Group presents opposition to waste flow bill

Kevin Boozer Staff Writer

September 4, 2013

Kevin Boozer

Staff Writer

WINNSBORO — Sen. Creighton Coleman will get a chance Sept. 9 to give a rebuttal to a recent presentation by the S.C. Association of Counties that urges opposition to a waste flow bill being considered in Columbia by lawmakers.

At the Aug. 26 meeting of the Fairfield County Council, a staff attorney for SCAC presented the group’s argument against the bill.

The presentation prompted Coleman, a supporter of House Bill 3290’s modified version in the Senate, to request 30 minutes to speak in rebuttal. After some discussion council voted to add Coleman to the agenda for the Sept. 9 meeting.

County Council Chairman David Ferguson said he personally sides with the S.C. Association of Counties, noting the importance of the home rule issue.

“This could be one of the biggest things to affect our state in a long time,” Ferguson said, “and we need to make sure all constituents’ wishes are followed (when it comes to House Bill 3290).”

During his presentation, Josh Rhodes told council that the bill, which Rep. MaryGail Douglas went on record as opposing, would be harmful to the state’s economy and result in private landfills that would fill with out-of-state waste so companies could get higher tipping fees per ton and make bigger profits for stockholders.

He mentioned human sludge traveling daily by train to Lee County and said how that has hurt the quality of life in the Lowcountry. Rhodes mentioned the Don’t Dump on S.C. Campaign and encouraged those present to stand with counties and protect what he termed an issue that involves home rule.

Rhodes said Coleman voted for the bill. Rhodes said opposing the flow bill protects home rule, protects county bonding capabilities and ensures the county has a revenue source from the waste disposed in a landfill.

Council also approved moving the Sept. 9 meeting to the Fairfield County Magnet School for Math and Science so a larger crowd can be accommodated. During that presentation time, Coleman will have up to 30 minutes to offer a rebuttal.

In other business:

— Second reading passed on an ordinance authorizing the county to buy and develop property for use as a mini-park. During discussion, a resident mentioned the possibility that someone might donate land to spare the county the expense of purchasing land.

Interim County Administrator Milton Pope welcomed the public to forward information about property to his office for consideration before the third reading is held.

“If someone were willing to donate property, we would be willing to look at that so long as the property is in the community where we need to put a mini-park,” Ferguson said.

— Third and final reading passed on an ordinance to amend an ordinance regulating abandoned buildings and manufactured homes among other property.

— Council approved funding to replace the locking system in the Fairfield County Detention Center. Deputy County Administrator Davis Anderson said some doors would not open when needed and that others stayed open longer than needed. The motion passed 6-0.

— Purchasing Director Shelia Pickett presented council an overview of a procurement protest raised by a vendor against the county. Pickett said a review panel sided with her in the case. Pope recommended council uphold the panel’s decision. Ferguson asked about an itemized check off sheet and was told a checklist is a mandatory requirement. Project engineer Davis and Floyd placed a certified bid for the work and there was no policy of a mandatory pre-bid.

— Pope announced a County Spotlight feature that he and his staff will present to council on an ongoing basis. This month the spotlight was on the V.C. Summer nuclear plant.

— Council approved moving forward with the Town of Winnsboro to pursue infrastructure to serve the Fairfield Commerce Center and the Walter Brown II Industrial Park.

Contact staff writer Kevin Boozer at kboozer@civitasmedia.com or 635-4016 ext. 14.