After discussions between Bennettsville City and Marlboro County administrators, both entities this week looked at the changes made to the annual agreement between Marlboro County Government and the City of Bennettsville for the exchange of services.
Under the agreement, the county provides housing for inmates at the detention center and 911 dispatch services to the city. In return, the city provides fire services to an area outside the city limits, generally considered to be in a five-mile radius of the city.
In May, the Marlboro County Council approved the document and passed it to the city for council's consideration.
At the city council work session in June, City Administrator Max Alderman presented the county's document, noting that it reflected a significant increase in the value of the county's contribution to the exchange.
Council voted at their monthly meeting to approve a 90-day extension of the agreement that had lapsed.
County Administrator Ron Munnerlyn had emailed changes to Alderman earlier this month that included extending the contract to three years but allowing the contract to be terminated with 160 days' notice; adding a provision to all the city to opt out of county collection of taxes if notice is given by July 30 of each year; and removing any references for cost of services.
During the city's workshop Monday, Alderman felt they were making progress and wanted to get an auto renewal of the agreement.
At the county council meeting Tuesday, the first reading of the ordinance was approved.
Council Chairman Dr. Carolyn Prince said it was a good start.
"It may be the answer to what we need," she said.
City Council will have the ordinance on the agenda for the regular meeting on Tuesday, July 17.