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KCC looks to finalize updated plan

Posted: December 7, 2012 6:05 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council will consider third reading and hold a public hearing concerning a five-year review of the county’s comprehensive plan during its meeting Tuesday.

Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter described the plan as providing a “snapshot of where the county would like to be in a variety of areas, including infrastructure, facilities, programs, and services.”

Under the Planning Enabling Act of 1994, state law requires the county’s planning commission to perform a five year update of the comprehensive plan. After being developed by the commission, it was presented to council for first reading during its Nov. 13 meeting.

The plan includes sections related to the county’s housing availability, cultural resources, transportation needs, and priority investment projects. A number of recommended capital projects and improvements are listed in the plan, including:

• assessing the condition of the county’s correctional facility;

• identifying bridges that may require replacement;

• transitioning the county’s fire department from a volunteer staff to a full time, paid service supplemented by volunteers;

•upgrading the county’s sewer and waste water treatment plant to improve its capacity;

•upgrading the county courthouse;

•improving the condition of the county’s library;

•assessing the county’s recreational facilities; and

•updating the county’s solid waste and recycling centers.

Council will also hear an accommodations tax (A-tax) funding request presentation from representatives of the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce. According to the S.C. Department of Revenue, an A-tax is imposed on the gross proceeds derived from charges for any room, lodging or sleeping accommodations furnished by a hotel in the area.

During council’s Nov. 12 meeting, Carpenter said approximately $300,000 in funds were available from the accommodations tax. However, council appropriated $50,000 of those funds to the Fine Arts Center (FAC) of Kershaw County, leaving about $250,000 available. The available funds are not recurring money, but an accrued balance.

The chamber is requesting $45,000 in A-tax funds toward repairs to historic Robert Mills Courthouse, which serves as the chamber’s home. The restoration project would likely begin in January. As part of the request, Chamber Executive Director Liz Horton noted that while the chamber’s visitor center functions are not a “festival,” those functions serve as an on-going project for the county.

“The visitors center provides visitors with information, directions prior to and during their visits, information about local businesses and attractions, and also serves as a welcomed rest stop for many travelers,” Horton said in her written request. “The operation and upkeep of a first class visitors center is a key ingredient to drawing visitors to the county.”

The proposed funds would be appropriated for:

•repainting of the exterior of the chamber’s building at a cost of $25,000;

•water seepage repairs and interior painting costing $5,000;

•installation of storm windows and interior application at a cost of $12,000; and

•parking lot repairs, resurfacing, and restriping costing $3,000.

Council will also hold a public hearing in regards to grant funding recently distributed to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO). According to information attached to Tuesday’s agenda, the KCSO has been awarded $16,305 as part of grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The funds were dispersed as part of DOJ’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant program.

Council will also consider a resolution setting its regular meeting schedule for 2013.

Other items on council’s agenda include:

•first reading of an ordinance rezoning property on Sun Valley Drive in Elgin. The land would be rezoned from R-15 (low density, single-family residential district) to RD-2 (rural resource district).

•first reading of an ordinance authorizing the conveyance of real property on Pheasant Walk in Elgin. According to information provided in council’s agenda, the county has requested rights of way and drainage easements at 2521 and 2529 Pheasant Walk in Elgin.

•a presentation from the Equine Center; and

•a presentation and financial audit report from the accounting firm of Sheheen, Hancock, and Godwin.

Tuesday’s meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at the Kershaw County Government Center on Walnut Street in Camden and is open to the public.


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