WINNSBORO — Infrastructure improvements, a new wood chipping facility and Winnsboro festivals were among the items discussed at the Monday Fairfield County Council Meeting.
A resolution passed unanimously in support of bonds being refinanced in issuance by the South Carolina Jobs-Economic Development Authority not to exceed $65 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds.
County Administrator Phil Hinely said the bonds, which relate to Unit 1 of a South Carolina Electric and Gas project,were financed years ago and now with rates lower it is a good time to reissue, or refinance, the bonds at a more favorable rate.
Clerk to Council Shryll Brown reminded council members that a one time adoption of a resolution does not create a binding ordinance.
Deputy County Administrator Davis Anderson reported that the county wood chipping site off of Old Airport Road is operational with an estimated 4,000 tons of chips in the works at present. That figure represents a $200,000 savings because the wood material, leaves, etc. is not being put into a landfill.
“To keep this wood product out of our waste stream is quite a bit of savings. Anything we don’t send to Screaming Eagle (facility) is a savings to folks in the county. And this, we are taking and grinding up and giving back to the citizens of the county, but it is saving us money. This is a win-win, thing. Once we recoup what it took to build that center then it will be profitable for citizens in the county,” Fairfield County Council Chairman David Ferguson said.
Councilman Kamau Marcharia voiced concerns about the station being a fire hazard, but Anderson assured him that the mulch would be turned over and rotated so it would not be hot when people loaded it onto their trucks. The mulch will be available to individuals first and then the following Tuesday after the Saturday the center is open private industries will have access to any left over mulch.
Groundbreaking for the site will be Oct. 30 at 3 p.m. Signs at recycling centers will announce when the site has mulch available.
In other news:
•County Council unanimously approved contributing $5,000 to become a member of an exploratory committee that seeks to create a regional water authority in Fairfield County.
•Council approved 6-0-1 to change its quarterly status meetings with Fairfield Memorial Hospital to meetings twice a year instead. Mary Lynn McKinley abstained, as she is a hospital employee.
•Councilwoman Carolyn Robinson reported for the Welfare and Community Relations Committee and noted a few changes to the Veteran’s Day celebration are in the works this year. The service will be 11 a.m. on Nov. 9. The committee should finalize its plans within two weeks
•Terry Vickers with the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce made public comment about the Big Grab 25-Mile Yard Sale. The sale will become an annual event held the weekend after Labor Day. She encouraged council members to participate in the rocking chair parade at 7 p.m. on Oct.5 during the Rock Around the Clock Festival.
•The county employee appreciation dinner will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Public Works Department.
During County Council discussion time, councilwoman Mary Lynn Kinley gave an update on the expansion of the Disabilities and Special Needs Board’s facility. The project is behind schedule but the target move in time is the first part of October. The contractor will pay the board a fine of $500 for every day that they are late in opening the building.
“That is a fine addition to the building and they can use that space to see that more people are gainfully employed. That’s a blessing, really,” Ferguson said.
Council then withdrew into executive session to receive legal advice.