Council Gives Second Reading to I-77 Land Deals

Courthouse Move Clears First Legal Hurdle

WINNSBORO (July 14, 2016) – Still divulging little about the proposed land purchase for the County’s new economic development project, County Council gave a second reading Monday night of Ordinance No. 668 authorizing the execution and delivery of an agreement between Fairfield County and the S.C. Department Of Commerce and authorizing the acquisition of certain real property located in Fairfield County.

Jason Taylor, County Administrator, explained that the ordinance commits Fairfield County to spending $3 million, which will leverage $9 million and possibly more to purchase these properties and make improvements to encourage “large economic development” in the county.

Councilman Dan Ruff (District 1) recused himself (though not required by the State Ethics Commission) from the meeting since the second reading would concern property that his family owns.

According to Taylor, there were slight changes from the first reading to the second reading – the second reading differentiates between “key” properties and “option” properties and adds tax map numbers to clarify what properties the ordinance includes.

New Hires

A bright spot during the Council’s meeting Monday night was Taylor’s budgetary updates, which showed the County moving forward with several new positions and service expansion budgeted for this year.

Taylor said he plans to move forward with advertising several new positions in County government, including one for another person in the Economic Development office to work with new Economic Development Director Ty Davenport; $45,000 has been approved for this position.

Other new positions included in the budget are a food service supervisor in the detention center; a K-9 handler for the Sheriff’s Office; and temporary positions in the Recreation Department for the new parks.

Taylor also said that the recycling center will now be open to the public on Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Courthouse Update

Taylor also gave a brief update on the Courthouse replacement project. He said that the Council has now obtained the approval of the Chief Circuit Court judge and the clerk of court, and is working to obtain the approval from the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court of the plan to relocate the Courthouse to a new facility that will be built on land the county owns on S. Congress Street just down from the current Robert Mills-designed Courthouse.

Finally, Shryll Brown, Clerk to Council, announced that the next County Council meeting would be Tuesday, July 26, and not Monday, July 25, as originally scheduled.

 

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