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Government

  • Smoking ordinance lights up council debate

    Will smokers soon be seen huddling en masse outside Lancaster County restaurants, theaters and other public buildings as they light up their next cigarette?

    It’s very possible, especially if County Council decides to approve a proposed ordinance that would prohibit smoking in enclosed public places and enclosed areas of work. 

    The proposal and its ramifications were a hot topic at council’s meeting on Monday, June 11. 

  • City Council looking at property tax hike

    City of Lancaster residents may face a property tax increase for the first time in four years.

    The proposed hike is part of the drafted 2012-13 budget city of Lancaster officials are now considering.

    The recommendation calls for the city’s millage rate to go from 143.5 to 149.7 mills. That results in about a $24 tax increase on a $100,000 owner-occupied home, said City of Lancaster Finance Director James Absher.

    The last time the city raised taxes was for the 2008-09 fiscal year, when the rate went from 140 to 143.5 mills.

  • Initial budget reading passes muster

    Rising insurance costs, extra county personnel and an updated E-911 system weighed heavily on the minds of county officials as Lancaster County Council took its first look at the county’s budget Monday night, May 21. 

    Council voted 6-0 to approve first reading of the county’s budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2013. Councilman Larry McCullough was not at the meeting. 

  • Officials considering strict smoking ordinance

    Smoking in Lancaster County may become a lot more restrictive this year.

    County Council is expected to soon consider a proposed ordinance that would ban smoking in all public-access buildings in the county.

    The county’s Health & Wellness Commission had been discussing the idea for some time. County Administrator Steve Willis said the drafted ordinance is modeled after those adopted in York and Greenville counties.

  • Senate committee passes measure to get candidates back on ballot

    Despite some political wrangling Tuesday, May 8, the S.C. Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure that would allow any candidate who attempted to file a statement of economic interest by April 20 back on the ballot for the June 12 primary. The deadline to file was March 30.

    The S.C. Supreme Court ruled May 2 that 180 candidates across the state were disqualified for the upcoming primaries, which meant their names were removed from the primary ballots.

  • Baccalaureate services signal high school graduations

    Part of what makes graduation so memorable is the depth of tradition inherent in it.

    In the coming weeks, Lancaster County’s high school seniors will begin their march toward graduation with a ceremony that dates back to the days of the world’s ancient universities – baccalaureate.

    According to several sources, the services are believed to have begun at the United Kingdom’s University of Oxford sometime around 1432 to celebrate young lives dedicated to learning and wisdom.

  • Council gives nod to 4-H funding

    After a report on the contributions of the local 4-H, and an outpouring of support from the community, Lancaster County Council decided to fund the county’s 4-H agent position on Monday night, April 23. 

    The unanimous vote to approve funding the position, which provides a 4-H agent through the Clemson University Extension Service, came three weeks after council members discussed whether to renew a $35,000 contract for the agent. 

  • Public safety is top concern

    Public safety surpassed economic development on this year’s county strategic plan, as Lancaster County Council recently ranked the most important issues facing residents and the county. 

    With ongoing efforts by county officials to strengthen the local E-911 system and increase the number of law enforcement officers on patrol, council unanimously decided on making public safety its top goal. 

    “Public safety, that was just No. 1 for everyone,” said County Administrator Steve Willis. 

  • City council talk road repair

     

    At its Tuesday, April 10, meeting, Lancaster City Council discussed recommendations for road repaving that were made during its recent planning session.

    Each member listed two roads he or she would like to see would like to see selected by the County Transportation (CTC) for improvements.

    Each year the city suggests roads to the CTC) for resurfacing. The CTC then choses which ones will receive their repairs, which are paid for through funds from the CTC and S.C. Department of Transportation.

  • City to permit beer sales at Red Rose Festival

    This year’s Red Rose Festival will feature something extra for adults.

    Lancaster City Council voted 6-1 at its Tuesday, April 10, meeting to approve a resolution that permits the sale and consumption of beer at the upcoming festival on May 18 and 19.

    Councilwoman Linda Blackmon-Brace cast the dissenting vote.

    In November 2011, council revised an existing ordinance, to allow beer and wine to be sold at city-sponsored functions. However, a vendor must apply and be approved for each event.