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Recent events should have caught the attention of all citizens of Lancaster County:
u The public meeting with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, affecting many who live in the vicinity of Pressley’s Recycling Center and those who travel along U.S. 521 daily
u The decision by Lancaster County Council to lift the rezoning moratorium without changing or redefining the B-3 zoning ordinance. Editor’s note: Lancaster County Council in its second reading on June 11, voted 6-1 to lift the moratorium.
u The debate for a new County Council seat representing northern Indian Land
DHEC meeting on Pressley’s
DHEC was well-represented at the May 15 meeting. All players were there to answer questions presented to them. When they could or would not answer directly, they provided the old soft-shoe shuffle of “We’ll look into that.”
All the while trying to convince us that Pressley’s owner Ron Olsen is just a small businessman. And DHEC is avowed to protect the small businessman, no matter the cost to future development, property owners, the environment, traffic, noise, dust and the list goes on. DHEC has tried, along with Olsen, to ignore and sometimes deny the years of citizen complaints made to its agency.
One must then consider the only answer to this is wait them out and they will give up. It reminds me of those children you see in the checkout line at grocery stores begging for candy, whose mothers act as if they don’t hear them. They only get the resounding “no” when the pestering can no longer be tolerated.
Citizens of Indian Land got that resounding “no” when DHEC admitted that permitting will be done for Olsen, who has conducted his business without certain permits. He has been polluting the environment with dust and noise and taking in everything under the sun, including a few leaking junked cars.
Olsen owns a landfill dump in Chester. Why does he find it necessary to keep his trash in Indian Land? Perhaps it’s a small dump, owned by a small businessman? From what I was told by DHEC in December 2011, he is to keep 75 percent of his intake shipped out. From my viewpoint in the woods, this hasn’t happened.
Olsen being a small businessman is also DHEC’s reason for not implementing and collecting the fines that were supposed to be collected in 2010. I find this odd, coming from an agency that constantly laments it is underfunded and understaffed. Maybe if DHEC did its job and collected the fines from enforcement, that could help with some of its funding woes.
It leads one to think that businesses can conduct themselves in any manner they choose, sanctioned by DHEC, the very agency to whom we pay our tax money to correct these very problems. If we need a permit to drive, permits to sell alcohol, food and other goods, why do these have to comply, if a small businessman is exempt?
Olsen did donate the property that now houses our beautiful Pleasant Valley Fire Station – a very generous gesture from a small businessman.
District 7 County
We can’t consider this without looking at the newly created District 7 seat on County Council to represent the northern part of Indian Land. We have two contenders – Jerry Holt and Brian Carnes. For anyone in the area not to consider this important is like leaving a pot with grease on a stove set on a high temperature. Not only will your pot be ruined, but you could lose your home in the process.
Indian Land Voice sponsored a debate May 15, the same night as the DHEC meeting, even though DHEC was asked not to choose that night because of the debate.
Carnes, a lifelong resident of Indian Land, former member of the school board, former contender for the state Senate seat now held by Greg Gregory and a key member of the Pleasant Valley Fire District Fee Board, has been completely silent regarding Pressley’s Recycling and the problems coming from there.
I think a person running for a seat representing northern Indian Land would have made some type of comment, contacted involved parties, something. He’s known us all of his life, just as we know him. But not a spoken word from Carnes.
Holt has attended meetings, asked questions and shown genuine concern regarding the issues at Pressley’s Recycling. Perhaps new blood is needed in our representation on County Council.
Council lifts rezoning
County Council has decided to lift the moratorium on B-3 rezonings. B-3 now covers 88 different businesses and includes so many things that the buffet selection at Golden Corral pales in comparison.
Indian Land resident Mick Mulvaney, during his term in the S.C. Senate, had enough forethought and concern to push for the U.S. 521 Corridor Study.
Mulvaney knew growth would come from Charlotte south to Lancaster County, impacting Indian Land. And in his wisdom, he backed a plan of regulated development that is not only one of beauty, but makes a perfectly laid plan for growth.
My grandfather, Frank Stephenson, a former teacher and farmer, also had this knowledge. One day while working in his fields, along U.S. 521, he said to me, “Beverly, one day Charlotte is going to come down that road and swallow us up.”
I ask you, how did my grandfather, almost 50 years ago, and more recently, Mulvaney, understand what Lancaster County officials cannot seem to grasp? Is it simply personnel, incapable of doing their jobs, or some other interest that conflicts them?
less than helpful
Out of sheer frustration and disgust with all these recent events, I recently wrote an e-mail to the County Planning Department and copied it to County Council.
And just as in my December meeting with DHEC to walk our property, I was stating the facts as I knew them. I get pretty disgusted when those I pay via tax dollars do not do their jobs. I also get extremely annoyed by those who seek public offices and then bow to special interests.
I did receive a response from my e-mail from Larry Honeycutt, who wrote:
“THERE IS AN OLD COUNTRY SONG YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO SOMETIMES WHEN YOU AREN’T WRITING THESE SARCASTIC EMAILS. THE NAME OF THE SONG IS ‘IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT LEAVE IT.’ WE HAVE SPENT MANY HOURS ON THE B-3 ISSUE AND WILL CONTINUE DESPITE COMMENTS LIKE YOURS. THANKS FOR THE VOTE OF SUPPORT AND DON’T BOTHER TO SEND ANOTHER EMAIL, IT WILL NOT BE READ.”
My goodness, what a statement from an elected official. In my e-mail, I simply stated facts as I have here in this editorial. Sarcastic? Not really, more factual about what I see and perceive as the incremental destruction of my home area, by degrees and incompetence.
Honeycutt suggests I leave town. Now that brings to mind an Old West movie scene or gangland Chicago. Are our council members conducting themselves as gangsters? And that, citizens, is one of your elected officials. To say that care must be taken in this next primary and election is an understatement. Our future is in the hands of people like this.
No others responded; they rarely do, including Larry McCullough, who in my opinion, could care less.
Hip, hip, hooray for no representation.
Beverly Lynch is an Indian Land native.