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KCC approves patrol vehicle purchases

Posted: October 10, 2018 4:33 p.m.
Updated: October 12, 2018 1:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) will have three new patrol vehicles on the road, hopefully within the next couple of months.

Kershaw County Council approved the purchase and equipping of three Ford Explorer SUVs during its meeting Tuesday.

The need for the vehicles was brought to council’s attention during council’s Aug. 24 meeting. Sheriff Jim Matthews informed council at that time that KCSO had nearly 40 vehicles that are expected to log more than 100,000 miles by the end of 2018. In addition, since June, at least three patrol vehicles have experienced catastrophic engine damage and cannot be repaired; they must be replaced. Matthews recommended the county buy three police interceptor Ford Explorers, which are more durable and more appropriate for much of the rough, rural and off-road usage KCSO patrol cars experience.

During Tuesday’s meeting, County Administrator Vic Carpenter informed council that the sheriff had located funds in his 2018 budget to purchase the vehicles while county staff had been able to find funds in the county’s capital projects budget to equip the vehicles. The county will provide around $43,000 to equip the vehicles, which will cost around $100,000 to purchase the three. On Carpenter’s recommendation, council approved the expenditures, with Councilmen Dennis Arledge, Al Bozard, Ben Connell, Tom Gardner and Sammie Tucker Jr. and Chairman Julian Burns voting in favor.

Councilman Jimmy Jones was absent from the meeting due to a family situation.

Council also received information regarding a $71,383 highway safety grant the KCSO received from the S.C. Dept. of Public Safety. This grant, which is a federal grant administered by the state that requires no local match, is actually an extension of a grant secured last year to fund and equip a deputy dedicated to highway safety and traffic enforcement. The grant typically lasts three years, after which the KCSO must fund the position if it intends to continue the program.

Council also passed a resolution continuing a mutual aid agreement between KCSO and the Camden Police Department.
In other business discussed Tuesday:

• Council heard a presentation by Derial Ogburn, chairman of the Health Services District of Kershaw County board of directors. Ogburn reported to council that the district has entered an agreement to buy a property on Knights Hill Road, known as the Beechwood Property, for $500,000 where it plans to relocate and expand the Karesh Long Term Care Center, known as the Karesh Wing.

• Council passed a resolution requesting that the S.C. Deptartment of Transportation post a “No Through Trucks” sign on Cedar Drive, located just off S.C. 34 in Lugoff.

• Council passed a proclamation declaring October as International Alpha Delta Kappa Month. ADK is an international honorary professional sorority for women educators.

• Council tabled first reading, by title only, of an ordinance that would amend the county zoning regulations to allow for shipping containers to be kept and used as outbuildings. Council will take this up again at its Oct. 23 meeting.

• Council passed second reading of the 2018-2019 millage ordinance. Under state law, the county passes the millage ordinance to establish the tax rate for the fiscal year. The millage rate is applied to the assessed value of property in the county.

This year’s proposed millage rate is unchanged from FY 2018 and does not require a tax increase.

This year’s millage rates are as follows:

• County Operating and Personnel  Budget -- 65.8

• County Debt Service -- 10.6

• County Fire District -- 9.7

• County Sewer District -- 2.6

• County Capital -- 3.5

• Emergency Medical Services -- 5.1

In addition, the millage ordinance sets a 25.8 mill rate for the Lugoff Fire District.

• Council awarded a bid for yard waste grinding services at the landfill to Farmer’s Mulch and Rock Inc. of Dobson, N.C. This was the low bid for this service. The county will pay $574 per machine hour, with a $2,000 mobilization charge. This is a service used about 80 hours per year.

• Council heard an update on the county’s storm preparations for Hurricane Michael.

• Council heard an update on the recent Touch-A-Truck event, held Oct. 6 at the River Parcel in Lugoff. The event was attended by more than 1,800 people and continues to grow in popularity, Carpenter noted.

Kershaw County Council meets next at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the county government center, 515 Walnut St., Camden. Meetings are open to the public.

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