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Government

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Council votes for Red Ventures tax incentive

By Reece Murphy

Lancaster County Council approved second reading of a tax-incentive package for internet marketing firm Red Ventures and an affiliated real estate company that would save the businesses an estimated $25.6 million in taxes over 30 years.
The incentive matter, one of several on the agenda for local companies, prompted discussion of a longstanding, yet rarely collected county tax on properties once zoned agricultural.


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Two new candidates seek board, council seats

Eight file for school board, city council

By Hannah Strong

Eight candidates, including two challengers, filed for Lancaster County school board and Lancaster City Council before filing closed Friday at noon.
Three seats are open on both the school board and city council, with one contested race in each.
School board
Lorenzo Small will challenge incumbent Tyrom Faulkner for the District 2 seat.
Small, who is running for the first time, said he looks forward to having an opportunity to provide new insight to the school board.


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County council OKs it on 2nd reading

Hospitality tax draws crowd of supporters

By Mandy Catoe

In a reversal of the usual script, a dozen passionate citizens urged the Lancaster County Council to raise their taxes at Monday night’s council meeting.
The taxpayers showed up to support the proposed 2 percent hospitality tax to fund a centrally-located county sports complex with a gym, walking and cycling trails, and fields for baseball, soccer and football.


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Storm-water utility, fees proposed for Panhandle

By Reece Murphy

Among the deferred agenda items at Monday night’s Lancaster County Council meeting was a proposed ordinance that would establish a storm-water utility for the Lancaster County Panhandle.
Monday night’s discussion and deferral was the first many residents had heard of what will essentially be a new county department charged with managing storm-water issues and infrastructure in the Panhandle – and a new fee on their tax bills to pay for it.


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Filing opens for city council, school board

By Hannah Strong

Candidate filing for three Lancaster City Council seats and four school board seats will begin Aug. 1.
Candidates can file for city council Districts 3, 4 and 6 for a $35 filing fee. The current seat holders are Jackie Harris in District 3, Tamara Green Garris in District 4 and Sara Eddins in District 6.
School board seats for Districts 2, 4, and 6 are up for election and have no filing fee. The current seat holders are Tyrom Faulkner in District 2, Bill Sumner in District 4 and Margaret Gamble in District 6.


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Council agitated, confused by Estridge’s many motions

By Reece Murphy

Lancaster County Council deferred action on a pair of motions related to Indian Land’s Avondale development Monday night, as discussion of the matter devolved into a testy scrap over Robert’s Rules of Order.
Located between Calvin Hall and Harrisburg roads, the 189-acre mixed-use Avondale development is to have more than 500 homes and 200 residences for seniors, plus limited commercial and retail space.


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District 1 runoff goes to Graham

By Reece Murphy

Terry Graham of Van Wyck won the Lancaster County Council District 1 primary runoff election Tuesday against fellow Republican contender Melvin Stroble.
Barring the slim possibility of a successful write-in campaign by another candidate, Tuesday night’s victory means Graham is the presumptive winner of the District 1 seat, since he has no Democratic challenger in the general election, which is Nov. 8.
According to the Lancaster County Elections Office, Graham received 860 votes, or 60.52 percent of the 1,421 ballots cast in District 1.


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Hunter Wallace wins auditor job

By Kayland Hagwood

Susan Hunter Wallace squeaked by in Tuesday’s runoff election for Lancaster County auditor, narrowly defeating Allen Blackmon.
Hunter Wallace received 1,848 votes (51.3 percent) in the Republican runoff, leaving Blackmon close behind with 1,755 votes (48.7 percent). She will have no Democratic opposition in November’s general election.
“I’m humbled, and I know I’m privileged to be the next auditor,” Hunter Wallace said. “It’s not money and it’s not power. I give (God) all the glory for this win.”


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Election to decide District 1 council seat, auditor

Primary runoff Tuesday

By Hannah Strong

All registered Lancaster County voters may vote in the Republican primary runoffs Tuesday.

The June 28 runoffs, like the June 14 primaries, will be open elections to determine the GOP winners of the Lancaster County Council District 1 seat and county auditor’s post. 


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Heath Springs Council passes budget, will not close RR crossings

By Hannah Strong

HEATH SPRINGS – Heath Springs Town Council unanimously approved the final reading of the town’s $361,158 budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year Tuesday night.
The final budget doesn’t include any increase in the town’s water, sewer or garbage rates, but it does include a $2,000 increase for training and workshops.


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