Members of the Marlboro County Council praised and celebrated the leadership of chairman Dr. Carolyn Prince at their monthly meeting Tuesday.
Prince, who won the Bennettsville mayor's position during the November election, will have to resign from county council to accept her new office. Tuesday's meeting was her last on council before taking office with the city on January 2.
Vice-chairman Jason Steen read a resolution saluting and highlighting accomplishments of Prince's 19 years on county council.
Prince was presented a framed version of the resolution, as well as a plaque with her chairman's gavel.
During the segment of the meeting in which the individual councilmen had the floor, each thanked Prince and wished her success leading Bennettsville City Council.
"I thank the staff and fellow council members for their efforts and willingness to work together," said Prince.
The council heard from administrator Ron Munnerlyn a review of strategic initiatives that the county first presented in 2017. He presented the council with a graphic showing points of emphasis on which the county continues to focus. He said that these had been fine-tuned in recent months after meetings with council and staff.
Munnerlyn told the council that the county, in conjunction with the Marlboro Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting a "business after hours," event this Monday, December 16. At this event, the five primary initiatives will be presented on display boards and those in attendance will be invited to comment or volunteer their assistance.
For more on this meeting, see associated story on this page.
Munnerlyn also discussed county-owned buildings, primarily the three-story office structure on Market Street known as "The Plaza."
He told council that the only occupant of the building is the Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that uses only some of the offices.
Munnerlyn said, with some cosmetic renovations to the building, it could be utilized either for county offices or rented to other agencies. He estimated the work to cost $50,000.
There had previously been a question about whether an elevator had to be installed. That isn't necessarily the case, depending on who occupies the upper floors.
Munnerlyn also related that the recreation department will soon be moved to the rooms in the rear of the Marian Wright Edelman Public Library. The county received ownership of that section of the building as part the exchange of property with Northeastern Technical College.
The intention is to eventually move the recreation department into the Murchison school building but considerable renovation will be required on that building.
The council approved second reading of an amendment to the agreement with Dillon County involving the joint industrial park near I-95. This will allow an enlargement of the site for a new industry, Hoover Engineered Wood Products, to locate there.
The county benefits by getting 1% of the tax revenue generated by the project.
- Munnerlyn told the council that the former video poker buildings on Highway 15-401 at the state line, just north of McColl, are to be demolished. Work on that should begin later this week.
Councilman Verd Odom, who represents McColl, praised the move and said the abandoned buildings are an eyesore. Removing these will make a much more attractive entrance into the county and McColl.
- Munnerlyn informed the council that work on the Delta Mills economic development site is progressing.
- New recreation director Fred Lowry was introduced by Munnerlyn to the council. Lowry began working with the county in November.
- A new $10 solid waste fee on property taxes is being implemented for residents of towns within the county. This will allow citizens to take old appliances, construction debris, used tires and other refuse to the convenience waste centers without further charge.
- The county's new waste collection contractor, Waste Connections, is on schedule to begin service to rural areas throughout the county in February.
- Munnerlyn related that he and members of council had received letters of complaint that Old Wire Road and Academy Road have not been repaired from damaged caused by Hurricane Florence. He said that though the administration shares the frustration, these are state roads and it is not in the county's jurisdiction to repair them.
Councilman Steen said that he had been in communication with the Department of Transportation and that the Old Wire Road damage is scheduled to be repaired sometime in 2020.
Employees celebrating service anniversaries with the county in November were Channing Covington (15 years), April Driggers (5 years) and Lisa Hood (13 years).