Last updated: January 08. 2014 1:47PM
By - kkissiah@civitasmedia.com



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Chesterfield County Council members approved the return of the Sandblast Rally for 2014. The same county roads that were blocked off for the race last year were requested for this year. The rally is set for March 1, and will begin on Main Street in Chesterfield.


The Sandblast Rally, which brings in racers and tourists from all over the country, continues to be a success and the county is glad to see their return, said Chesterfield County Council Chairman Matthew Rivers.


Changes in district fire lines became official Jan. 8, when council approved the third and final reading of that ordinance. The change mostly effects the neighborhoods of Country Club Acres and Deerfield, near Cheraw State Park. Because these neighborhoods are within five miles of the town of Cheraw, they were eligible to request to be included in the Cheraw Fire Department District.


The change will mean lower insurance premiums for property owners in the area, as Cheraw has a lower SRO rating that the Cash Rural Volunteer Fire Department.


The fire district change also means the county will pay the Town of Cheraw $250,000 for the 2013-14 fiscal year, and and additional $50,000 the following year.


Councilman Curtis Douglas told council members that notification on procedures for lowering the United States flag and the South Carolina State Flag have been implemented.


David Brooks, a Cheraw resident, noticed several government agencies did not fly the United States flag at half-mast when requested by the president for Nelson Mandela’s death. He addressed Cheraw Town Council and sent out letters to other elected officials in the county, calling for a remedy that situation.


Rivers also delivered the State of the County 2013 report. The highlights of that report include: 2 percent cost-of-living raise for county employees, a clean audit, property tax installment payments plans, and the implementation of a Service Recognition Program for county employees.


The county made great strides in combining the operations between the county jail and the work camp, and the E-911 operations were returned to the county.


Animal Cruelty and Litter Control Services were transferred back to the county from the sheriff’s office. And new office spaces were acquired for both the county coroner and the public defender.


The county received a $66,000 grant for the LiveScan fingerprinting machine at the Chesterfield County Detention Center.


The county was able to purchase two motorgraders, a roll off truck and a bush cutter through the capital equipment fund during 2013. Three new trucks for the Codes Enforcement Officers, and seven new vehicles for the sheriff’s office were purchased too.


The county adopted a resolution for the Capital Project Sales Tax Commission and a master plan for placing it on the ballot in November 2014.


The county purchased property on Hwy 9, about half way between Chesterfield and Cheraw, for the purpose of expanding the county’s animal shelter.


In the area of economic development, Rivers said the county was involved in helping bring about numerous expansions and new industry that had brought approximately 350 jobs to the county through a total of $180 million invested here.


Remodeling work on the Old Western Auto building in Chesterfield for the housing of the Voter’s Registration Office has also begun. That project, said Rivers, is expected to eventually save the county thousands of dollars.


— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-52761, or by email at kkissiah@civitasmedia.com.

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