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EPD granted more than $700,000 of seizure money

Posted: April 18, 2016 5:10 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2016 1:00 a.m.

The Elgin Police Department (EPD) is the recipient of more than $736,000 of money recovered by a federal government task force. EPD Chief Harold Brown made the announcement during Elgin Town Council’s April 12 meeting. Brown said EPD Officer Rene Wilson assisted the task force, which seized approximately $7.5 million from criminal activity.

Elgin Mayor Melissa Emmons commended the EPD and Chief Brown for suggesting the agency participate in the task force.

“We have to commend the chief because he is the one who bought the idea to us,” Emmons said. “We were hesitant. We were a small group and we knew we were going to be one man down and (other officers) would have to put in additional hours. It was a risk. (Councilman Brad) Hanley agreed to do it (when he was mayor) and it has given us almost a million dollar pay off.”

The EPD will spend the money in accordance with federal guidelines.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan and KCSD Chief Financial Officer Donny Wilson presented council with information on the school board’s referendum proposal and building plan for the school district.

Morgan outlined the cost for each project and spoke specifically about how schools in the West Wateree area would be affected. Morgan said Lugoff-Elgin High School would need to be renovated to improve drainage on its roof and Lugoff and Wateree elementary schools would need renovations for classroom structure. Other schools would need to be renovated to increase classroom space.

Councilman Hanley asked about the analysis for the project

“You all must have gone through some sort of analysis to decide … the cost of renovation versus new and a list of what inefficiencies remain. Is a list of this accessible to the public?” Hanley asked.

Morgan said those interested in the projects could speak with KCSD Executive Director for Operations Billy Smith. Hanley then suggested the school district provide a document residents could easily access which would outline the costs and projects.

Councilwoman Candy Silvers asked Morgan how the district will keep up with the area’s rapid growth. Morgan said, for now, added classrooms should contain the student population but agreed the issue would likely need to be revisited in seven years.

Also during the meeting, Mayor Emmons and Councilman Ed Smith commended the Multicultural ALPHA center event held in Potter Community Park. An estimated 200 people attended the April 9 event which celebrated Spanish culture.

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