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KCC takes first look at 5-year capital improvement plan

Posted: April 22, 2011 3:58 p.m.
Updated: April 25, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Planning Commission presented a list of top priority projects -- including a broken Kershaw County Courthouse elevator -- during Kershaw County Council’s work session Thursday evening. The goal of the document, officials said, is to give council a comprehensive look at the needs the county faces.

Kershaw County Planning and Zoning Director John Newman explained that the recommendations are available for council members to incorporate into the county budget “as they see fit.”

The recommendations were broken down into three categories over a five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) with “priority one” items being the most urgent items and “priority three” items being those of least concern.

Priority one items included new public facilities and improvements and projects required to meet state and federal guidelines. Those projects outlined by the commission were building maintenance, an update of the master economic development plan, a transportation study, bridge replacement and a sewer master plan update.

The priority two category includes repairs and renovations to existing facilities. The planning commission recommended a fire truck replacement program, an upgrade to the Park Road facility (landfill), an upgraded landfill access drive and security gate, replacement truck scales and a back-up sewer lift station generator.

Third priority projects were not presented to council.

“This is an outstanding document on so many levels,” Chairman Gene Wise said, because it “quantifies” the priorities and “took the politics out” of the decision.

Wise said he appreciated the hard work the planning commission put into the research.

Councilman Jimmy Jones said even if he couldn’t vote to support the projects for financial reasons, he felt it was important to know the needs exist.

Council also used Thursday’s work session to prepare for Tuesday’s regular meeting.

That agenda will now include taking possible action concerning the dispute between the Kershaw County Airport Commission (KCAC) and Camden Military Academy (CMA) over two fuel tanks. KCAC Chairman Jack West proposed the two tanks be placed where they had been originally proposed -- a location, said CMA Commandant Eric Boland, only 50 yards away from a CMA dormitory.

Placing the fuel tanks in such close proximity to the school is a “nightmare,” Boland said.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t let my child attend a school with a fuel tank so close to the barracks,” he said. “They can and do explode. You can’t put a price tag on safety.”

West emphasized the location meets fire codes and Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations as well being the least expensive option for the county.

Councilman Sammie Tucker Jr. asked council to take action on Tuesday concerning the fuel tanks.

Council will also consider an appointment to the KCAC during Tuesday’s meeting.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda:

• First reading of two ordinances to rezone property in Kershaw County. The first is a 22-acre piece of property on Gettys Road, Elgin from R-15 (restrictive residential classification) to MRD-1 (rural classification). Denise Bachmann, the property owner, plans to plant fruit trees and sell produce with a roadside stand. The second is located on S.C. 601 near I-20 in Lugoff to be rezoned from I-1 to General Development. The owner plans to locate a church in the facility.

• Presentation of the S.C. Jail Administrators Association Correctional Supervisor of the Year Award.

• A S.C. Equine Promotion Foundation annual report presentation.

• Jones read a prepared statement to council expressing his concern about possible “straw polling” going on in private. He said he would have more to say Tuesday night.

The next council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Kershaw County Government Center.

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