NEWBERRY — At its March 5 meeting, Newberry County Council unanimously approved third readings on two ordinances related to county economic development. A fee in lieu of tax agreement was unanimously approved Wednesday night for between Newberry County, West Fraser and South Carolina.
The agreement makes West Fraser eligible for special tax rates as an incentive for the company to invest $27 million in its current college street location. Third reading also passed unanimously on an ordinance to amend the master agreement governing the Greenwood-Newberry Industrial Park which would enlarge the park.
Other infrastructure and funding initiatives considered and passing unanimously included:
• Council unanimously approved a $4,205 proviso for the Keep Newberry Beautiful Program under the Newberry Soil and Water Conservation District.
NSSWCD Chairman Ben Setlzer said the funds would be used for litter clean up, for marketing and other organizational related expenses, not for a raise for the part-time county employee working for the program.
• Council approved funding for the Berley Bridge Road Project in Pomaria. Low bid on the project was $70,641.30 by Mclam and Associates.
• An ordinance passed unanimously that eliminates overnight camping in Lynches Woods. The exception is that an organized group would be allowed to camp overnight. Council said County Recreation Director Gerdi Lake told the personnel and intergovernmental relations committee at least one fire had been made in the area that was not put out properly, though it was not left burning.
Under the new ordinance, Lyches Woods would be accessible for camping by organizations and sufficiently insured groups.
Other presentations made to county council included:
• Members of the partnership between the Newberry County Historical Society, Newberry College, the Newberry Museum and county council gave an update on efforts to renovate and restore the old library/post office on Friend Street.
Councilman Scott Cain offered congratulations to the community members who are working toward a new, expanded museum facility, calling the collaboration outstanding and an example of what can come about when business, government and citizens work together for the good of the county.
• Anne Peters presented an annual update to the county’s comprehensive plan. Though portions of the plan, such as the zoning section remain incomplete as of now, Peters said the other completed portions of the plan would be made available for council to review. Councilman Les Hipp made that request which County Administrator Wayne Adams said would be enabled by the end of the week.
• Crystal Waldrop with the county purchasing department reported to council on if there were a suitable vehicle in the county’s fleet for daily use by the coroner’s office.
One truck being considered had a 7,300 pound weight capacity but Coroner Craig Newton said 10,000 pound capacity is needed to pull the mobile morgue the county should be receiving in June or July. A lower capacity truck could be upfitted with a frame hitch and seven pin wiring harness but that only would work to move the morgue on an intermittent basis.
After extensive discussion council decided to look at more options. County Administrator Wayne Adams said the county would not purchase a vehicle before bringing the purchase before the council. Newton’s vehicle request would be put into the 2014-15 budget.
Council Chairman Buddy Livingston noted the mobile morgue would not be available until June so the decision making time frame on a truck could be extended.
County council next meets at 7 p.m. March 19.