Report mentions successes in education, economic development, transportation, and more
Supervisor Frank Hart issued a statement earlier in the week looking back at the first seven years of his tenure as supervisor. Among the accomplishments he noted were gains in education. He said the Union County Community Scholarship allows students and homeschoolers to attend USC Union or Spartanburg Community College-Union tuition-free. The SCC-Union campus was established in partnership with the college, the Timken Foundation, and the legislative delegation. The school offers welding and mechatronics programs, among other things. He also noted the USC Union nursing program was established through a partnership between the county, USC Union, Union Medical Center, USC Aiken, and the legislative delegation.
In economic development and jobs, he said there has been over $440 million in new capital investment and 700 new jobs added to the community, putting Union in the top tier of counties with similar size and population in the state.
He said the county has partnered with the Union County Transportation Committee and the legislative delegation to address the condition of the roads in the county. So far, they have resurfaced over 200 county roads and secured federal funding to repave Highway 49 from Union to Spartanburg, heading west, as well as portions of Highway 72 and portions of 176 from Union to Spartanburg. He noted there is a lot more work to be done, but the county is chipping away at a major issue that he said has not been addressed in decades.
In county facilities, they completed major renovations to the Timken Complex and Union County Stadium over the last seven years.
In infrastructure, the county has partnered with the city and the Town of Carlisle to apply for funding to provide sewer connectivity from the town to the City of Union. He noted the new line that is being constructed will provide a stable waste treatment alternative for the Town of Carlisle and will open up the lower end of the county for development.
In finance, he said the passage of the local option sales tax has significantly reduced the burden placed on property owners who traditionally pay all the cost for local government. He noted that in the year before taking office, the county had a deficit of over $1 million, and the reserve fund had dropped to just over $2 million. By working together, he said the county has now increased the reserve fund to just over $7 million, giving the county over three months of operating capital. He said the county has been able to overhaul county wages based on the results of an independent salary and wage study. This has allowed the county to fill vital positions such as law enforcement, corrections, and EMS.
Tomorrow, we will look at several initiatives the county is working on for the future.