• Council Endorses Youth Poet Laureate
• Continuing Concern from CTC-Council Joint Meeting
– By Tiffani Ireland –
Edgefield County Poet Laureate Laurel Blossom petitioned the Edgefield County Council for their support of a County Youth Poet Laureate at Council’s monthly meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 1. Blossom, who was named Poet Laureate in April of this year, presented to Council her idea of naming a Youth Poet Laureate from either one of the county’s high schools or home schools. The competition for this position is open to juniors and seniors. Blossom explained that some of the duties of this position will include accompanying her to functions to promote interest in poetry and literacy. The young poet will also have opportunities to publicly read his or her own works as well as participate in the inaugural Poet Laureate float to be debuted at this year’s Edgefield Christmas Parade. Council members Dean Campbell and Betty Butler spoke in favor of this measure with Councilman Albert Talbert calling it a “great asset to our students.” Council was reminded that this is merely an endorsement on their behalf to show support for this endeavor and that it will cost the county nothing. Council voted unanimously to support this measure.
Council held a public hearing on an ordinance regarding the sale of county owned property on Tennessee Walker Road to Robert Evans. There were no public comments on this matter, however, and the measure subsequently passed its third reading unanimously.
Council also voted as one to pass the second reading of an ordinance to change the composition of the county’s recreation commission. These changes come at the recommendation of a sub-committee and will decrease the board to 5 members and allow each member to have a proxy serve in their place if scheduling conflicts arise.
Council accepted a Deed of Dedication from Jethro McCain, Jr. for Carey Hill Road. In 2005, Carey Hill Road was unanimously accepted as an unpaved road into the county by members serving at that time on County Council. However, no deed was provided for this property in 2005, but, for the past 10 years, the County has been maintaining the road on an as need basis. The deed’s unanimous acceptance by Council at this meeting finalized the process that began in 2005.
Before adjourning, Council heard from two speakers in their final public speaking portion of the meeting, both of whom addressed roadway issues. Steve Barnhill told Council that he had attended their recent joint meeting with the County Transportation Committee and seemed to question statements made at that meeting. He noted that in that meeting it was explained that newer businesses must construct retaining ponds. However, Barnhill stated that within the last 7 years, 4 businesses have built on Brighthop Road, and none of them have retention ponds. He also reminded that a meeting suggested by the County’s former attorney, Lee Holly, between residence of this area and representatives of the different entities involved in trying to correct storm water issues in this area has never materialized. He displayed his frustration of blaming the lack of progress in this area on recent administrative changes in the county stating, “The rules don’t change every time we change personnel in the county.” He went on to question if the Building Department is aware of the rules saying that the department continues to issue permits.
Barnhill was followed by Daniel Mills who also spoke of his frustration in regards to storm water issues, specifically noting the Longleaf Road, Timberland Lane, and Barton Road areas. Saying he was “pleading for help from the Council,” Mills said that he was before Council trying to get “somebody to help us.” Mills told Council, “We can’t stand any more damage.” He maintained that he started bringing this issue to Council 3 years ago and said that all the predictions he made on the impact of the storm water in the area have come true. “This is costing big money for residents in the area,” he said.
Before the close of the meeting, Councilwoman Butler spoke directly to Barnhill and Mills telling them that when it rained recently, she thought of them. She assured the two “we [Council] are fully aware” of the problems plaguing residents in this area. She followed by saying that an engineering firm has been hired and that she hopes the engineers will come up with a plan to fix the issues. “I’m hopeful that help is on the way,” she said.
With no other closing comments, and no further business to discuss, Council adjourned.