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County Council Votes to Terminate Animal Control Agreement With City

Daniel Prince

Council adds funding to Tuition Assistance Program

Union County Council held an efficient monthly meeting Tuesday, taking 13 minutes to work its way through the agenda. Tracie Campbell and Ralph Tucker were absent from the meeting. Derrick O’Shields was honored for 15 years of service to the county with the Union County Detention Center. Viola Wicker, also with UCDC, was honored for 5 years of service. Dennis Quinn and Annette Smith were honored for 5 years with the Public Works Department. Lacy Shropshire was honored for 10 years with the Magistrate’s Office.
Museum Director Cathryn Smith was supposed to address council, but she could not attend and will reschedule.

Rusty Snider requested that council allow him to fill an Equipment Operator I position on the road crew that has been vacant for just under two months. Council unanimously agreed.

Supervisor Frank Hart presented another change order for the Wells Fargo building renovation. The total changes come out at $33,174.08. The sheriff has been quoted a price of $11,475 for signage at the building. The county will be getting another quote on that, as well. $9200 is needed to remove the drive-through window from what will be the patrol office at the Law Enforcement Center. They received two quotes for a camera system, which will cost around $8000. A burglar system will cost around $4500. Council unanimously approved the changes, which will be paid from bond proceeds, as has all capital expenditures for this fiscal year.

Hart said the Tuition Assistance Program is running into a good problem, as it has paid out all the budgeted money for this year, and more is needed. He said to settle with USC Union, an additional $25,448.62 will be needed. It will be paid from the Economic Development Fund. Council unanimously agreed to paying the additional amount. The program was introduced in 2016 and pays the remaining tuition for students at USC Union and SCC Union Campus after they apply for all available scholarships and grants available to them.

Council discussed its intergovernmental agreement with the City of Union on animal control. Hart noted that City Council voted in its last meeting to end its contract with the county for building inspections and code enforcement. The only piece of the agreement still in place is Animal Control. Council member David Sinclair stated he felt that if the county was going to continue to do animal control for the city, the terms of the contract need to be renegotiated. Sinclair made a motion to terminate the current agreement with the city and renegotiate the contract. The motion passed unanimously.

Council passed a resolution amending the fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement with MycoWorks. The change allows for the addition of a sponsor affiliate. The resolution passed unanimously.

Council passed second reading of the 2022-2023 budget ordinance. Council has an additional work session on the budget scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, at 3:30 p.m. in the Law Library at the Union County Courthouse. They hope to make final changes to the budget at that time, though they are leaving enough time to schedule an additional session, if needed, before the June regular meeting.

Council also passed second reading of an ordinance for the sale and conveyance of county-owned property to the Union-Laurens Commission on Higher Education. The county is planning to sell the university the City Park property, where the Lady Bantams play their softball games.

Council then passed first reading in title only of a fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement and incentive agreement for an economic development project known only as Project George Washington. It is too early in the proceedings for details to come out about the identity of the project, but it does appear that more good economic news is in the works for the county.

Supervisor Frank Hart gave his report to council. He will provide WBCU News with a copy of the report, and we will share highlights from it in future newscasts. Council voted to enter executive session to discuss a legal matter, and they then adjourned with no further action taken.

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