Chesterfield County Council Chairman Matt Rivers delivered a checklist of council’s accomplishments, recognitions, programs and purchases for the year 2012 at January’s regular monthly meeting.
A balanced budget for the year 2012-13 was approved unanimously last year, said Rivers, “without a millage increase and with a 3.5 percent cost of living increase for the county employees.” This marked the first time county workers have received a raise in four years.
Rivers reported a “clean audit” for the year, while managing to save $18,000 through the use of in-house staff. McAbee, Talbert, Halliday and Company have been contracted to complete the audit report for another year.
Council held twelve meetings during 2012, said Rivers, with just one special meeting. Of those meetings, ten were without executive session. Lenora Powe was elected to serve as vice-chair, and Rivers will continue to serve as chairman for the next two years.
In money matters, the county was involved with several projects to bring jobs to the area. According to Rivers, the county accepted a $75,000 grant from Lynches Rivers for Project Helium, a $820,000 investment in Chesterfield County scheduled to provide 13 new full-time jobs.
The county also adopted a Project Self-Man Inducement Resolution resulting in a $21 million investment, which promises to produce 14 new full-time jobs. A lease-agreement between the county and D.C. Custom Freight (Fiber Fuels) for the armory in Jefferson last year is expected to generate at least 10 new jobs.
Ironwood Farms announced their location in Cheraw with council’s assistance of the VCC and conveyance of property. That business claims it will offer 10-15 new jobs. Council also approved the existing Walmart Fee-In-Lieu Agreement.
In-house garbage hauling saved the county more than $100,000 last year, said Rivers. The county also has received compliments on the centers looking better.
County Council made provisions to host the Sandblast Rally again in 2012. Which, according to Rivers, generates $60,000 to $80,000 in direct local spending.
Council established Animal Services protocols and procedures for the proper operation of the Animal Shelter last year. The adopted ordinance was possible through the cooperation of the Animal Services Committee, the Humane Society, the county attorney and staff, said Rivers. A joint agreement with the sheriff in reference to Animal Control Officers, kept one sheriff’s deputy on the force for the purpose of handling cruelty to animal complaints and litter control.
County Council purchased the Western Auto Building located across from the courthouse, and agreed to restart the building project for the administration building and judicial center. They also purchased a GIS system for the assessor’s office; which will serve numerous departments, entities and the public.
Council transferred the Chesterfield Armory to Sheriff Sam Parker to help pull the sheriff’s agencies together. The building committee, said Rivers, will work with the sheriff to remodel the property.
The county purchased a bucket truck, bush cutter and a backhoe last year, using the special capital equipment millage. A utility truck was also purchased for the road department using money from selling scrap metal.
A nice used van for the Chesterfield County Library was purchased through govdeals.com, said Rivers. And county shop employees have made the vehicle like new.
The county saved money, approximately $75,000, said Rivers, by refunding old bond issues and taking advantage of lower interest rates. Approximately $600,000 is scheduled to paid off in two years, he said.
Chesterfield County received a $22,500 grant last year from SLED-Homeland Security for Interoperable Communications. This allowed for the purchase of 33 radios and 3 control stations for the county’s fire departments. The Chesterfield County Detention Center was awarded a $54,000 grant last year from the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to purchase a live scan fingerprint machine.
The county also accepted a grant from Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance (JAG) for $11,303, for purchase of speed sensor equipment for sheriff’s department. And the solicitor’s office turned over $4,449.42 to county council last year. That money was acquired from a civil suit.
The county has applied for a SCDHEC-EMS Grant-in-aid for County Rescue Squads in the amount of $8,689.15. That grant has not yet been awarded.
Council adopted the 2012 Hazard Mitigation Plan, required every five years to be eligible for FEMA funding. And Rivers recognized Harold Hainey, Director of Emergency Management and Staff, and Lisa Hancock for their performance during the H.B Robinson radiological preparedness exercise conducted last November. They were honored with the Silver Lag Time Award for outstanding risk management achievements.
The Emergency Management Department acquired a new Crew Cab, a 2012 Ford F-250, last year, through the Local Emergency Management Performance Grant. The department also saved $21,000 last year, said Rivers, because the employees in that department were able to decrease the county’s cost for worker’s compensation.
Chesterfield County entered a snow contract in 2012 with SCDOT to assist in providing necessary services to our citizens in the event of snow or ice; and adopted a Time Warner franchise resolution.
County Council recognized Ms. Miriam Gulledge for being named SC Mother of the Year 2012; declared April 22-28 as the Week of the Young Child and May 2012 as Teen Pregnancy Prevention Awareness Month. Council also adopted a Peace Officers Memorial Day Resolution to honor officers killed in the line of duty.
Council appointed Gerald L. Miller to the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority Board last year. Marty Horton was appointed to the Pee Dee Regional EMS Board of Directors, and Dr. Jimmie Williamson was re-appointed to the Pee Dee Workforce Investment Board.
According to Rivers, council sent a letter of support to Bay Springs Fire Department to help in applying for a USDA Grant for their building project, a new sub-station. Also, a letter of support was sent to Chesterfield-Marlboro EOC for Head Start Services for next five years.
The county’s ambulance service was awarded to First Health in 2012. However, a van, modified by county shop employees, has enabled the county to save money by using in-house staff to transport bodies to the pathologist.
The support of building funds, in the amount of $5,000 each, was approved by county council last year for the volunteer fire departments of Bay Springs and Ruby-Mt. Croghan.
Chesterfield County Council meets at 9 a.m. the Wednesday of each month at the Chesterfield County Courthouse. The next meeting is Feb. 6.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at email@example.com.