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1% Sales Tax Commission Hears From Elected Officials

web posted December 18, 2013

EDGEFIELD The Capital Project Sales Tax Commission held a meeting Tuesday night to hear from elected officials from the three municipalities, the school district, and county officials in order to begin listing potential projects. There were no representatives from Trenton, Edgefield or the School District at the meeting.

Chairman T. C. McCain called the meeting to order and heard from Johnston Mayor Andy Livingston first. Mayor Livingston said there has not been a lot of discussion by the town council on the matter, but did state that two potential uses from the town's perspective would be renovating the warehouse on Calhoun Street and upgrades to the old armory, which will need asbestos abatement.

Sheriff Adell Dobey spoke next and informed the commission about the need for expansion of the detention center and the Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Dobey said the current location was built in the early 1980's and is too small to handle the growth in both inmates and personnel over the years.

The Sheriff also explained problems with the current facility that were due to poor planning when it was built. Due to the amount of water coming from the hill behind the detention center, hydrostatic pressure has created moisture problems that have been ongoing for years.

Edgefield County Council Chairman Dean Campbell addressed the commission and hoped that potential project requests will come in large numbers so the commission can narrow the list to present to the council. Campbell told the commission to keep their list of projects varied and hoped it would include all parts of the county. If the list is too narrow, two or three in a condensed area of the county, "the voters will reject it," Campbell said.

Vice-chair Genia Blackwell also spoke of keeping the projects diversified and reiterated Campbell's suggestion to hold meetings in different parts of the county, including Merriwether. Blackwell said she wanted the commission to remember they were taxpayers and to take all considerations with the taxpayers in mind.

County Treasurer Arleen Traxler told the commission that it was important to educate the public by reminding them that the first referendum by the school district to build schools failed the first time around. She said after the public learned that it was a benefit to the county as a whole the referendum passed.

The commission stated they would like a "fact sheet" explaining the process and the duties of the commission to be available for the general public, hopefully in time for the next meeting.

Two meeting were scheduled, the first on January 8 and a Public Hearing on January 28, both at 6 pm at the County Council Chambers.

With no other business the meeting was adjourned.

Although all local media was notified about the meeting, Edgefield Daily was the only one present.

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