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Final vote on shipping containers today
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Kershaw County Council will take up third and final reading today of an amendment originally intended to add shipping containers to an existing ordinance on accessory structures and their permitted uses in the county.

The current accessory structures ordinance prohibits the use of shipping containers as accessory structures in any zoning district. The amendment, passed on first reading at council’s Jan. 22 meeting, would have removed that prohibition, but added a section on their uses where conditionally permitted.

The amendment added language that would have prohibited shipping containers from being used as a primary structure, restricted them from being located in front of any principal building or structure, required they be screened from public views in various ways, prohibited them from being stacked or located in any required side or rear yard setback areas, and required that they be properly maintained at all times.

In addition, the amendment would have kept the number of shipping containers on a property to one, unless the building to which it served as an accessory sat on a property larger than one acre. In those instances, one additional shipping container would be allowed as an accessory structure per additional acre.

On second reading during council’s Feb. 12 meeting, councilmen Jimmy Jones and Sammie Tucker Jr. successfully amended the proposal, essentially stripping any reference whatsoever to shipping containers.

At its last meeting, Feb. 26, council held a public hearing on the matter with the intention of holding off until today to consider third and final reading. A number of people speaking during the hearing, as well as during public forum, opposed the ordinance as it was written when passed on first reading.

Two versions of the amendment are attached to today’s agenda: the original version taken up on Jan. 22 and the Jones/Tucker version. That version of the amendment still removes the words “shipping containers” from the accessory structures ordinance’s general requirements, but no longer adds the new section on how shipping containers can be conditionally used.

In other business today, council will:

• hear public presentations from Van Hinson from the S.C. Association of Counties, Kershaw County Clean Community Commission Chair Laina Shoemake, and Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site Executive Director Haile Brazier;

• consider a proclamation recognizing Food for the Soul’s 10th anniversary;

• learn of a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office/JAG grant that, according to information attached to today’s agenda, should cover certain costs associated with one position each of a narcotics investigator and school resource officer; and

• consider bids for a portable outfield/temporary fencing project, comprehensive airfield drainage improvement project, and Heritage Pointe sewer line.

According to information attached to today’s agenda, county staff is recommending awarding a $40,624 bid to Signature Systems Group LLC for the portable outfield/temporary fencing project. A memorandum regarding that project did not list any other bidders nor did it include an explanation of the project.

Staff is also recommending awarding a $268,800 bid to Site Concepts Inc. of Green Cove Springs, Fla., for the Heritage Pointe sewer line.

As for the airfield drainage project, staff is asking council to re-award that bid. Council originally awarded a nearly $1.694 million bid to Lindler’s Construction Inc., of Newberry, in December 2018. In a memorandum to County Administrator Vic Carpenter, County Purchasing Coordinator Sarah Williams explained that the bids originally expired in August 2018 and that Lindler’s informed the county they could no longer honor their bid and instead requested an additional $28,200 be added to the bid along with an extended deadline that would increased engineering costs by another $114,000. That would have brought Lindler’s bid to $1.836 million, moving them to the second-lowest bid spot.

In the memo, Williams recommends re-awarding the bid to new second-lowest bidder Anson Contractors Inc. of Polkton, N.C., at just more than $1.73 million.

Today’s meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. in county council chambers at the Kershaw County Government Center, 515 Walnut St., in Camden, and is open to the public.