County passes on 14 acres; reconsiders 2-acre Presbyterian Church property

WINNSBORO – During the public comment period of County Council’s meeting Monday evening, a Winnsboro resident questioned Council’s wisdom in purchasing 14 acres for a fire station when the County Assessor told her the average acreage for a fire station in Fairfield County is two acres.

“What will the other two acres be used for?” Yvette Howard asked.

Before that question was answered, Councilman Dan Ruff had some questions of his own about the purchase.

“What happened to the two acres that was supposed to be donated to the County by the Presbyterian Church several months ago (LW Presbyterian gives land for county facility, July 6, 2017 issue of The Voice),” Ruff asked.

“They (the church) have not donated the land as of this date, but we will probably revisit that,” County Administrator Jason Taylor said.

“I have a meeting on Jan. 6 with a lady who is going to donate it to the County,” Jimmy Ray Douglas chimed in. “We’ll accept the property for a fire station there.”

“I don’t understand why we jumped ahead from the donated two acres to pursuing the 14 acres,” Ruff said. “I don’t understand why we went that route when we had enough land to build it if we had just waited,” Ruff said.

Douglas said the church voted to donate the land but the Presbytery took more than two months to get back to the church.

“I was looking for a place to put the fire station if this particular property wouldn’t be gifted to us. I found the 14 acres, but Crescent had put in the deeds that nothing could be built except residential uses,” Douglas said.

“So that just about killed the 14 acres. Crescent offered to give the 14 acres for the roll back taxes they owed on the property. It would have been a wash – free, more or less. On Jan. 6 I’ll have a discussion with the woman who wants to give us the two acres. I’ll have a discussion with her and talk with Mr. Taylor,” Douglas said.

“I just think we need to be patient on this a little bit,” Ruff said.