swear in

Abbeville County Council Chairperson Billy Norris, left, swears in Lee Garrett as the county’s new code enforcement officer at Monday’s council meeting.

ABBEVILLE — More money, more fun?

That’s the hope after the Abbeville County Council boosted funding for the Lake Russell Recreation & Tourism Coalition by $2,000 at Monday’s meeting.

Council member Drew Simpson requested the group’s share of accommodations tax revenue be boosted to a total of $5,000. The group has at least six events a year, several for youths, he said. Funds for the increase were taken from the city’s $15,000 share of accommodations tax revenue.

Simpson said after the meeting that he hopes the group will be able to do more for the area’s youths with the extra money.

This year’s events included the Lake Russell Hustle (a 5K/Fun Run) a fishing derby, the Paddle Fest, the Freedom Blast, and the Fall Blue Hole Jubilee, which was Oct. 2. The commission was formed in 2012 to promote Lake Russell-focused activities and programs.

In other business:

Lee Garrett was sworn in as the county’s new code enforcement officer.

Clarification was requested on second reading of an ordinance on ambulance services. The resolution authorizing intergovernmental agreements with the City of Abbeville, the Towns of Due West, Lowdnesville, Honea Path, Ware Shoals, Donalds and Calhoun Falls for provision of ambulance series and authorizes the county to change the Public Safety-EMS Fee (formerly the public safety fee) to defray the cost of providing ambulance services throughout the county. No fee will increase, said County Director David Garner. The change is to make sure the county’s ordinance conforms to state law. County attorney Lee Roper agreed no change in expenses will occur. The reading passed 5-2.

Mack Beatty mentioned the ordinance when he spoke on transparency. He suggested the county use layman’s terms to explain what the ordinance is supposed to do, and to adopt the use of agenda packets which is promoted by the S.C. Association of Counties.

Council members approved third reading of an ordinance to sell nearly 24 acres off Highway 72 in Calhoun Falls and authorized Garner to execute such a contract.

Just more than $57,200 will be spent on 16 Axon Bodycam3 and other equipment from Axon Enterprises Inc. Garner said the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office is contributing $8,000 for the equipment.

Council members approved a resolution to authorize Garner to enter an agreement with Vic Bailey Ford for the purchase of 3 2022 Ford F150 vehicles for the Building Codes officials and County Mechanic. The expense is not to exceed $81,000.

Garner was authorized to discuss with Computer Consultants and Merchants, Inc. the purchase of 32 cameras to be installed in the Abbeville County Detention Center for no more than $68,940.

Donald Burton was appointed to a term on the GLEAMNS Board.

COVID booster shots are available through Abbeville Area Medical Center. They also are available at the farmers market. Boosters are available two days a week. Garner encouraged people to get the shots which are supplied by Pfizer.

The county will enter into a contract with AT&T to provide cellphone service to county employees for $2,400 a month. Garner said the move means a savings of up to $350 a month. The county has been receiving service through Verizon.

Officials are still assessing damage to roads after last week’s heavy rainfall. Once assessments are done, repair projects will be prioritized. Chairperson Billy Norris lauded the response of emergency and first responders.

Council had first reading on an ordinance to amend the county zoning map for a 2-acre lot located at 20 Wooden Bridge Road from Forest Agricultural to General Residential.

It also had first reading was of a measure to amend the zoning map for a 9-acre lot at 741 E. Greenwood St. from Restricted Residential to General Commercial.

Contact staff writer Robert Jordan at 864-943-5650.