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County Council Approves Bid for Renovation of Former South State Bank Building

Daniel Prince

Council Defers Action on Setting Tax Levy

The agenda was fairly light at Tuesday’s Union County Council meeting. A scheduled public hearing on setting the tax levy was put off until the regular October monthly meeting. The county roads committee briefly discussed taking Ralph Ridge into the county road system. The issue will be discussed more in depth along with other road issues at their next meeting, set for September 27 at 4 p.m.

Some of the members of the Dixie Youth World Series team were in quarantine, so they will be honored next month. Juan Adriatico with the USA Warrior Pro Am baseball team also could not attend.

Amy Austin with the Miracle League of Union County informed council that seven of their players and families will be going to the Miracle League All-Star Game in Texas. The Miracle League was able to cover the expenses of the trip except for travel. The families have been raising funds to cover the nearly $8000 total cost of airfare. Union City Council voted last month to support the group with $2000, and council member David Sinclair made a motion that County Council do the same. The vote was unanimous. Any money raised beyond what is needed for this trip will be earmarked toward the cost of next year’s game.

County Council voted to award the bid for the renovation of the former South State Bank building to the low bidder. Raby Construction of Greenville had the low bid at $789,975. There were four bids received, with the high bid coming in at over $1 million. A 10% contingency was added to the low bid in case of other issues that may crop up during the remodel, so the total funding for the project comes in at $875,000. It will be paid from bond proceeds.

Elise Ashby asked council to vote to put a Sunday alcohol sales referendum on the November ballot. She cited statistics from a 2005 Charette report that stated the county loses $18 million annually to people going out of town to purchase food and alcohol. She noted that other counties allow the sales, and city voters overwhelmingly approved Sunday sales last year. Council received her request as information. Supervisor Frank Hart explained council could not vote on a referendum because that would have to be set by ordinance and would have to be on the agenda. Also, the deadline for getting items on the ballot had passed in August, so the earliest it could be put on the ballot would be November 2022.

John Lummus, president of the Upstate South Carolina Alliance, updated council on his group’s activity over the past two years. His group is in charge of marketing the ten-county Upstate SC region to the world. He noted 2020 was not a bad year in terms of development, as $400 million in new investment and 3000 jobs were announced. A total of 57 projects were announced during 2020, compared to 92 the previous year. Lummus stated this year has already seen great progress. He stated his group has had the highest number of requests for information since he began working with the group 7 years ago. Already in 2021, there has been more than $1 billion in new investment and 5000 jobs announced. There have been 28 projects announced so far this year, including the expansion of Standard Textile in Union.

We’ll have more from the meeting in tomorrow’s newscast.

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