County Project Cost Taxpayers Mightily

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

There are several organizations in Edgefield County that must be rebranded or replaced with leadership because we are going in the wrong direction.

There is a project in the southern part of Edgefield County that involves a large amount of taxpayer’s money. The project, named the Sweetwater Community Center, located on Sweetwater Road, cost approximately four hundred and thirty thousand dollars. The amount of money spent on the Sweetwater Project is unusually large. The engineering service cost $26,990.00. Also, the construction and renovation service cost $277,092.00. The total amount of this service is $304,082.00. There were additional costs that brought the total to $450,000.00

Sweetwater Community Center

This money came from taxes paid by the citizens of Edgefield County which includes me. It has been stated that a great amount of the tax revenue for this county comes from the southern area of the county. I would like to state that through my family, beginning in 1870 with my grandfather Norman Youngblood, my family has been paying property taxes on 13 acres of land, now with a clear deed title. My contribution to the tax base is eight acres of land, several houses plus several valuable, highly taxed items also with clear titles. A great amount of tax revenue.

Once again, the money for the Sweetwater Community Center project came from taxes paid by the citizens of Edgefield County. Can anyone of you remember the County Council Meeting of October 7, 2014 when the Chair stated the money would only come (only) from donations, not taxes; and the Administrator said, yes?

Furthermore, to compare this project with other county nonprofit recreational projects, namely the Colliers Community and the Johnston Area Center, this project cost more than all other county projects combined in the last twenty years.

My “parchesia” is to speak to the powerful leaders without fear.

To provide additional information about Edgefield County, I am calling on the people and agencies below to help in giving transparency to Edgefield County projects.

The State Newspaper

Washington Post, attention: Mr. Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist and MSNBC commentator (parents live in Orangeburg, SC)

The Carter Law Firm, Eleazor R. Carter

Gist Law Firm P.A., Columbia S.C.

Government Accounting Office, 441 G St. SW, Washington DC 20548


Norman Dorn
Former Edgefield County Councilman


2 Responses to "County Project Cost Taxpayers Mightily"

  1. Linda Anderson   June 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    In response to this letter. I must correct the erroneous statement that indicates this is a “non-profit recreational project”. This building and property was donated to the Edgefield County citizens and as such is a County property. While there are recreational facilities which are not the property of the County but are leased from non-profit groups and whose improvements are paid for by taxpayer dollars this is not one of them. I must admit I have not kept a running account of taxpayer dollars spent throughout the years for recreational facilities nor for buildings purchased and renovated for the County, I would venture a guess that closer inspection would indicate that this project would not cost more than all other projects combined within the past twenty years. Once again the divisive nature rears its ugly head while others try to unite the County. It is my opinion that the present County Council, while not always agreeing on every issue, are a breath of fresh air. They continue to move this County forward and are making positive progress for all citizens. There appears to be cooperative effort being made to be concerned and responsive to the needs of all parts of the County and its citizens rather than securing votes. As far as who pays the most taxes why does that really matter? As Mrs. Butler stated at a recent meeting, all of these facilities belong to the citizens, all the citizens. With a positive attitude and vision for the future growth of this County we should be looking at our assets and citizens as a whole.

    Since its opening, this Community Center has been used for many occasions, already generating revenue, which contributes to the support of this facility as well as offering a much needed facility for the communities.

    Rather than address every comment and provide a tit for tat answer, this is my two cents worth.

  2. Scott Cooper   June 2, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Having rented facilities at The North Augusta Community Center on numerous occasions, as well as attended multiple events at The North Augusta Community Center, regardless of the personal family history involved with the center Mr. Dorn references, I believe such a facility was required for future growth in our county and it is now open for rental to the entire community. Numerous citizens have told me they are grateful for the opportunity to hold civic meetings in Edgefield County, in proximity to not only North Augusta, but in the fastest growing section of our county.

    In addition to the need for such a facility, the historic value of this facility, in my opinion, is critical to connecting previous generations to not only our current generation but future generations of Edgefield residents. This building once served as a one room school house, was later a civic meeting place where not only meetings were held, but monthly community BBQ’s. Since moving to Edgefield in 2013, I have heard countless stories from some of our most valued citizens, our seniors, about the wonderful memories of family reunions, community BBQ’s and simple get together’s, from previous era’s. One senior gentleman at the grand opening brought a stack of pictures from the 40’s – 60’s of meetings there. What a blessed past we can now have as a living treasure, as a result of this project. He gave them to me, and I’d be happy to share with anyone interested in looking at them.

    For those who want to plan family reunion’s, weddings, birthday’s or any type of special event – it is open for rental, and I would encourage you to review the procedures for doing so, by clicking here – The application for rental is here –

    Warm Regards,
    Scott Cooper
    Merriweather District