WINNSBORO — Concerned residents researching the Drawdy Park construction project called DHEC into Fairfield County recently to assess if all proper procedures had been followed with construction and water drainage at the site.
At the Oct. 28 Fairfield County Council meeting, interim County Administrator Milton Pope said the Department of Health and Environmental Control determined the site was in good shape. To residents who questioned the permitting process, the county elaborated that since the area was small, there was no need for a sediment erosion control permit.
In an Oct. 24 report, DHEC Stormwater Compliance Manager Susan Yates reported the Drawdy Park site rated “satisfactory.”
The DHEC report confirmed no permit was required since a rough estimate of the area proved it to be less than one acre. The report did say the area around the field needs to be stabilized to ensure sediment does not leave the site. The report also stated that “complete stabilization around the football field needed to be completed as soon as possible.”
According to the county, the football field site required a lot of fill dirt to build up a crowned playing surface. Right now sod has been laid and it might settle a bit during the construction process since there was such a long rainy period this past summer.
If that is the case, action will be taken by those overseeing the project to ensure the playing field is safe for young people.
County officials responded to rumors about the engineering firm handling the project and assured the public that the engineering firm, S2, was competent and qualified. S2 is a general contractor firm whose head specialized in chemical engineering.
His firm contains civil engineers and as a practicing engineer the leader of S2 has latitude to pursue projects outside the scope of the chemical engineering he specialized in.
Ron Stowers, director of Planning, Building and Zoning for Fairfield County, said that according to South Carolina law a professional engineer can practice outside of the particular category in which he or she is classified provided professional credentials qualify that person to work in another area. Stowers is also a professional engineer.
Shelia Pickett, director of procurement for the county, said the Drawdy Park project was assigned by then-county administrator Phil Hinely. She said the county has several contractors it uses for particular projects on an a- needed basis per an indefinite delivery contract. S2 was assigned the park.
Pickett said her office put in a request for qualifications for engineering services and when the Drawdy Park project came up, the administrator awarded S2 the job.
The Fairfield County Public Works building, the probation and parole building and the county voter registration building are all projects this firm did for the county over the years.