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Government

  • Gilbert focused on replacing Duracell

    The city of Lancaster’s biggest recruiting tool in its quest to replace the departing Duracell operation, Jamie Gilbert says, is the quality of Duracell’s workforce.
    “We’ve been out there several times in the last couple of months,” said Gilbert, Lancaster County’s economic development director. “What you see is a workforce that is as committed and dedicated to get the job done as they were prior to the announcement they were closing.

  • Kershaw eyes expense hikes, but fixing leak to yield savings

    KERSHAW – Town officials hope that finding and fixing a gigantic water leak will save Kershaw enough money to offset several unavoidable expense increases in the proposed $3.9 million budget for 2017-18.
    The budget, which passed first reading May 15, does not include a property tax increase at this point, though that might change before second reading. The town is awaiting information on how much it will get through the local-option sales tax.
    “It’s going to be tight again. It always is,” said Mayor Mark Dorman.

  • City budget plan ups fees, lowers taxes, cuts 11 jobs

    Lancaster City Council members got their first look at next fiscal year’s proposed budget Tuesday night, which lowers property taxes slightly for city residents but increases fees on city services for some.
    The budget also positions the city against a loss of revenue from Duracell’s departure next year by banking a portion of the city’s potential millage increase, withholding cost of living raises for city employees and cutting nearly a dozen jobs.

  • Heath Springs: Cost of deputy rising too fast, will do without

    HEATH SPRINGS – Citing a 64 percent increase in cost, the town of Heath Springs will not renew its agreement with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office that supplies a deputy to the town for 40 hours a week.
    To renew, the cost of the contract would have soared from $23,500 per year to $38,500 per year. The current contract expires June 30.
    And for a small town with no property tax whose revenue comes from mostly water and sewer rates, the additional $15,000 cost was too much to absorb, said Mark Bridges, the town’s major pro tem.

  • Council votes for $81M budget

    The Lancaster County Council unanimously passed its first reading of the new $81.1 million budget Monday night with a few minor tweaks reflecting a commitment to public works and public safety.
    The fiscal 2017-18 budget is $2.1 million more than this year’s, and property owners would see a slight rise in taxes.
    Homeowners with a home valued at $100,000 and vehicles worth $30,000 would see property taxes rise $22.26, to a total of $485.42. Breaking that down, it’s $15 more on the home and $7.26 on the vehicles.  

  • Proposed county budget contains tax hike, pay raises, 20 new jobs

    The Lancaster County Council will review the proposed 2017-18 budget at its meeting Monday night.
    The new budget includes a slightly higher property tax rate, a 2 percent salary increase for county workers and more money for cyber-security. It addresses public works and public safety in an effort to keep up with the county’s growing population, which is nearing 90,000 people.  

  • Recount affirms Norman’s GOP win

    A mandatory recount on Friday affirmed Ralph Norman’s photo-finish victory in this week’s runoff with Tommy Pope for the GOP slot on the 5th District congressional ballot.
    Norman will face Democrat Archie Parnell and three minor-party candidates in the June 20 special election to fill the seat vacated when Mick Mulvaney became White House budget director.
    State law required Friday’s recount because Norman’s victory margin was 1 percent or less of the total votes cast.

  • Norman edges Pope, pending recount

    Ralph Norman defeated Tommy Pope by the thinnest of margins in Tuesday’s 5th Congressional District GOP runoff, but the race isn’t over yet.
    When the unofficial results were tallied, Norman was 203 votes ahead with a little more than 35,000 votes cast.
    With all 11 counties reporting, Norman had 17,772 votes to Pope’s 17,572.

  • Gas-tax hike heads to governor backed by veto-proof majorities

    COLUMBIA – The S.C. gas-tax increase looks like a done deal, even if Gov. Henry McMaster vetoes it later this week.
    The S.C. House passed a compromise plan Tuesday that raises the state’s gas tax by a total of 12 cents a gallon over six years and increases other driving fees to create long-term funding for road repairs across the state.
    House Speaker Jay Lucas called the legislation the most significant infrastructure bill to pass the General Assembly in three decades.

  • Connelly endorses Norman in runoff

    NEWBERRY – The businessman who finished fourth in last week’s seven-candidate 5th District Republican Party primary has endorsed fellow businessman Ralph Norman in the upcoming May 16 GOP runoff.
    On Monday, Chad Connelly announced his support of Norman, who faces Tommy Pope in next week’s runoff.
    A former member of the S.C. House, Norman is a real estate developer from Rock Hill.
    “They say nobody likes losing, but if you’re gonna lose, you ought to lose to somebody who thinks like you,” Connelly said.