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Heath Springs Council to tackle business fees

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By Greg Summers

HEATH SPRINGS – It’s no secret that some of the town’s codes and ordinances haven’t kept up with the times.
Take Heath Springs’ annual business license fees, for instance. The fee has been $20 a year since the mid-1980s.
Town Councilwoman Iva Drakeford said she discussed the fee with a Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) staff member last month at the annual meeting in Hilton Head.
“He said, ‘So, you’re telling me those companies are only paying $20 a year? I would come to y’all’s town, too.’”   
At a work session Tuesday night, Mayor Eddie Moore appointed town council members Elaine Lehr and Drakeford to a committee to research the business license issue. They will work with town clerk Donna Moree to gather the research before coming back before the full council with a recommendation.
“We have to look at it,” Moore said.
The first step is seeing what other small towns across the state with a similar size population are charging for business licenses. According to the latest census data, Heath Springs has 944 residents.
“We aren’t charging appropriately and need to look at the entire process,” said Lehr, noting that many town ordinances are outdated. 
Based on that research, town council will then craft a new business license ordinance.
“When we decide what it’s going to be, I think it needs to go into a letter,” Moore said, noting that business owners wouldn’t be caught off-guard by any increases.
Moore also directed the committee to look at updating the town’s employee handbook.
In other action, Heath Springs Town Council:
◆ Unanimously passed a motion that allows Scott Christian to use the gated road leading to the town’s wastewater treatment plant to remove timber from his property. Moore lauded Christian for informing all the adjacent property owners of his plans.
“We aren’t going to deny him access to his property,” Moore said.
◆ Moved the planned Hart Street block litter pick-up to the fall.
Moore also noted that the Heath Springs Lions Club recently disbanded.
“We appreciate all the good they have done through the years,” he said.  

Follow reporter Greg Summers on Twitter @GregSummersTLN or contact him at (803) 283-1156.