By Betsy Finklea
The Dillon County Council made decisions about various economic development matters at their meeting recently.
The first matter that was dealt with was the confusion that resulted over the Dillon County Public-Private Partnership economic development board.
A few weeks ago, the Dillon County Council approved the members of the Dillon County Public-Private Partnership Economic Development Board.
There was some controversy over the matter because while House Representative Jackie Hayes proposed Bo McInnis’ name as his designee for the board, Hayes himself was approved.
McInnis later withdrew his name from consideration because of the controversy and the fact that he said it had become a distraction. (See stories on our website, www.thedillonherald. com.)
At the council’s meeting, Attorney Dan Shine explained that certain ex-officio seats on the board were identified by position and an ex-officio member wanted to send a designee.
The council agreed to add to the ordinance the words “or his designee” with these positions. Motion was made by Councilman Harold Moody and seconded by Aron Gandy to pass the first reading of this change. There must be three readings and a public hearing before it becomes official.
Later in the meeting, Councilman Archie Scott addressed Bo McInnis who was at the meeting.
Scott said McInnis had worked to get the board off the ground and said it was alarming to him that McInnis alluded in the newspaper that someone did not want him on the board. Scott said he would be in favor of McInnis serving on the board.
Scott asked McInnis if he was still withdrawing his name. McInnis said yes.
Scott then said in a question-type tone “You are doing this because you don’t want to be a part…You are withdrawing your name.” McInnis said yes. Scott said he wanted that to be clear.
After an executive session, the council made further decisions. Councilman Archie Scott made a motion to match a $25,000 grant from NESA (North Eastern Strategic Alliance) to advertise economic development. The motion was seconded by Councilman Andrew Graves, and the motion carried. NESA is “ a regional economic development organization that serves a nine-county region in the northeast corner of South Carolina. NESA’s primary objective is to significantly enhance the quality of life for residents of the region by creating additional jobs and capital investment within the existing industry base, recruiting new companies and expanding tourism-related development,” according to the NESA website.
Councilman H. Moody made a further motion that:
1) The Dillon County I-95 Industrial megasite will be a Dillon County project only with Marlboro Electric and the Palmetto Economic Development Corporation.
2) The entrance to the industrial park will remain where it is unless a prospective client requests that it be moved.
3) The Dillon County megasite will be marketed as one tract.
This motion was also passed by council.