County Council members plan forum on courthouse

Members of Darlington County Council, including Lewis Brown (center), Joyce W. Thomas (right) and chairman Bobby Hudson (left) express gratitude to local emergency responders for their actions during Hurricane Florence

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, slyles@newsandpress.net

At Darlington County Council’s Oct. 1 meeting, two members of council announced that they will host a town hall meeting where citizens can ask questions about the Darlington County Courthouse.

Council members Robert L. “Bobby” Kilgo and Joyce Wingate Thomas will host the meeting Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. in the Voter Registration and Election C¬¬ommission’s new annex, located at 135 Cashua St. in Darlington. Kilgo’s invitation stated that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the condition of the courthouse and answer questions about the Nov. 6 referendum where voters will be asked to approve a 1 percent sales tax increase to finance construction of a new courthouse/administration facility.

On the regular agenda, council passed third and final reading of Ordinance 18-09, affirming that a manufacturing facility belonging to Flakeboard America Limited is located in the jointly owned Darlington-Marlboro County Industrial Park and agreeing to the distribution of any and all FILOT (Fee In Lieu Of Tax) proceeds collected from that entity.

Ordinance No. 18-10 also received final approval. This measure amends the 2018-19 budget and allows the Darlington County Library System to receive and expend a $10,410 South Carolina State Library grant. The funds will be used to develop an educational program teaching local businesses and library patrons how to use 3-D design programs and printers.

Second reading of Ordinance 18-11 passed without objection. If finalized, this ordinance would develop a multi-county park with Lee County and delineate the governing of the park and the properties to be included.

Council also approved second reading for Ordinance 18-12, establishing the distribution of FILOT revenues from Project Watauga, a solar energy generating installation jointly in Darlington County, Florence County and the Town of Society Hill. According to a resolution of Society Hill Town Council, the company behind Project Watauga anticipates a total combined capital expenditure of at least $3,192,000.

The ordinance states that with respect to the Watauga Project property only, FILOT revenues will be allocated as follows: 1 percent to Florence County, 20 percent to the Town of Society Hill, 78 percent to Darlington County for capital projects, and 1 percent to all other taxing entities with jurisdiction over the Watauga Project property.

Three additional items received unanimous approval:

Resolution No. 695 waives planning and building fees for property affected by Hurricane Florence.

Council granted Duke Energy an easement on Darlington Library property for relocation of utilities. This is related to SCDOT’s planned replacement of the North Main Street bridge.

Also, council approved an agreement with Clemson University Cooperative Extension to provide $3,000 annually to help fund the Carolina Clear storm water education program. This funding agreement will last for five years.

Darlington County Council’s next regular meeting will be held Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Courthouse Annex/EMS Building at 1625 Harry Byrd Highway in Darlington.

Author: Rachel Howell

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