County Council discusses safety, animals and more

Darlington resident and business owner Laverne Rambo speaks before Darlington County Council on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

By Stephan Drew, Editor

The Darlington County Council convened on Monday, September 11, 2023, and addressed several important matters.

One of the key decisions made during the meeting was the passing of Ordinance 23-11, which authorized the sale of the I-20 Industrial Park to Pee Dee Electricom, Inc. This decision may have a significant impact on the local economy and job market.

However, the council meeting also provided a platform for concerned citizens to voice their opinions and seek solutions to various community issues. Laverne Rambo, a concerned citizen, expressed his worries about the proposed shooting range’s location. He emphasized the potential risks to horses, children, homes, and nearby facilities like the National Guard Building, Fiber Industries, and mobile homes. County Administrator Charles Stewart promised to investigate the matter, showing a commitment to addressing community concerns.

Another citizen, Scott Stroup, raised concerns about inhumane treatment of animals within the county. Stroup urged the council to either strictly enforce existing animal cruelty laws or consider strengthening and amending current ordinances. Joining this call for better animal welfare, Jasmine Blair spoke passionately in favor of more robust policies to ensure the humane treatment of animals within Darlington County.

Society Hill Mayor Dwayne Duke took a moment to commend the Darlington County Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department, and other law enforcement officers and First Responders for their outstanding support during the recent Galey and Lord fire. Duke addressed a water issue that arose during the firefighting efforts, assuring residents that the water was not contaminated despite rumors, and a Boil-Water Advisory had been issued merely as a precaution.

Safety was another significant topic at the meeting, with a focus on recent violence at a high school football game. In response, safety policies were revised, and law enforcement presence was increased. Council Vice-Chairman Le Flowers praised law enforcement, schools, and athletes for the improved security measures and the more pleasant atmosphere at athletic events.

Jimmie Epling, Executive Director of the Darlington County Library System, received a proclamation designating September as Library Card Signup Month. Epling highlighted the library’s diverse programs and services, particularly for children.

The meeting also saw the approval of several ordinances, including Ordinance 23-13, which authorized a Fee-In-Lieu-Of-Taxes (FILOT) Agreement between Darlington County and Project Lotus, and Ordinance 23-14, which allowed for the enlargement of the Joint County Industrial Park in collaboration with Florence County.

Lastly, the council approved the reappointment of Richard Atkinson to the Airport Commission and Bob Fischel to the Planning Commission. Additionally, Resolution 764 was approved, enabling the council to submit an application to the Division of Community Grant Programs of the S.C. Dept. of Commerce.

County Administrator Charles Stewart discussed delays in furniture delivery and construction at the new Darlington County Courthouse site, indicating that final completion might extend into January of next year.

Darlington County Council is scheduled to meet on October 2, 2023.

Author: Stephan Drew

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