From EDPartnership, in Explanation
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
On page 10 of the October 28, 2020 edition of The Edgefield Advertiser
There was a paid advertisement by Concerned Edgefield County Landowners with incorrect information. As members of the Board of Directors of The
Economic Development Partnership from Edgefield County, we wanted to
correct these inaccuracies and clarify the role of the organization along with the role of Mr. Will Williams, our CEO.
The Economic Development Partnership is a 501 C-6 organization that began operations in 1984 and working for Edgefield County since 1988.
Will Williams is our current President and CEO and he works at the pleasure
of the board, as have the past two Presidents/CEOs. This is not a private
company nor Mr. Williams’ company. In addition to Mr. Williams, there are three other staff members. Our budget consists of 90% funding from the counties and municipalities that have asked us to work with them and on their behalf. We have a 21-member Board of Directors with most of those board members appointed by the County Councils of Aiken, Edgefield, Saluda and McCormick Counties. Additionally, none of the board members are paid or receive any per diem for their service.
EDP’s goal is to bring new jobs and investment to the counties we work for,
whether from a new company moving to the area or an existing industry choosing to invest at their current location. Competition for industry is fierce, and since these multimillion-dollar decisions are not made lightly, we must put our best foot forward when an industrial client is considering Edgefield County. Mr. Williams and his hard-working staff are full time, and without them, we would not be on the radar for industrial growth. In many ways, our county is out paced by the larger more industrial counties in the state and the southeast.
The Economic Development Partnership works for Edgefield County to diversify the tax base, broadening employment opportunities that will raise per capita income in the county through manufacturing and warehousing operations. These operations pay significantly higher property taxes that support the county, The Edgefield County School District operations and their debt service. The jobs industry has and create often lead to additional job spin off creations in the county.
As part of our goal to attract industry, we consider zoning and the Edgefield County Comprehensive Plan, approved by the Edgefield County Council (Goal #3 p 7) to Encourage Quality Residential Growth (with a goal to provide protection to residential districts from commercial activities).
Homeowners expect a good quality of life in the area in which they choose to live. Industry’s round the clock operations, noise, truck and employee traffic degrade that
quality of life. The major reason that site selectors and their industrial clients ask about proximity to residential neighborhoods when looking for a new location because these neighborhoods may pose a problem to the industry operations sooner or later. The proposed development would have been 300 feet from the boundary of the Edgefield County Industrial Park.
While the board wishes to encourage subdivisions and growth, we rely heavily on our professional staff to help encourage that growth through smart and compatible development of industry in conjunction with housing. Subdivisions are a desired part of the overall growth plan to work congruently with industry.
Richard Pendarvis, Vice Chairman Economic Development Partnership Board;
Board Members: Dr. Sharon Wall, Mary Derrick, & Eric Thompson