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County Council Approves American Rescue Plan Act Funds for EMS Equipment

Daniel Prince

Ronnie Wade honored for 50 years of service to the county at the council meeting

At Tuesday’s Union County Council meeting, Ronnie Wade was honored for 50 years of service to the county. Captain Jeff Wright with the Union County Sheriff’s Office was honored for 15 years of service. Several other employees were recognized for 5-10 years of service with the county, as well.

LeighAnn Arthur updated the council on the recent Livestock Show held at the Union County Fairgrounds in late September. The show ended up with 90 sponsors, including the county. All told, the sponsorships totaled $23,254. After all expenses, the show was left with a remaining balance of $3188 to give them a start for next year’s show. They were able to raise enough that every kid received a hat, shirt, and at least $20, no matter their place in the show. She said many of them expressed that this was their favorite show they attended during the season. Those who showed livestock came from 49 different zip codes. Only one was from Union. 47 were from other areas of South Carolina, and 1 was from Georgia. 462 people attended the show. Arthur thanked the county for its support and said they look forward to next year.

County Council advised Supervisor Frank Hart that having departmental Christmas parties again this year might be a better option with not knowing what the COVID situation might be in December. Many expressed that hopefully next year the county could return to a larger gathering.

Council approved the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds to get equipment for Union County EMS. Most of the $5.3 million the county will receive is likely to go toward an expansion at the Union County Jail. However, council voted to use $250,000 from the funds to purchase five cardiac monitors to replace ones that are obsolete and can no longer be repaired; one Lucas device, which is a mechanical chest compression machine, and will be placed in the power shift ambulance; and two patient care stretchers to replace their oldest ones. The original proposal was pared down from $400,000, which would have included more stretchers, Lucas devices, and automated external defibrillators for fire departments and the sheriff’s office to use.

Council voted to advertise a vacant position at the Timken Sports Complex, as Greg Weaver has moved to code enforcement.

Rusty Snider with the Public Works Department requested money to replace two rolloff containers for use at the county’s recycling centers. He stated one of the containers recently caught fire and is beyond repair. He said he hopes to replace at least one container per year. He said unfortunately the cost of rolloff containers has gone up by 25% over the last six months due to the recent rise in steel prices. The low bid on two containers came in at nearly $19,000, including tax and shipping. Council voted unanimously to appropriate no more than $19,000 from bond proceeds, which the county is using for all capital purchases this year.

Dr. Flood requested to appoint Lynn Eaves to the Union County Tourism Commission. Council unanimously approved the appointment. Supervisor Frank Hart said that AC Martin had applied for an at-large appointment to the Building Code Board of Appeals. No action was taken due to a lack of a motion and second. Hart said there are currently two or three openings on that board, so he asked council to consider who they felt would be good for the positions.

Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring the results of the recent special election.

They unanimously approved another resolution that states that the county agrees to provide the required 20% match of $25,000 of the total project cost for the Renaissance Park Project, through cash and in-kind support, as well as any additional funds needed to complete the project. Supervisor Frank Hart said the county plans to provide in-kind support for the project rather than cash contributions. The county plans to make improvements to Renaissance Park in the Santuc area of the county, including paving the existing parking area and trail. They are applying for a Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Grant for $100,000. They applied for the grant last year but did not receive it, so they are applying again this year.

Council also unanimously passed a resolution supporting ReGenesis Health Care in its efforts to become a public transit provider and supporting its designation as a public transit provider with the SC Department of Transportation.

Finally, Sheriff Jeff Bailey informed council that the four Chevy Tahoes his office had ordered are ready for delivery and can be picked up as soon as today. They still need upfitting, and Bailey said the upfitting cost has increased by $30,000 over what was quoted to them six months earlier. He requested the county release $140,820 for the purchase of the Tahoes and at least the earlier agreed-upon figure of $56,000 for the upfit, though he noted that might only be enough to upfit two of the vehicles. To fully upfit all four vehicles, Bailey stated it would cost around $86,000. Council voted unanimously to appropriate no more than $230,000 from bond proceeds to pay for the vehicles and the upfit costs.

Council voted to amend the agenda to include not just a personnel matter, but also an economic development and legal matter. They then voted to go into executive session. No action was taken afterwards.

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