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County still aiming for Dec. 31 IL convenience center opening

By Reece Murphy

Lancaster County officials say they hope to have at least basic recycling and trash-disposal services operating at the new Indian Land convenience center by Dec. 31.
But they have a contingency plan for local residents to continue using Mecklenburg County’s Foxhole for recycling and household waste should the plan fall through.
News of the plans came as some residents worried that their county-provided access stickers to the Foxhole would expire at the end of the year with the new Indian Land site still uncompleted.


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Pulte, county strike deal on Sun City roads

By Mandy Catoe

The dispute between Lancaster County and the Sun City Carolina Lakes’ developer over who is responsible for the community’s roads has been resolved with both sides compromising.
The county council passed a unanimous resolution Monday night, its final meeting of 2016, to settle the years-long dispute.


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Blackmon likely to take city council oath before judge hears case

Harris appeals vote-fraud ruling

By Greg Summers

Lancaster City Council member Jackie Harris is taking her vote-fraud allegations against Linda Blackmon to civil court, questioning the role of paper absentee ballots in Blackmon’s victory over her in the Nov. 8 election.
Harris filed an appeal with the court of common pleas last Friday, four weeks after the Lancaster County Election Commission rejected her initial protest of the City Council District 3 results. Harris contends that S.C. law allowed the commission too little time to consider her complaints and review evidence of voter fraud, bribery and coercion.


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Trump’s selection means McMaster ascends to governor’s job

Haley picked for UN ambassador

By Mandy Catoe

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
“Gov. Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” Trump said. “She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”
Haley, 44, is the first woman and first minority appointed for a cabinet-level position in Trump’s administration.


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County council votes for rewritten UDO

By Mandy Catoe

After nearly two years of a labor-intensive rewrite, the Unified Development Ordinance passed its first reading by county council this week following 90 minutes of discussion and explanations.
Councilman Steve Harper expressed concern on several issues, ranging from backyard chicken coops to tree permits, in the 339-page document, including 34 pages of definitions, 74 pages of appendices and five pages of edits since Sept. 2.


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County considers new ways to finance growth

Impact fee may raise building costs in IL

By Hannah Strong

A new study commissioned by Lancaster County predicts eye-popping growth in the Panhandle over the next decade – a 62 percent increase in population, 61 percent more jobs and 70 percent more housing units.
Accommodating those new residents and workers will cost the county millions of dollars for expanded libraries, parks and recreation facilities, and firefighting and EMS facilities.


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Animal advocates win staff increase at county shelter

By Mandy Catoe

Lancaster County Council voted unanimously Monday night to hire a part-time employee at the animal shelter to assist full-time staff who have been working overtime for months.
Before the vote, council members Larry Honeycutt praised the persistent animal advocates who have been pushing council for extra staff.
“Meeting after meeting we have heard concerned citizens tell us about the deplorable conditions at our animal shelter, and we have done nothing,” Honeycutt said.


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Planning board sends UDO rewrite to council, but without approval

By Mandy Catoe

After working on the document for 20 months, the Lancaster County Planning Commission has sent the 54-page revised Unified Development Ordinance to county council with no recommendation, positive or negative.
The motion to approve the UDO, the document that spells out the county’s zoning and development regulations, received a 3-3 vote in the commission’s special meeting Monday night. It was the second such meeting in two months.


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Officials agree: Time to dissect financial woes, sift alternatives

By Greg Summers

Consolidating some city and county services is possible, but starting the process will require exhaustive number-crunching and serious, “painfully tough” discussions.
That’s the initial reaction from a number of city and county officials after Lancaster Mayor John Howard floated the idea that the city’s colossal financial challenges require drastic action.


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Hospitality tax gets final OK

By Mandy Catoe

County council approved the third and final reading of the 2 percent hospitality tax Monday night, and the new charges will start appearing on diners’ and drinkers’ tabs Jan. 1.
Council voted 6-1, with the opposing vote from Chairman Bob Bundy.
The 2 percent tax, the maximum allowed under state law, will apply to all establishments that sell prepared meals and beverages in the unincorporated areas of Lancaster County.
The money can be spent only on tourism-related projects.


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