Council approves changing expense allocation
by Kevin Boozer Staff Writer
WINNSBORO — Fairfield County Council unanimously approved a recommendation by Interim County Administrator Milton Pope that the council replace its existing expense allocation policy.
The new measure requires council members to turn in receipts for expenditures related to their positions instead of receiving monthly stipends where no receipts were required, which the old policy permitted.
Members of the crowd applauded the action, which some had been lobbying for during public comment time in recent weeks.
Pope reminded everyone that the duty of a county administrator is to recommend to council to exact policy beneficial to the governmental body.
In other business, council passed third and final reading for the county to buy approximately one acre of property to be used as a recreational mini-park and other related matters in Mikel Trapp’s district.
The motion passed 4-3 with Dwayne Perry, David Brown and Carolyn Robinson opposing and Mary Lynn Kinley, Kamau Marcharia, Trapp and David Ferguson in favor.
According the county, the property is located at 118 99 Road in Blair. The current owners are Bonnie E. Goree, Dianne Eigner, Alice G. Reeder, Susan Mattison, Mary Ann Nelson and Betty Lewis. They are the children of West Nolan Goree, from whom they inherited the property.
The property is assessed at $15,000 ($7,500 for the land and $7,500 for a structure). Deputy County Administrator Davis Anderson said the estimated cost to complete the mini park is $72,000 but that cost could change as items are bid out.
The estimate includes site preparation by county staff, professional services for engineering for safety and ADA requirements, a basketball court, a shelter and concrete slab, a walking trail, grill, picnic table, playground equipment and a stone parking lot.
During Anderson’s report to council, he discussed county infrastructure repairs and three projects were unanimously approved by council.
The county administration building’s 50-year-old HVAC system is causing an environmental issue for staff, Anderson said. To replace the system, employees must be moved from the location for a period of time. Anderson said three facilities are being considered but one was eliminated due to excessive mold contamination.
Anderson said the time line on repairs would not exceed 12 months. Once a site is approved, council approval is needed before money is spent. Funds are included in the county’s recent bond issuance to pay for the repairs.
Anderson also said repairs are needed at the Fairfield County Detention Center to the shower exhaust in Unit B. Water was condensing into light fixtures creating an unsafe environment for inmates. The approximate cost of the repair is $31,451. Repairs will be made within 90 days.
Council also approved upgrades to the Jenkinsville recycling center to accommodate increased use. The upgrades will bring the center up to the same standards as the other facilities in the county and has a projected cost of $449,141.27. Renovations must be completed in six months. Ferguson said the item is in the budget each year to get up to speed with the other sites in the county.
In other business:
— Kinley said she is waiting to hear from attorneys before she addresses repayment of funds paid to her in lieu of insurance coverage.
— Kinley noted the turnout for the meeting and urged citizens to consider serving on boards and commissions as a way to contribute to county politics and for the good of Fairfield County.
— Ferguson requested an update on Chinook Drive. Pope said the county did not hear back from negotiations for land to be purchased and resolve the dispute. The 30-day period expired Sept. 19 so according to Ferguson and Pope, that means it is in the public’s interest and in the county’s interest to move forward.
Ferguson said the contractor planned to return to Chinook Drive in a week to 10 days to pave Chinook Drive to finish the project.
— Fairfield County Purchasing Director Shelia Pickett announced a county vendor forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 22 so residents can familiarize themselves with businesses in Fairfield County.
— Unanimously passed first reading to sell property on West Washington Street to Fairfield Community Development Corporation Inc. Pope said the county will work with Terry Vickers at the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce and others involved with the 501(c)3 for terms and conditions of the contract prior to final reading.
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