County Department Directors Report to Council

Daniel Prince

Repairs to fire departments' radio system set for completion this week

At each regular County Council meeting, department heads and elected officials are given the opportunity to report to council. Monday, Fire Coordinator Dennis Merrifield stated that recent rains had hampered the efforts to complete repairs to the radio system, but he was hopeful the final repairs would be completed by Wednesday.

Airport and Stadium Manager Ronnie Wade stated that a fixed base operator has been selected for the airport and wants them on hand before the Airport Fun Day on the 30th. Wade said while the five-year plan doesn’t call for building hangars, the FBO will need a couple of 100x100 hangars, so Wade said the airport will be looking at building that. He stated the Airport Fun Day will be an all-day event on Saturday, October 30. Plane flights will be offered for $25, they will have music, and they will have lots of activities for the kids. Wade said he wants to tie the event in with several candy distributions being planned, including one being done by Morningside and First Baptist churches. He said plans would be finalized for the fun day on Wednesday. He also stated the Senior Day at the Fair will be held next Wednesday, October 20. Due to COVID, they are planning a handout dinner to be given out drive-thru style in the stadium parking lot. Anyone who wants is welcome to head over to the fairgrounds from there, but anyone who doesn’t feel safe doing that can head home with their lunch in hand.

Eric Harold said the EMS call volume was up to 510 calls in September vs. 440 last year, and year-to-date, EMS has responded to 444 more calls. Total response time from the initial call to dispatch to arriving on scene is 9:51. He also said that EMS will be fully staffed on October 18, and that only about 6 services out of 247 in the state can boast that. He said EMS is requesting around $250,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds to replace cardiac monitors that can no longer be maintained, to buy at least two stretchers, and to obtain a mechanical CPR device for the power shift ambulance.

Community Development Director Kathy Jo Lancaster mentioned that the NAACP will be at her office several times this month to assist people with applying for the SC Stay Plus program, which offers rental and utility assistance to those who are behind on them due to COVID-related financial instability. The first assistance date is this Friday from 1-6 p.m. at 103 West Main Street.

Christina McDowell with Healthy U Behavioral Health Services also mentioned the increase in overdoses. She said with money from a COVID relief grant, they are looking at opening a satellite office to provide services in the Town of Lockhart, which she says has been identified as a hot spot for the overdoses. She said the office would provide services to town residents twice a week. They are looking for space in which to operate and for a clinician to staff it.

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