NEWBERRY — Organizations in Newberry County will soon receive tourism related funds from the Newberry County Accommodations Tax Committee, following approval of the disbursements by the Newberry County Council.
The total funds available this year was $31,549.17. The tax committee received requests totalling $63,890, which was higher than last year’s request total of $39,205.
Councilman Leslie Hipp asked Ernest Shealy, chairman of the tax committee, why the amount of funding dropped from last year.
“I suspect, it is still the economy. It was just an occurrence, and one that will never happen again in our lifetime, that we had exactly enough funds to match requests last year,” said Shealy.
Shealy said the increase in requests was due to a few different circumstances including the return of the Little Mountain Reunion and three new festivals happening in Whitmire, Ag-Treasure Tour, Palmetto Trail Hike and Antique Car Show and Veterans Salute.
The committee sent letters to past participants and placed ads in the newspaper and with WKDK on June 17. They received requests from 11 organizations: Newberry Opera House for $15,000; Newberry County Law Enforcement for $5,000; Prosperity’s Hoppin’ for $1,800; Newberry County Historical Museum Society for $3,350; Little Mountain Reunion for $6,000; Newberry Visitors Center for $17,240; Party in the Pines for $2,500; Newberry Community Players for $1,000; Ag-Treasure Tour for $5,000; Palmetto Trail Hike for $2,000; and Antique Car show and Veterans Salute for $5,000.
Since the total amount requested was more than double the amount the committee had to distribute, each organization received less than asked.
Newberry Opera House was granted $9,250; Newberry County Law Enforcement, $3,000; Prosperity’s Hoppin’, $900; Newberry County Historical Museum Society, $1,899.17; Little Mountain Reunion, $3,000; Newberry Visitors Center, $6,000; Party in the Pines, $2,000; Newberry Community Players, $500; Ag-Treasure Tour, $2,000, Palmetto Trail Hike, $1,000; and Antique Car Show and Veterans Salute, $2,000.
In other business, County Council approved one of two bids given to the county for previously approved repairs on the stone walls at Creek Crossing in Lynch’s Woods. Council had asked during an earlier meeting what kind of stone should be used for the repairs — real stone or synthetic.
Crystal Waldrop, purchasing director for the county, told council the Lynch’s Woods Committee voted on Aug. 7 to use real stone. The committee recommended that the council accept the low bid of $160,300 from Capitol Construction of Carolinas LLC in Spartanburg.
The second bid was for $188,480 from Martin & Son Contracting Inc. in Spartanburg.
Council accepted the recommendation and approved Capitol Construction’s bid.
In other business:
• Three county employees were given awards for their years of service, David Parnell, director of veteran affairs, five years; Charles Verner, public defender, 10 years; and Janice Allen, Clerk of Court’s office, 15 years.
• Council unanimously passed Ordinance 07-11-14 that authorizes an equipment lease-purchase agreement not to exceed $1,265 for the purchase of certain equipment by Newberry County.
• Bill Waldrop made a motion to appoint Clarence McMorris to the hospital board to replace Jessie Reader who stepped down. The motion passed.
• Following an executive session and returning to open session, Councilman Kirksey Koon made a motion to have County Administrator Wayne Adams end a letter to Sen. Ronnie Cromer requesting to go to three full-time and no part-time magistrates, to be effective as of May. The motion was approved.