Edgefield County Council Chairman’s Update
What’s happening with the 1% Capital Projects Sales Tax?
The County Council has appointed a citizen Committee to give the Council a list of projects that could be funded by the proposed 1% capital sales tax. The tax works just like a sales tax, and would add 1 cent to the sales tax of many items purchased in the County.
The Committee met at the end of November just to organize themselves and understand their mission, which is to give the County Council a list of projects that, in their view, would be worth establishing such a tax. They are required to have that list to us no later than April 1. Until then, they will be seeking public input on what citizens would like to see on that list.
Once Council gets the list, we will decide whether to approve it or not. Here’s the key: If Council does approve the list, it means the proposed tax goes on the ballot in November for voters’ approval. So, the power would be in the hands of you, the citizens, on this issue!
If you’d like to provide any input before or after any public comment times they establish, the members of the Committee are Thomas McCain Sr. (Chair), Craig McMullen (Vice Chair), Jeff Britt, Donna Livingston, Thomas Niffider and Beth Worth. The Committee is composed of six people appointed by the County Council and the Towns of Edgefield and Johnston, as described in State Law on how to construct a committee such as this one.
The Committee will start its round of meetings first with elected officials on December 17.
As a reminder, the S.C. Budget and Control Board estimates the tax would raise about $900,000 per year in our County. The tax could only be on the books for 8 years maximum, but could be on the books for fewer than 8 years.
That money can repair, replace, create and upgrade many of our facilities.
Here are the only items that are allowed under this sales tax (Please note this is a complete list of items the law says the money can be spent. I realize items F and G don’t apply to us, for example. However, I wanted you to have the full list.):
(a) highways, roads, streets, bridges, and public parking garages and related facilities;
(b) courthouses, administration buildings, civic centers, hospitals, emergency medical facilities, police stations, fire stations, jails, correctional facilities, detention facilities, libraries, coliseums, educational facilities under the direction of an area commission for technical education, or any combination of these projects;
(c) cultural, recreational, or historic facilities, or any combination of these facilities;
(d) water, sewer, or water and sewer projects;
(e) flood control projects and storm water management facilities;
(f) beach access and beach renourishment;
(g) dredging, dewatering, and constructing spoil sites, disposing of spoil materials, and other matters directly related to the act of dredging;
(h) jointly operated projects of the county, a municipality, special purpose district, and school district, or any combination of those entities, for the projects delineated in subitems (a) through (g) of this item;
(i) any combination of the projects described in subitems (a) through (h) of this item;
Our goal is to make this process as transparent and as easy to understand as we can. I look forward to hearing your input to the Committee or any questions you may have on the process.
Animal Shelter approved by Council
I am pleased to report that the animal shelter location has been approved by County Council. It has taken us quite a while to reach this significant milestone.
We have agreed to use County-owned property off Simmons Road for the shelter. However, instead of using an existing road through a neighborhood on Simmons Road to reach the area, we agreed to purchase the Manor House property from the Edgefield County Senior Citizens Center, which fronts Hwy. 25, giving us a way to create a new road. Also, that 12-acre property adjoins the County-owned property where the animal shelter will be built. In addition, we will have to eventually tear down the dilapidated building that is currently on the property.
The animal shelter will not be built immediately because several steps have to be taken, including:
· An environmental study on the property; and
· An asbestos study on the Manor House building.
These tests are required, and I believe we’ll get through them relatively quickly, and then we can decide any actions we might need to take.
I hope the past year has been a blessing to you! I have enjoyed presenting these monthly updates to you in the spirit of providing a more open, transparent County Government. The more our citizens know the better input you can provide.
From my family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Until next time,