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Government

  • Council salutes Estridge after 16 years of service

    Banging the gavel to conclude a Lancaster County Council meeting is an obligation that’s usually handled by its leader.
    But last Monday, council Chairman Steve Harper shifted that duty to Jack Estridge to mark the District 6 council member’s last meeting as an elected official.
    “He’s been a valuable asset,” Harper said, noting that Dec. 10 was declared Jack Estridge Day in the county to honor his years of public service. Harper figured that Estridge had taken part in at least 368 meetings during his 16 years in office.

  • S.C. regulators OK Dominion’s SCANA buyout

    COLUMBIA – The S.C. Public Service Commission unanimously voted Friday to allow Dominion Energy to purchase SCANA, the parent of South Carolina Electric and Gas, making ratepayers responsible for another $2.7 billion for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.
    The deal, a $14.6 billion takeover, has been in limbo for the past year, as lawmakers initially put the merger on hold in February, a month after Dominion announced initial plans to buy SCE&G.

  • Lowest animal-shelter bid tops estimate by $500,000

    County officials were hopeful to break ground on a new 8,600-square-foot animal shelter next spring, but the project now faces a major snag after the lowest bid came in $500,000 over budget. 
    Now, they’re trying to figure how to trim the costs back and keep the project on track as much as possible.

  • 3 city council candidates pitch ideas for jump-starting Main St.

    The incumbents in the two contested Lancaster City Council races skipped Tuesday’s candidate forum, leaving three challengers to pitch their ideas for reviving Main Street and coping with the city’s financial challenges.
    Mike DeMarco, an IT supervisor at Companion Data Services, and Craft Stand owner Don Geraghty debated as challengers to incumbent Hazel Taylor in District 5.

  • 6 competing for 2 city council seats

    There are newcomers aplenty competing for the available Lancaster City Council seats this fall, with four candidates challenging the incumbents in Districts 2 and 5.
    Don Geraghty, Mike DeMarco and James “Butch” Flynn are vying for incumbent Hazel Taylor’s seat. District 2 incumbent Gonzie Mackey faces Jimmy Sweatt. District 1 incumbent Kenny Hood has no opposition.

  • District 45 issues: Jobs, growth, teacher pay

    A low-key race for the S.C. House District 45 seat is hitting its final stretch, with both candidates scheduled to appear at public forums twice in the next week.
    GOP incumbent Brandon Newton of Lancaster and his opponent, Democrat Corin Buskey of Rock Hill, have been campaigning mostly by putting up road signs and attending house parties and small community gatherings.

  • Heavy absentee voting for midterm

    If requests for absentee ballots are an accurate gauge, there is going to be a heavier turnout than usual for the Nov. 6 midterm general election.
    S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Friday that 45,000-plus state voters have applied for absentee ballots.
    “At this point in the process in 2014, the last gubernatorial election, approximately 30,000 voters had applied for absentee ballots statewide,” Whitmire said in a statement.
    “Without a doubt, it’s up,” said Lancaster County Elections Director Mary Ann Hudson.

  • City Hall to get $400K in repairs

    Lancaster City Hall will get some much-needed repairs, after Hurricane Florence blew in and worsened leaks in the building’s roof.
    City council voted unanimously Tuesday night to allocate $400,000 for a new metal roof and other repairs to the building. That money will come from the city’s reserve fund, which contains $1.2 million rolled over from last budget year.
    City Administrator Flip Hutfles said he had already set aside $110,000 in this year’s budget, anticipating City Hall needing a new roof.

  • County targets federal grant to demolish rundown houses

    The Lancaster County Council unanimously approved a $40,500 commitment Monday night to go after a $405,000 Community Development Block Grant to tear down a dozen dilapidated and uninhabitable homes in the mill village.
    The 12 homes are in Brooklyn Avenue area, as well as the Midway corridor on York Street.
    If the county gets the grant, the money to pay for demolition of the blighted homes will come from a community enrichment program administered by the Catawba Regional Council of Governments (COG). The grant requires a 10 percent local cash match.

  • Auditor, treasurer cut hours at new IL center

    Two elected officials are cutting the amount of time their workers are staffing the county government’s new Indian Land Service Center by 75 percent due to a lack of foot traffic.
    Starting next month, the county treasurer’s and auditor’s offices will have workers there only the second Tuesday of each month instead of every Tuesday.