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Horton named to county economic development board

Posted: January 24, 2013 5:29 p.m.
Updated: January 25, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Horton will be adding a new element to her role in the business community after being appointed Tuesday to the Kershaw County Economic Advisory Council.

Selected as a replacement for outgoing member Karen Eckford, Horton’s appointment was approved unanimously by Kershaw County Council on a 6-0 with Councilman Sammie Tucker Jr. absent. Eckford resigned from the group after being appointed by council to the KershawHealth Board of Trustees in September.

Horton said she hopes her knowledge of local businesses will be beneficial to the advisory council’s efforts. 

“The more we understand the needs and challenges of our existing businesses in the county, the better able we will be in understanding and meeting the needs of a new industry considering locating to Kershaw County,” Horton said.

After making the appointment, Council Chairman Gene Wise emphasized Horton’s importance as a member.

“You will be the key person on that committee. The focus is to ensure that Kershaw County has a competitive advantage in all the criteria that developers look for,” Wise said. “I’m looking forward to having you push that agenda.”

Kershaw County Economic Development Director Peggy McLean described the group as a nine-member board tasked with advising county council on matters of economic development.

“We look to them to provide input from a community perspective,” McLean said.

Others members of the advisory council include Councilmen Tucker, Jimmy Jones and C.R. Miles; Joe Herlong; Tim Hopkins; Walter Long; Chuck Nash; and Richard Nelson. 

Also Tuesday, council unanimously approved a $42,217 bid from Wally’s Fire and Safety in Mullins to provide bunker gear to the Kershaw County Fire Department. At its Jan. 8 meeting, council voted to award Nafeco Inc. of Rock Hill a $42,110 contract to provide the gear, but the company had not considered the total sales tax value when making its bid. Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter noted the funds required to pay for the bunker gear were already incorporated into the county’s budget.

Council also unanimously approved third reading of an ordinance authorizing the conveyance of real property on Pheasant Walk in Elgin. Carpenter previously indicated the proposal was related to a “sliver” of property that needs to be paved. Additionally, council unanimously approved third reading of a zoning reclassification of the Sun Valley subdivision in Elgin

Carpenter’s performance as administrator was also discussed during an executive session.  

During Carpenter’s administrative briefing Tuesday, he applauded council for its collaboration and effort during a strategic planning retreat held Jan. 12 at the Shaw Recreation Area on Lake Wateree.

A number of goals and objectives were hashed out by council as they planned for 2013, including:

• addressing services duplicated by the city of Camden and Kershaw County;

• continuing the development of industrial parks;

• findings ways to collaborate and achieve cost savings with the county’s sewer system;

• focusing on infrastructure needs, including roads, bridges, and telecommunication services;

• addressing recreational needs to include upgrades to facilities and identifying potential revenue sources to met recreation goals; 

• maintaining a volunteer fire department;

• balancing funding requests from local entities;

• handling expenses and other details related to a pending death penalty trial of Nickolas Jermaine Miller, charged with the Dec. 2011 murder of Beverly Hope Melton;

• finding ways to demonstrate the effectiveness of the county’s solid waste fee instituted in June;

• promoting the development and growth of industrial prospects; and

• continuing efforts for synergy and collaboration between the county and the city of Camden.

Carpenter noted the goals and priorities set by council during the retreat should be considered the beginning of the county’s budget process.

County staff will be presented with the objectives and instructed to “ensure that what is important to the council be reflected, where appropriate, in the budget,” Carpenter said. He said each department’s budget is due Feb. 1 and that administration will be working with the department heads to formulate budget proposals.

Council will then begin budget workshops in March with the goal of a budget being presented to council for first reading May 14 and third and final reading scheduled for June 11.

Carpenter said he hopes the budget will be formalized and approved in a “timely fashion” before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

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