By Betsy Finklea
The Dillon County Council learned at their meeting recently that the S.C. Forestry Commission wants to charge the county for using one acre of their Dillon County Fire Tower site as a convenience (trash) center.
The state has not been charging the county for use of the property located at 2305 North Highway 301, Dillon, for the past 16 years. The lease expired on the property on June 30, 2010.
A letter to the county from David P. Owen, S.C. Forestry Commission and Property manager, in July 2010, a fair market land rent appraisal was done and based on that, it was determined that the lease payment for the county would be $5,400 a year.
A reduction was to be given for one year, and they now want approximately $2,500. The council was given 60 days to make a decision.
Councilman Harold Moody said he hated to pay rent on something they were getting for free, and he would like to see if they could negotiate a better deal.
Both H. Moody and Council Macio Williamson both pointed out that the county picks up the tab on some things in the county that are state-related.
H. Moody said he was very disappointed on how this has been handled.
Moody made a motion to pay the $2,830 because the county was “over a barrel” and the only other alternative would be to close the site,, which was approved.
County Administrator Clay Young said he would ask for the year to start from the date of the check. This will give council time to look into this situation further. In other action:
– Councilman Williamson said there were huge potholes at some of the convenience sites that need to be addressed.
– Young stated that the current taxes are in line with the projections. The number of federal prisoners are down from what was projected. Young said the county appears to be okay for this fiscal year as long as there are no cuts.
– Young gave council a proposed budget schedule.
– Councilman Andrew Graves said the building committee met and the building committee met and the city-county complex roof needed to be addressed in short order. They are also looking at the recycling center roof. He discussed other building needs.
– The council passed the first reading of the following ordinances: 1- Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of General Obligation Bonds not exceeding $1,000,000, Series 2011A and 2- Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance and Sale of General Obligation Refunding Bonds not exceeding $985,000, Series 2011B.
By Betsy Finklea