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Ardrey: Lancaster County needs sawmill

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I am concerned about Larry McCullough’s attempt at deception concerning the rezoning of the tract on Riverside Road.
Mr. McCullough is attempting to equate a sawmill with a landfill. Several times he refers to this project as similar to the rezoning attempt to locate a landfill in Flat Creek, even claiming that the project is beginning to smell.
A sawmill would be one of the cleanest industries that we could recruit to locate in Lancaster County. It doesn’t use any hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing process. It simply makes lumber out of logs using a saw. There will be no waste material because there is a market for every part of the logs that come in.
Forestry and forest products are the No. 1 industry in South Carolina, providing more jobs and economic benefits than any other industry. Forest products are the No. 1 cash crop grown in South Carolina.
At the present time, Lancaster County is missing out on any value-added products from the wood we are growing. All wood grown in Lancaster goes out of the county for processing.
There is a sawmill and wood yard in Pageland, a big sawmill at Camden, a plywood plant in Chester County and a paper mill in York County. A lot of our wood goes into North Carolina for processing. Landowners and tree farmers get less for their timber because of the distance to the nearest mill.
Mr. McCullough said that he and the river keeper were concerned about the state park on the Lancaster side of the river.
I wonder if he has been down there lately or even ever been there. Our side of the park is nothing but a hangout for parties, beer drinkers and drug deals.
A sawmill would have no affect on the park or other parts of the river.
I agree that the roads are not sufficient to handle all of the truck traffic that will be coming and going. As bad as Lancaster County needs high-paying jobs in the center of the county, I believe the state and county governments should provide the necessary infrastructure to be able to recruit desirable industries.
Bill Ardrey, consulting forester
Lancaster