County Bumps Up LOST Credit

WINNSBORO – Fairfield County taxpayers should see some additional relief in their property tax notices this year, according to County Administrator Milton Pope, who requested from Council during their Oct. 13 meeting the adoption of a resolution giving him the authority to increase the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) estimate by $315,861.

“This does not change our budget in any way, nor does it impact our millage,” Pope said. “However, based upon our no-tax-increase budget that we adopted, when the property tax bills do go out, the County millage is actually being reduced in the County operating millage by 2.5 mills.”

Pope told The Voice last week that the LOST increase bumps the estimated tax credit up from $1,780,974 to $2,096,835.

Council gave unanimous approval to the resolution, as well as to a second resolution expressing support for a S.C. Association of Counties initiative, requesting the General Assembly to fully fund the Local Government Fund.

Pope said the fund had not been fully endowed for a number of years, and this year the state was working with surplus dollars in its budget. It is not, he stressed, a request for additional money from the state.

“No one is asking for any more money than what the formula holds,” Pope said. “What (all 46 counties) are asking for is for the state to fully fund all counties and municipalities by the formula.”

Strategic Plan

Pope also reported to Council that the County had received the final draft of its agreement with the Central Midlands Council of Governments (COG) to engage the COG to formulate a long-range plan for utilizing the anticipated revenues from the two new reactors under construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville. Council Chairman David Ferguson asked Council to review the document and forward any questions to Pope by the end of the week. If necessary, Ferguson said, a work session would be held next week to hammer out any remaining kinks prior to final approval.

Center Creek Road

Council also gave the OK for the purchase of slightly less than 4 acres of property at the corner of Shumaker Drive and Center Creek Road for $25,000. The property, which is currently owned by Edith Clarke, Pope said, would be the site of a new mini park. The park is a small piece of the County’s recreation plan utilizing $3.5 million out of last year’s $24.6 million bond issue.

Pope said the District 5 park will include a walking trail and picnic shelters.

Ordinances

Council passed third and final reading on an ordinance transferring a plot of County owned land located at 205 Means St. in Ridgeway to the Town of Ridgeway. Ridgeway Town Council has had designs on the property for a few years for use as a community garden.

A public hearing on an ordinance to convey to Blackwelder Heating & Air, Inc. the abandoned County road known as Road 129, which encircles the property formerly known as the Sewing Room, was put on hold Monday night, as Pope told Council negotiations were still ongoing with the adjacent property owners.

First reading of an ordinance to rezone .46 of an acre of property at 2183 Dave Cole Road in Blair from General Business District (B-2) to Rural Residential District (RD-1) also passed Council Monday without opposition.

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