By Betsy Finklea
The Dillon County Council discussed various issues at their regular April meeting.
Glenda Schleich of Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault informed the council that this was Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Prevention Month. She said that Pee Dee Coalition center had moved to a new location in Dillon County and is now located at 1101 Highway 301 North, Dillon. She told the council that the Pee Dee Coalition is dedicated to the reduction of family violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. “It’s a community issue,” Schleich said. She said their services are for all people who want to be free from physical threat and harm. She said last year they served 666 victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse in Dillon County. She said unfortunately the numbers are growing not only in Dillon County, but across the Pee Dee. She thanked the council for all they do to help the agency survive in Dillon County.
In the next item of business, Erin Brown was reappointed to the Pee Dee Workforce Development Board. The motion for the reappointment was approved by the council.
Kenneth Smith of the Dillon County Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) appeared before the council to make a request for support. He said the LTRG has been existence since 2016 in Dillon County. He said in other counties where he has checked the LTRG has received support from the county. He said he wants the LTRG to be a line item in the budget or help finding grants, etc. Smith said that Dillon County LTRG is the number one LTRG in the state. He asked the council for consideration for support. Chairman T.F. “Buzzy” Finklea said that he had seen the LTRG’s work first hand and knows they are doing a good job. He advised Smith to meet with County Administrator Clay Young and make a proposal.
The council took up the following public hearing, ordinance readings, and a resolution:
—A public hearing was held regarding AN ORDINANCE TO POSTPONE THE REASSESSMENT OF DILLON COUNTY PROPERTIES – SC Code 12-43-217. No one signed up to speak.
The council passed the following readings:
• THIRD READING – AN ORDINANCE TO POSTPONE THE REASSESSMENT OF DILLON COUNTY PROPERTIES – SC Code 12-43-217. This reading passed.
• SECOND READING – AN ORDINANCE TO CHANGE ZONING MAP CLASSIFICATION FROM RURAL (RU) TO LIGHT INDUSTRIAL 1 (LD-1) TAX MAP NO: 06-00-00-077 (68.27 ACRES), PROPERTY OWNER(S): MDT HOLDINGS, PROPOSED LOCATION: 791 WEST FAIRFIELD ROAD, DILLON, SC 29536. This reading passed.
• FIRST READING – AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF A FEE IN LIEU OF TAX AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN DILLON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA AND A COMPANY OR COMPANIES KNOWN TO THE COUNTY AT THIS TIME AS PROJECT ASSET WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROPERTY IN THE COUNTY, WHEREBY SUCH PROPERTY WILL BE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES, INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF CERTAIN SPECIAL SOURCE CREDITS; AND OTHER MATTERS RELATED THERETO. This reading passed.
• FIRST READING – An Ordinance to Provide Budget Appropriations for County Purposes in the County of Dillon for the Fiscal Year Beginning July 1, 2021 and Ending June 30, 2022 and Adopt and Implement Rates and Fees, and for Other Tax Purposes and County Appropriation Purposes and to Establish the Tax Millage to Provide for the Budget (Title Only). Councilman Gerome McLeod expressed concerns that he had not seen anything in writing regarding this year’s budget.
Young said that they are collecting information from department heads.
Councilman Gerome McLeod made a motion to table the motion until there is a workshop, seconded by Councilwoman Detrice Dawkins. Finklea asked if a meeting could be called right away so council could discuss it. County Administrator Clay Young said state law requires him to present a balanced budget. He explained the process he has used for 25 years. He said they will have the first reading, then a workshop or two before the second reading, and the third reading by the end of June. Councilman Harold Moody said that the reading that counts is the third reading. He said if council is not satisfied that the third reading can be delayed and a continuing resolution passed until council is ready for the third reading. McLeod’s motion failed. Another motion was made to hold the first reading by title only. This was made by Moody. Councilman Stevie Grice seconded the motion. This motion passed.
• The council passed the following resolution.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF AN INDUCEMENT AGREEMENT AND MILLAGE RATE AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN DILLON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA AND PROJECT ASSET, WHEREBY, UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, DILLON COUNTY WILL EXECUTE A FEE IN LIEU OF TAX AND SPECIAL SOURCE CREDIT AGREEMENT WITH RESPECT TO A PROJECT IN THE COUNTY WHEREBY THE PROJECT WOULD BE SUBJECT TO PAYMENT OF CERTAIN FEES IN LIEU OF TAXES, AND DILLON COUNTY WILL MAKE AVAILABLE CERTAIN CREDITS AGAINST FEE PAYMENTS IN REIMBURSEMENT OF INVESTMENT IN RELATED QUALIFIED INFRASTRUCTURE; AND PROVIDING FOR RELATED MATTERS. This reading passed.
The council also took up the following business:
—Young informed the council about the sound system improvements to be made in the council business. This will enable the council to livestream the meetings if they desire and to use it for Zoom meetings. New microphones and televisions will also be added. It is approximately $9,700.
—Sheheen, Hancock, and Goodwin gave the audit report ending June 30, 2020.
—Young asked the Public Works committee to meet on the Smith and Gardner proposal regarding the improvements at the landfill transfer station.
—Staff member Richard Gaddy got the certification for the mosquito spraying. They will be able to spray without going under someone else’s license. Finklea asked that they start on this right away because mosquitoes are coming out and advertise the schedule to the public.
—Young said the Dillon County Transportation Committee has begun the rocking program, and it should take three to four weeks for all 14 roads to be completed. The Transportation Committee selects the roads.
—The finance report was given.
—Recreation fund requests were made from the Harnethea B. Manning Scholarship Fund, the Paul Chapman Memorial Golf Tournament, and the Shrine Club Golf Tournament.
Prior to the executive session, Councilman Jamal Campbell asked to make comments. Among the topics Campbell covered were accountability, transparency, a conversation he had with Judge Paul Burch regarding the council order and cemetery cleaning, notification of committee meetings, and other issues.
On the matter of cemetery cleaning, Moody said trash gets put in cemeteries by living people. He thinks the county should write citations and should concentrate on preventing the trash from being put there and then they won’t have to worry about cleaning it up.
There was further discussion.
An executive session was held on the following matters: Personnel Matter – Magistrate’s Office, Economic Development Matter- Project Asset. and Economic Development Matter – Contractual Matter (Dillon, Marion, and Marlboro Counties Industrial Park Corporation).
By Betsy Finklea