LEE COUNTY COUNCIL
DECEMBER 12, 2017
FAMILY COURT ROOM – SECOND FLOOR OF THE COURTHOUSE
Members present were Travis Windham, Chairman; Gordon Eckley, Vice-Chairman; Charles Arthur Beasley, member; Jackie Josey, member; Johnette Caughman, member; David Addison, member; Ron Fountain, member. Staff present were Alan Watkins, Administrator; Julie Stokes, Assistant Administrator/Clerk to Council; David Frantzis, Michael Davis, Andre Laws, Debbie Tindal, Gee Whetsel.
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, all individuals requesting notifications were so notified.
OPEN MEETING, INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG
Chairman Windham opened the meeting and welcomed everyone and Councilman Addison gave the invocation.
REQUEST FOR MOTION ON ADOPTION OF RECOMMENDED AGENDA
Chairman Windham said there was an addition to the agenda and Mr. Watkins said that an Item 7A should be added as the appointment of Mildred Wells to the Lee County Library Board in representation of District 6.
Councilman Beasley made the motion to approve the agenda with the addition. Vice-Chairman Eckley seconded the motion. Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried. All voted in favor.
REQUEST FOR MOTION ON ADOPTION OF MINUTES FROM REGULAR MEETING OF NOVEMBER 14, 2017 AND CALLED MEETING MINUTES AND PUBLIC HERAING MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 21, 2017
Councilperson Josey made the motion to approve the minutes as mailed. Councilperson Caughman seconded the motion. Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried. All voted in favor.
Page 2, Lee County Council Minutes, December 12, 2017
REQUEST FOR MOTION ON FIRST READING APPROVAL OF ORDINANCE
PROPOSED MAP AMENDMENT TO REZONE TMP 037-00-00-006 OWNED BY ROBERT B HILTON FROM A GENERAL COMMERCIAL (GC) TO RURAL DISTRICT (RU)
Mr. Watkins said that the Council had received this request from the Planning Commission. He said this property was located between City of Bishopville and Exit 120. He said that a solar company was looking to locate solar panels in this location. Mr. Watkins said that Leslie Williams was present to answer any questions about the solar farms.
Councilman Addison asked if there were any guidelines about locating these solar panels in a residential area and asked how close these should be placed to a residence. Ms. Williams said there is no restriction in placement because they pose no danger.
Councilman Addison said that he had read on the internet about health dangers about solar panels. Ms. Williams said they do not pose any health risks and she had reports to back up this information.
Chairman Windham said that Arlene Samuels would be at the next meeting representing Planning and Zoning and there would be two more readings and a public hearing.
Ms. Williams said that neighbors had the opportunity to attend a workshop in September to have questions answered.
Chairman Windham said that the Council would make sure that all questions were answered.
Councilman Beasley made the motion to approve for first reading. Councilman Addison seconded the motion. Chairman Windham called for the vote, and Councilman Addison opposed the vote, but all six other members of Council were in favor.
- TRANSFER OF DEED OF OLD ANIMAL SHELTER TO ORIGINAL PROPERTY OWNER, NAMELY, W. C. SCARBOROUGH
Mr. Watkins said this was property that W. C. Scarborough actually gave to the county for the old Animal Shelter. It stated in the contract that if it ever ceased to be an animal shelter, then it would go back to the owner. The County is doing a quick claim deed which will give property back to W. C. Scarborough to do with what he pleases.
Councilman Fountain made the motion to approve for first reading. Councilperson Caughman seconded the motion. Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried. All voted in favor.
Page 3, Lee County Council Minutes, December 12, 2017
- ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING PURSUANT TO TITLE 12, CHAPTER 44 OF THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA 1976, AS AMENDED, THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF FEE-IN-LIEU OF AD VALOREM TAXES AGREEMENTS BY AND BETWEEN LEE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA AND CERTAIN COMPANIES AS SPONSOR AND SPONSOR AFFILIATE, RESPECTIVELY, IDENTIFIED COLLECTIVELY FOR THE TIME BEING AS PROJECT LYCHEE, TO PROVIDE FOR FEE-IN-LIEU OF AD VALOREM TAXES INCENTIVES AND CERTAIN SPECIAL SOURCE REVENUE CREDITS; AND TO MODIFY A JOINT INDUSTRIAL AND BUSINESS PARK OF LEE AND SUMTER COUNTIES SO AS TO ENLARGE THE PARK; AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS
Mr. Watkins this is in regards to Project Lychee, which had to do with the solar farm. He said the public hearing would be held on January 9, and an ad would run in the local paper.
Mr. Watkins said this was a $100 million investment, and these solar farms would be located on six different sites within the county, four of which do not need zoning changes. He said currently, the use for solar is by special exception.
Mr. Watkins said that solar energy does not cause detriment for infrastructure. He said this facility would stand alone and be a substantial amount of tax revenue possible for county.
Councilman Addison said he would love to see the benefits on behalf of the citizens. He said there should be some sort of classes to make citizens aware of the dangers or benefits to the citizens.
Councilman Addison said that it seems like he was against solar energy but said his concern was the people. He said that he had been doing a lot of reading and he needs to know what’s right and wrong.
Councilman Beasley made the motion to approve the ordinance for first reading. Vice-Chairman Eckley seconded the motion. Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried. All voted in favor.
REQUEST FOR MOTION ON THIRD READING APPROVAL OF ORDINANCE
- LEASE AGREEMENT BETWEEN LEE COUNTY AND DON BROWN FOR CONSTRUCTION OF AIR HANGAR AT LEE COUNTY AIRPORT
Mr. Watkins said that Mr. Brown owned a plane that was larger than our hangar. He said that Mr. Brown wanted to build a 50 x 50 hangar, and this agreement would allow him to build on airport property and he would pay no rent for 20 years.
Mr. Watkins said that this would be the eighth plane located at the airport.
Vice-Chairman Eckley made the motion to approve for third reading approval of ordinance. Councilman Fountain seconded the motion. Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried. All voted in favor.
Page 4, Lee County Council Minutes, December 12, 2017
APPOINTMENT OF CARL PARROTT TO THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
Councilperson Josey made the motion to appoint Carl Parrott the Board of Zoning Appeals. Councilperson Caughman seconded the motion. Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried. All voted in favor.
APPOINTMENT OF RANDY BURNS TO THE LEE COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD
Councilperson Caughman made the motion to approve the appointment of Randy Burns to the Lee County Library Board. Councilperson Josey seconded the motion. Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried. All voted in favor.
APPOINTMENT OF MILDRED WELLS TO LEE COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD FOR DISTRICT 6
Councilman Beasley made the motion to appoint Mildred Wells to the Lee County Library Board to represent District 6. Councilperson Josey seconded the motion.
Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried. All voted in favor.
HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE
Dr. Andrews was present and gave update on current events for the school. She said the school had been awarded $1 million for a technology center, which will be located in the current Bishopville Primary school on Roland Street. She also made everyone aware that Governor Henry McMaster would be at the school on December 22.
Debbie Tindal introduced Joe Perry with Job Corps, and he explained the benefits with his organization.
Councilperson Josey made everyone aware of fomer Chief Justice Ernest Finney’s passing.
- PLANNING, TAXES & PERSONNEL
Councilman Beasley said his committee did not have any meetings. He did say that the County was able to have a Thanksgiving Dinner and a Christmas bonus for the employees.
- BUILDINGS, LAND & PROPERTY
Vice-Chairman Eckley said that work had been finished on the courthouse windows. He said the 99% of the work had been completed on the parking lot and awning at old Bishopville High School.
He said that Crowne Laundry has hired 60 people and they are training before they become fully operational.
- PUBLIC SAFETY
Councilperson Caughman said she did not have any meetings.
Page 5, Lee County Council Minutes, December 12, 2017
- RECREATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Mr. Watkins said that Thaddeus was not present because he was attending a meeting. He said that basketball registration was complete. He said that ballfields look great. He said that he had positive comments on the new lighting at the old Bishopville High School.
Chairman Windham said there may be some memorabilia inside gym regarding past championship games.
- WAYS AND MEANS
Councilman Fountain said that he did not have any meetings. Everyone is staying within their budgets.
Mr. Watkins said that County should be receiving audit after the first of the year.
- ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Mr. Watkins made everyone aware that a portrait of James Davis was placed in the courtroom and said this was done by Lee County Bar Association. He also said the Census will be here soon and we will have planning session to get a better count.
David Frantcis was present and was interested in the county doing an ordinance prohibiting chaining dogs in Lee County.
Chairman Windham directed him to talk to Sheriff Simon and said he would put in committee.
Carrie Gass asked for an update on Ashwood Lake. Mr. Watkins said that a permit has been put out for bid. Dr. Andrews said she did not have an update and said that DNR was supposed to be providing the funding.
Vice-Chairman Eckley said the census has dropped by 8.2% from 2010 to 2016.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:59 a.m. on a motion made by Vice-Chairman Eckley, seconded by Councilman Beasley.
CLERK TO COUNCIL MINUTES APPROVED