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Council to discuss lawsuit settlement

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Christopher Sardelli

csardelli@thelancasternews.com

Funds awarded to the county from a recently settled civil suit will be discussed at Lancaster County Council’s Monday meeting, Oct. 22. 

Sixth Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield recently notified council about an award of funds they received through a civil case between the state of South Carolina and LendingTree LLC, a mortgage broker operating in the state. 

Barfield said a group of state solicitors retained counsel to investigate LendingTree and found multiple violations of the state’s Mortgage Loan Brokers Act. A civil lawsuit was recently settled, with LendingTree required to pay $4 million to the state. 

As part of the settlement, Barfield presented the county with two checks totaling $34,818.80. 

In a memo to council, County Administrator Steve Willis suggested the funds could be divided equally between the solicitor’s office and the register of deeds office, though final decision will be up to council. 

Also on the agenda, Public Works Director Jeff Catoe will discuss plans and financial data for improvements along Kirk Air Base Road, and will provide an update on activity by the County Transportation Committee. 

There will be several ordinance readings at the meeting as well, including second readings of ordinances to authorize a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement between the county and Surefin LLC, and another to add a section to the county’s unified development ordinance about the replacement of digital billboards.

Smoking ban 

ordiance on hold

Still on hold are several hot-button issues that have sparked debate among residents throughout the year. 

The final reading of a proposed county-wide smoking ordinance remains on hold pending review by the county’s Health and Wellness Commission. Willis said the commission has revised its penalties for violators and is clarifying language about enforcement. The ordinance could return to council’s agenda in November. 

Also on hold are several Haile Gold Mine ordinances, pending review by council members, including one to rezone several properties near the mine from residential to heavy industrial. 

An ordinance to revise the county’s B-3 commercial zoning definitions also remains stalled. 

Council will meet in closed session before the meeting at 6 p.m. to discuss a legal briefing on a surety bond claim, an economic development briefing on a proposed project and two economic development matters. The session will continue after the meeting if needed. 

Regular council meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays each month at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Lancaster County Administration Building.

Council meetings are open to the public. Council agenda packets are available online at www.mylancastersc.org/, by looking under the Government Tab and then clicking Agendas and Minutes.

 

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli 

 at (803) 416-8416