County Tables Vote on Cars, Road Name

WINNSBORO – After considerable debate, County Council tabled two items on Monday night’s agenda – what to do with surplus vehicles and whether or not to approve a name change for a road in Western Fairfield County.

The County has only recently upgraded its fleet of vehicles with eight new cars last month and plans on adding eight more, pending the recommendation of the Administration and Finance Committee, which met prior to Monday’s full Council meeting. Chairman David Ferguson (District 5) said that in the past, the County has donated used vehicles to Fairfield Memorial Hospital, the towns of Ridgeway and Winnsboro and has contributed several to the Fairfield County School District for use at the Career Center’s auto mechanic’s courses. Ferguson placed the motion on the floor to “continue that policy” of donation, and while it received a second from Councilwoman Mary Lynn Kinley (District 6), Councilwoman Carolyn Robinson (District 2) said the “policy” was not actually a policy and that Council may want to consider selling some, if not all, of the used vehicles at auction.

“It was a motion from 2002 for the administrator to do as he saw fit and some of the recommendations were to give to the town of Winnsboro and to the hospital,” Robinson said, “But that’s only a motion, that’s not a policy, per se; therefore, motions as I see them are only good for two years. They’re not like ordinances that last.”

Robinson said she felt that some of the vehicles might fetch at least $1,000 or more at auction; although, she added, the ones worth much less – between $200 and $300 – might still be donated to the Career Center.

“A Crown Victoria will bring $900 to $1,200 at sale,” Councilman David Brown (District 7) said. Notices should be sent to the county’s municipalities, as well as the hospital and the school district, he said, to see if they are in need of vehicles before they are sent to auction.

“Maybe we can get some feedback on this process when we have taken vehicles out of circulation and put in position when they’re taken to auction,” Vice Chairman Dwayne Perry (District 1) said. “What has that process looked like and what kind of financial return have we gotten from taking those vehicles there? Maybe we can have that information brought back to us before we make a decision on it tonight.”

But Ferguson amended his motion to include potential donations to any municipality that would come before Council and request a used vehicle. Robinson amended the motion further to include contacting the various potential recipients of used vehicles to assess their need.

“I just don’t see us sending all eight vehicles out to the school,” Robinson said. “Those kids can only do so much work on so many vehicles in a year. I would like to see this motion tabled.”

Ferguson ultimately agreed and tabled the motion until Council’s April 14 meeting.

“OK. I would just like to make it absolutely clear that the school system in this county does not have the funds to buy cars and equipment for those young people to learn on,” Ferguson said. “It’s the cheapest way to educate the young people in this county, these things we’re taking off the road and getting a small amount of money for.”

Just last week, however, when discussing the distribution of funds from the County’s many fee-in-lieu of taxes agreements with local industries, Ferguson told The Voice that the school district was doing just fine financially.

“With the school funding where it’s at, being near the top in the state, we’re not in bad shape as far as that goes,” Ferguson said last week.

A motion to rename High Hill Lane to Wylie Lane was also tabled after Robinson noted that the petition on the application, which came through the County’s Planning & Zoning Department, appeared suspect.

“The first three names on the list were signed by the same person,” Robinson said, examining the petition through reading glasses.

Milton Pope, Interim County Administrator, said that the list of signatures was provided by the applicant, whom Planning & Zoning Director Tim Roseboro confirmed as Thelma W. Brown.

“She’s the third name on the list,” Robinson said.

Councilman Kamau Marcharia (District 4), in whose district the road lies, suggested sending the application back to Planning & Zoning for verification. In order to change the name of a road, Marcharia noted, the applicant must first acquire the signatures of 75 percent of residents owning property on the road.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]