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Government

  • Heath Springs' mayor, 2 councilmen calling it quits

    It’s time for some turnover in Heath Springs’ municipal government.
    The three town council members whose terms end this year won’t seek reelection, and the other two are running for mayor.
    Mayor Ann Taylor and longtime at-large council members Ted Sowell and Mark Bridges will not file for their seats.
    “It’s gonna be interesting,” said Taylor, who has served as Heath Springs mayor since 1991.
    Taylor said she decided several months ago not to seek a new term.

  • Brewery rezoning approved

    On July 17, Lancaster County Council unanimously approved the first of three required readings to rezone Benford Brewery. The zoning change will allow the growing brewery to expand.  
    Rumors had spread that the nearly five-year-old brewery, located at 2271 Boxcar Road, was building a bar.
    Owner Bryan O’Neal quickly put that to rest.

  • Council sets $75 stormwater fee for Panhandle

    Panhandle residents might notice a new fee on their taxes starting this October. A $75 fee per household to fund a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) received initial approval from Lancaster County Council on July 17.
    It passed first reading in council with a 5-0 vote. Councilmen Terry Graham and Billy Mosteller were absent.
    The new fee will only affect residents north of S.C. 5.

  • No public hearing needed for Kershaw rec center annexation

    KERSHAW – There’s a critical 5-acre tract the town of Kershaw needs to annex on the outskirts of town to give its underdevelopment business park access to the railroad tracks.
    And this is an annexation request fully endorsed by the property owner.
    The tract is home to the county-owned Andrew Jackson Recreation Center property on North Matson Street.   
    Lancaster County asked Kershaw officials to annex the property into its corporate town limits.

  • One-third of city budget is mandated sewer repairs

    Complying with the terms of a time-sensitive EPA consent order to replace faulty clay sewer lines on Erwin Farm, Kings Circle, Poovey Farm and West Arch Street is exacting heavy cost on city taxpayers.
    An estimated $11.7 million of the city of Lancaster’s current $33.9 million budget for 2017-18 is earmarked to pay for sewer improvements cited in the EPA consent order.
    The deteriorated 80-year-old sewer lines were a “free gift” from Springs Mills that the city accepted in the 1960s.

  • County council OKs tax increase

    Lancaster County Council unanimously approved the county’s 2017-18 budget Monday, an $82.9 million overall spending plan that increases funding for public safety, employee compensation and infrastructure maintenance.
    The overall budget increase, coming in at $7.9 million more than last year’s, is supported largely by a 4.6-mill increase in property taxes that brings the county’s millage rate to 100.1 mills.

  • Laid-off worker blasts city officials

    Brian Stogner, a 30-year city worker losing his job because of budget cuts, blasted officials during Tuesday’s city council meeting, protesting his own layoff and the city’s handling of all its employees over the past two years.
    “Morale is the lowest I’ve seen in 30 years,” said Stogner,  a city firefighter whose last day on the job is today.

  • Council ousts Holt

    A bloc of Lancaster County Council members representing the county’s central districts voted Monday night to oust outspoken District 7 Indian Land planning commissioner Jerry Holt by preventing his appointment to a third term.
    The move was the second attempt to eject Holt from the commission. It came just two weeks after the same council members blocked the appointment of Waylon Wilson, another outspoken Indian Land nominee to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

  • Overtime draws scrutiny in city budget

    Lancaster City Council will closely scrutinize employee overtime in the upcoming year after one of its members questioned the matter at length last Tuesday night.
    Following the scheduled public hearing on the city’s $33.9 million proposed 2017-18 budget, councilwoman Hazel Taylor made a motion to delete $15,000 in overtime expense from the Support Services Division.

  • Van Vyck town vote in August

    Van Wyck residents will go to the polls Aug. 15 to decide if their community will incorporate, a defensive move against being gobbled up by the proposed Indian Land municipality.
    News of the special election date came Friday, nearly a year and a half after Van Wyck began its effort in an attempt to preserve its rural way of life. The community has about 2,500 residents.