Plan was adopted by the County Council
in March. We said that after about 6 months or so, we’d like to update
it. That update is scheduled for November 1, 6 p.m., County Council
Chambers in Edgefield.
We invite anyone who wants to attend to come to this meeting. While it
is billed as a meeting of the Steering Committee, anyone can and should
provide input. The Steering Committee is composed of about 30 people
from across the County.
What kind of input are we looking for?
First, we have already completed some parts of the plan. (Go to the
Edgefield County website to learn about them.) Other elements in the
plan have been investigated and are not practical to pursue at this
time. (All of these will be discussed at the meeting!) So, we need to
ensure we continue to add or delete items from the plan so we stay
current and on track with what citizens want.
If you’d like more information, please let me know. I urge you to
Land and Building Being Donated to the County
At the request of Ambassador and Mrs. Cooper, the Sweetwater Community
has offered to donate approximately 4 acres of property along with the
Sweetwater Community Center building located on the property on
Sweetwater Road near Cooper Place subdivision. County Council voted to
have an environmental study conducted on the building and land, prior
to acceptance in order to ensure due diligence. Council will take it up
at the next meeting.
This land could be used for a future fire department. It’s a wonderful
gift and opportunity for our County!
Are Your Taxes Going Up?
In a word, no.
At our Council meeting earlier this month, we received a report from
Edgefield County Auditor Bill Gilchrist. There was a slight increase in
the value of a mill from $71,142 to $71,929, but the millage rate did
not change. That’s a positive for our County.
Preparing for growth
At our meeting earlier this month, Council gave second reading to a
Highway Access Plan. This Plan is meant to establish standards for the
number, location, design, construction, and maintenance of driveways,
acceleration/deceleration lanes, and inter-parcel connections in
Edgefield County in order to improve highway safety in the County. This
new “access management” will only apply to new developments and
renovations or expansions that exceed 50 percent of the appraised value
of the development.
The plan was approved by the Planning Commission, and they recommended
it to County Council for our approval.
I believe this plan is a good step toward making roadways safer by
reducing the number of driveways onto main roads. If you’d like more
information, I encourage you to go to the County’s website to read
about it, call the Administrator or call your Council member.
Update on the ‘Give Food’ Project
Funds are still coming in for this year’s Chairman’s Charity Project:
Give Food. If you’d like to participate, please send your donation to
the Johnston Food Bank now!
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
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.
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.
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.
So far, more than $1,400 has been raised! That’s awesome, and it goes
to an excellent cause. Keep in mind, the Johnston Food Bank can buy
about $5 worth of food for each $1 donated, so the donations so far are
like giving them more than $7,000 to spend!
‘Coffee with the Chairman’ set for October 30
My next “Coffee with the Chairman” is set for Tuesday, October 30,
6:30-7:30 a.m., at Ten Governor’s in Edgefield. I’m there to talk with
folks who get up earlier and/or can’t make an evening meeting. No
formal agenda is planned, so come on down to drink a little coffee and
tell me what’s on your mind!
Hope to see you there!
Until next time,
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