Jenkinsville again declared a town

JENKINSVILLE – This tiny town of 83 residents will get to keep its charter after all.

After a brief scare, the Town of Jenkinsville recently learned that its town charter would not be revoked over its sparse population after state officials confirmed the town has more than 50 residents, enough to remain incorporated.

Mayor Greg Ginyard told The Voice he thinks the undercount occurred because census workers canvassed the town during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They didn’t have a handle on the coronavirus. People were dying,” Ginyard said. “When people came around doing the census, people weren’t opening their doors. We were positive we had more than 50 people.”

On October 19, S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond informed the town that its charter would not be revoked, noting that the town’s population of 83 residents satisfied state law requirements.

“It appears that the population of Jenkinsville is over fifty inhabitants, and that [state law] is not presently applicable,” the letter states. “For that reason, our office will not remove the Town of Jenkinsville from the listing of chartered municipalities at this time.”

According to state law, all S.C. municipalities must maintain a population of 50 or more residents. Those that fail to meet the requirements risk losing their charter altogether.

That happened to the Orangeburg County town of Cope, which recently saw its population dwindle to 37 residents, according to Secretary of State documents.

Ten other municipalities have fewer than 100 residents, though none of them fell below 50, according to the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

Those towns include Peak (51), Govan (56), Ulmer (65), Jamestown (68), Plum Branch (72), Tatum (78), Lodge (82), Troy (83), Murat (98), and Williams, (98), according to the association.

Jenkinsville appeared to plunge below the threshold of 50 residents in 2020, when census figures pegged the town’s population at 40 residents. The Secretary of State notified Jenkinsville officials of the apparent breach on Oct. 4.

“The Town of Jenkinsville was incorporated in 2008; however, since that time, its population appears to have declined below the level required to maintain its status as a municipality,” a Secretary of State Office letter states. “Without additional information to the contrary, the certificate of incorporation would be forfeited and void pursuant to [state law].”

Ginyard, the town’s mayor, provided that information in the form of signatures from 83 residents verified by the Secretary of State’s office.

In an affidavit, Ginyard stated that he emailed a list of 83 residents and their addresses to the state.

“I hereby attest and certify that the list of citizens with the addresses and number of citizens living at each address within the Town of Jenkinsville is a true and accurate list of all the citizens of Jenkinsville, South Carolina as of Oct. 12, 2023,” Ginyard stated in the affidavit. “There are currently a title of 83 residents within the Town of Jenkinsville.”

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