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Government

  • City, county goverments face weighty issues in 2018

    Lancaster zeros in on infrastructure, finances
    With the close of another year, the City of Lancaster is still facing major issues that will transition in to the coming 2018-year, and possibly further.
    Problems regarding infrastructure, the budget, public safety and economic development are at the forefront of city concerns.
    One of the priorities the continued focus on wastewater infrastructure and sewer lines.

  • County may extend Founders’ tax deal

    The county is on the verge of extending its current fee-in-lieu of taxes (FILOT) agreement with Founders Federal Credit Union, though one councilman remains apprehensive about the proposal.
    “If we do it for one, we should do it for any of ’em,” said Lancaster County Councilman Jack Estridge, noting the extension could set a precedent.   
    Estridge voted to approve the first two readings, but said he remains unsure about how the county will benefit from the extension.

  • ‘Barnes was just someone who did’

    T.T. Barnes was a true legend.
    The no-nonsense black educator and community leader died Friday. Born in Lancaster, Barnes was 92 years old.
    Barnes, who saw the best in all children, had a local reputation for getting opposing parties to talk and iron out their differences, said Lancaster County Councilwoman Charlene McGriff.
    “Whenever something happened and you needed someone to bring people together, Mr. Barnes was the one who could do it. He will surely be missed,” said McGriff. 

  • 48-hour time limit ‘not fair’

    State House Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell (D-Lancaster) has proposed changing the current municipal election law regarding contested elections.
    The proposal came during a regular, joint House Legislative Oversight Committee meeting Dec. 19, where all four subcommittees met to discuss each subcommittee’s respective state agency. Norrell is on the Economic Development and Environmental Subcommittee.

  • McMaster declares opioid emergency

    Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday declared the opioid epidemic a state emergency, ordered limits on opioid prescriptions for Medicaid recipients and participants in the State Health Plan, and pushed legislation restricting sales more broadly.
    The governor’s action follows a huge spike in opioid-overdose deaths across the state, and comes two weeks after President Trump declared a public health emergency nationwide.
    Lancaster County has recorded 25 opioid-related deaths this year, a fivefold increase over last year.

  • City awards $1.7M sewer contract

    City council voted unanimously Tuesday night to award the West Arch Street and Poovey Farm sewer project segments to North American Pipeline Management.
    The company’s bid was the lowest at just over $1.7 million, and it comes in around $900,000 less than the estimated cost of the project.

  • Council scraps over city’s labor attorney

    City council got into a testy debate this week regarding the city’s on-call labor attorney – an issue they had discussed six days earlier in executive session at a special called meeting.
    No one would say specifically what the issue is with Mike Malone, the Columbia lawyer who has worked for the city on employment matters for 25 years, but communication was the general concern.

  • Rick Quinn Jr. pleads guilty in State House corruption case

    Former House Majority Leader Rick Quinn Jr. pleaded guilty to official corruption Tuesday, after resigning from the S.C. House an hour before the hearing.
    The Lexington Republican pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of misconduct in office.
    First Circuit Solicitor and Special Prosecutor David Pascoe asked for the maximum sentence allowed, one year in prison, arguing that Quinn committed the worst crimes uncovered so far in the ongoing legislative corruption investigation.

  • Blackmon: Scrap late fees on water bills

    City council held a special called meeting Wednesday night and spent about 40 minutes debating a $25 fee that the utilities department charges customers who are late paying their water bills.
    Council member Linda Blackmon brought up the matter, saying she favored dropping the fee entirely.

  • Kershaw: County should take Stevens Park

    In a money-saving move, the town of Kershaw is asking the county to take over ownership and most of the operating costs of Stevens Park. 
    Kershaw Town Council voted 6-0 Monday night, with councilman Eddie Coates absent, for a “memorandum of understanding” outling the town’s proposal.