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KCC amends budget to send SRO funds to CPD

Posted: May 30, 2013 5:03 p.m.
Updated: May 31, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council amended its proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget in order to transfer funding for Camden-based school resource officers (SROs) from the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) to the Camden Police Department (CPD). Council took up the amendment as part of second reading of the proposed budget during its meeting Tuesday.

The funds will actually be turned over to the city of Camden so that it can make the appropriation to the CPD.

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said he supports SROs being at Camden High School, Camden Middle School and the Continuous Learning Center, but not that the KCSO should be responsible for them. Matthews said CPD officers are already first responders to any incidents at the three schools.

If the proposed budget passes on third and final reading at council’s next regular meeting, the county would remove approximately $180,000 from the KCSO’s budget and give those funds to Camden, Councilman Tom Gardner said during the meeting.

County Administrator Vic Carpenter said the city of Camden agrees with the decision and would assume all costs, liabilities and responsibilities for the SROs. Kershaw County would have no authority in regards to SROs once the city receives the funds. Gardner said the decision is based on the fact that Matthews was planning on pulling the three officers from the city schools, placing two on the road and moving one to the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC).

“The county feels a moral obligation to have security and law enforcement. Most school districts fully or partly fund SROs. However, our school district hasn’t been reimbursed properly by our state’s general assembly, so the county is stepping in to help continue this funding,” Council Chairman Gene Wise said.

“I can’t think of any money being better spent,” Councilman Jimmy Jones remarked.

The amendment to transfer the funds passed unanimously, as did the vote for second reading of the budget. No one participated in a public hearing on the budget at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting.

Also Tuesday, council heard a public presentation from Robbie Brax of MB Kahn regarding the Kershaw County Facilities Study.

Brax said the first step of the process has been completed, which is a conditions assessment. He said his group was tasked with looking at one building at a time to see what needs to be done to bring them up to standards.

In other business, council:

• heard from Chip Galloway in reference to accommodations tax recommendations. Galloway said only $40,000 was available to appropriate, which is down from last year;

• reappointed Anthony J. Cooke to the Zoning Board of Appeals for another four-year term;

• held first reading of an ordinance amending the Unified Code of Zoning and Land Development regulations regarding permitted and conditional uses and off street parking was heard by council as well as a second reading of an ordinance to amend the county’s official zoning map designation for Tax Parcel #307-00-00-007 for Jacquelyn Joyner Pittman from RD-2 to R-15;

• unanimously approved a request for maintenance of the county’s vehicle fleet;

• unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a bidders response schedule for heavy duty tandem drive articulated motor graders -- the resolution also authorized the execution of a master lease-purchase agreement with Deere Credit Inc. to purchase the graders; and

• unanimously voted to lease-purchase the five motor graders.

Kershaw County Council’s next meeting will be held June 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at the Government Center. Meetings are open to the public.

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