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Government

  • Rep. Norrell appointed to tax-reform committee

    COLUMBIA – Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell of Lancaster is among 14 S.C. House members on a special tax-reform committee appointed Tuesday by House Speaker Jay Lucas.
    Norrell, a Democrat whose 44th District includes Lancaster, Heath Springs and Kershaw, will serve on the bipartisan panel, which will review the S.C. tax code and make recommendations to Lucas for changes before the next legislative session.

  • Elgin residents’ concerns stall UDO rewrite by several weeks

    Public concerns over the county’s new Unified Development Ordinance and Official Zoning Map has resulted in at least another month being added to the already 19-month-long rewriting process for the UDO.
    More than 75 people, most from the Elgin community, attended the UDO public hearing Tuesday night to voice their concerns about the ordinance’s Environmental Hazardous Overlay District, which they fear will restrict their land use. Many addressed the Planning Commission during the citizens’ comments portion in the four-hour meeting.

  • City council rejects police raises

    A two-month-long effort by the Lancaster Police Department to get pay raises for nine mid-level and senior officers has been rejected by Lancaster City Council.
    City employees from other departments turned out in force at Tuesday night’s council meeting, arguing that if the officers got raises, all other city workers should get raises too. After a long executive session to discuss the matter, council voted 5-2 against the police pay hikes.

  • Council votes for Red Ventures tax incentive

    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.

  • Eight file for school board, city council

    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.

  • Hospitality tax draws crowd of supporters

    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.

  • Storm-water utility, fees proposed for Panhandle

    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.

  • Filing opens for city council, school board

    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.

  • Council agitated, confused by Estridge’s many motions

    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.

  • District 1 runoff goes to Graham

    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.