Council OK’s Restaurant, School Ordinances

WINNSBORO – County Council gave the final OK on Oct. 12 to rezoning ordinances that will pave the way for a restaurant near the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville and a special needs school in Ridgeway, while also approving more than $400,000 in capital expenditures forwarded by the Administration and Finance Committee.

Council unanimously approved final reading to rezone from RD-1 (Rural Residential) to RC (Rural Community 3 acres at 631 Longtown Road in Ridgeway. Owned by Tom Brice Hall, the property will be the site of the Barclay School for special needs students. A similar ordinance to rezone 3 acres at 16482 Highway 215 S. also passed without dissent, but not without comment from Councilman Kamau Marcharia, in whose district (4) the proposed restaurant would be.

The property is owned by Anne F. Melton. The applicant for the rezoning is D. Melton, who operates the Broad River Campground at the same address. D. Melton told The Voice after first reading of the ordinance last month that he plans to drill a well on the property in order to meet the needs of the restaurant. With a well, Melton would not have to go through the Jenkinsville Water Company to acquire water, a company with which he is engaged in a lawsuit over providing additional water to his campground.

“There’s a lot of opposition to this in my district,” Marcharia said, “a lot of opposition, even though people haven’t come here. There’s also some support for this. I believe there’s a conflict of kind of invading another water provider’s territory. But that’s not up to us; that’s up to DHEC and the courts if they get into a fight about that.”

Marcharia, who voted in favor of the first two readings of the ordinance, also voted in favor of final reading Monday night. His vote, however, was a matter of parliamentary procedure, he said.

“If I didn’t vote for it, I would have no more say-so if the issue became relevant,” Marcharia said. “So if I need to ever bring this motion back up again, by me voting for it I can do that. You probably need to know that.”

While no one representing Melton spoke at Council’s Sept. 14 public hearing on the ordinance, one neighbor of the campground took to the podium in opposition.

“We’d like the community to stay as it is, and not have so much going on across the road,” Carol Keever told Council. “He (Melton) knew when he put that campground over there, there wasn’t anything close by for the people to go to. The people living in the area do not want it rezoned for a restaurant there.”

Expenditures

Council gave approval to the purchase of a 2015 Dodge ambulance package for the County’s EMS Department at a cost of $180,364, slightly under the $190,000 Council had original budgeted.

Two brush trucks and two service trucks for Fire Service, at a cost of $157,296, also received Council’s approval. The trucks came in at $10,266 more than budgeted, which will require some cuts to the department’s operational budget. One brush truck and one service truck are slated for the Greenbrier department, with another service truck earmarked for Ridgeway and another brush truck for Lebanon.

Council also approved the purchase of a backhoe for the Public Works Department for a cost of $68,706 – less than the $80,000 budgeted for the item, and a Chevrolet Colorado four-wheel drive pickup truck to replace a Ford Taurus station wagon for the Tax Assessor’s Office at $24,033. The A&F Committee OK’d the purchase at their Sept. 28 meeting, at which time the Colorado appeared to have exceeded its $26,000 budget by $126. Monday night, Interim County Administrator Milton Pope told Council an alternate pickup truck had been found.

Administrator Search

Following executive session, Council voted unanimously to hire the Waters and Company Administrator Search Firm to assist the County in finding and hiring a permanent full-time County Administrator. Milton Pope has served as Interim Administrator since July 2013, following the resignation of Phil Hinely.