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KCC redistricting plan finalized

Posted: October 13, 2011 6:02 p.m.
Updated: October 13, 2011 6:01 p.m.

Kershaw County Council voted 6-1 Tuesday to approve third and final reading of a redistricting ordinance that will transition District 1 into a “non-majority-minority” designation.

District 1 and District 2 are currently the county’s two majority-minority districts where the majority of the constituents in the districts are racial minorities.  

Councilman Bobby Gary, who represents District 1, attempted to push the vote to council’s next meeting Oct. 25 by offering a motion to table the ordinance, but that motion failed 5-2.

Councilman Sammie Tucker Jr., who represents District 2, joined Gary in the failed motion, but voted in the majority on the ordinance’s third reading after Gary’s motion was not approved.

The plan approved Tuesday establishes Tucker’s district as the only majority-minority district. District 1 will be composed of 50.84 percent non-Hispanic black voters, while District 2 will have 32.13 percent.

The approved plan must also be cleared by the U.S. Deptartment of Justice as stipulated by the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

In other news, County Administrator Vic Carpenter announced that Peggy McLean has been chosen as the county’s new Economic Development Director. McLean worked as a Senior Business Development Executive for Progress Energy in Florence from 1998 to 2009. She also previously worked as a Manager of Prospect Research for the S.C. Department of Commerce.

McLean said she was honored to accept the position. “This is a fantastic community with many assets. It’s got a great reputation within the state. As we all know, it’s a team effort and I’m looking forward to being a member of the team,” McLean said.   

Her first official day will be Oct. 31. She will be replacing former Economic Development Director Nelson Lindsay who left the county Aug. 5 after taking a similar position in Richland County.

Council also unanimously approved second reading of an ordinance authorizing a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes (FILOT) agreement between the county and Oak-Mitsui, a copper producing company headquartered in Camden. According to the agreement, Oak-Mitsui will provide an investment of at least $8 million in its facility with FILOT taxes effective for a 20 year period for each component of the project. The FILOT will be calculated using a 7 percent assessment ratio.

 A contract with WeylChem Industries was also unanimously approved by council. The contract states that the county will enter an agreement with WeylChem to treat the company’s wastewater discharge. It also stipulates that pending approval by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the county agrees to treat a minimum of 2,400,00 gallons of wastewater discharge from WeylChem per month. 

 An ordinance setting the millage rate for the fiscal year was also unanimously approved on third reading by council.

According to Council Chairman Gene Wise, the rate will drop from 65.40 mils to 64.6 mils. 

Council also voted unanimously to approve second reading of an ordinance establishing the Kershaw County Assessment Appeals Board.

The board already exists, but the ordinance formalizes its existence. According to Carpenter, the board is the final line of reassessment appeal at the county level.

An ordinance altering council’s rules and order and business was also unanimously approved on final reading.

Wise said that the change will help to stream-line council meetings by differentiating old business from new business on agendas and removing the requirement for the chairman and vice chairman to approve the agenda before each meeting.

Other items discussed by council include:

• a request from Councilman Stephen Smoak for county staff to research a potential emergency ban on synthetic marijuana. Smoak said his request originated from the incident last month involving a Camden man with mental health problem who used the substance, murdered a Columbia cab driver and took his own life;

• a successful project orchestrated by Wise and former Council Chairman Max Ford that brought together the county, the City of Camden, Kershaw County School District, and KershawHealth in an effort to find a more efficient way for all the entities to purchase paper products; and 

• Unanimous approval of a proclamation celebrating Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honor society for women educators.


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