County Council Meeting Notes: Looking Back to Look Forward

Calhoun County Council held their regular meeting today in the council chambers.

Highlights of this meeting:


Harvey Elwood, Jr. of New Perspectives Media Association in Orangeburg, SC thanked the council for the county’s support of the radio, WOCS 93.7, and TV stations. Calhoun County Administrator, Mr. Lee Pricket reminded the county of the great job Mr. Elwood’s company did last year with the litter campaign and stated that the county should again consider using all the media resources available for this year’s campaign.

Calhoun County Assistant Administrator, Mr. Ted Felder, gave several reports to council.

ANIMAL CONTROL: June saw 53 complaints which led to 68 complaint trips. 24 Dogs/0 Cats were taken in during the month. All 24 Dogs were redeemed by their owners, adopted, or sent to rescue organizations. The county did NOT euthanized any animals in June! There were no court cases in June.

The shelter took in $537 in donations but had $861.40 in medical expenses!

All donations to the shelter are appreciated!

As previously reported SCDHEC awarded Calhoun County with DHEC Mosquito Control Sub-recipient Grant Funding in the amount of $10,469. The spraying program is to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses that are transmitted to humans when they “bite” to draw blood.

One of the viruses that is receiving a great deal of attention is the Zika Virus because of its detrimental effects on the unborn. Although there are no reported cases of Zika in Calhoun County there have been several in surrounding counties.

Calhoun County will be holding an education event directed toward women of child-bearing age. In addition to the education event SCDHEC has provided flyers that will be placed throughout the county in an effort to reach as many people as possible. One explains how to protect yourself from getting bitten and the other shows how to eliminate habitats for breeding mosquitos around your home. WWW.SCDHEC.GOV is a wealth of information concerning Zika Virus and other health related issues.

Apiaries can register their beehives with Calhoun County Animal Control by contacting Ron Gibson or Cheryl Price at 803-874-2914. They will let you know when spraying will be conducted in your area so you can protect your bees from exposure.

TOTAL ECLIPSE FEST 2017 will be held August 21st from 12pm – 4pm at the Government Complex. St. Matthews is in the

center of TOTALITY and will experience total darkness for approximately 2-1/2 minutes beginning about 2:42pm. Food, rock painting, vendors, eclipse information, viewing glasses, and other activities will be offered for folks to enjoy.

The county is also concerned about distracted drivers during the eclipse so an additional EMS crew will be working, just in case!

For more information contact Cindy Haigler at 803-874-2435.

Calhoun County Recreation Department has seen tremendous growth in participation in its activities.

Adult Co-Ed Volleyball had 30 participants who participated for the full season and in the championship games. They all plan to return next winter.

Ten children joined the Spring Break Tennis Camp where they not only learned to play the game but etiquette and sportsmanship as well. Two Summer Tennis Camps will start in a few weeks; one in Sandy Run and one in Cameron.

The Youth Golf Program completed its 2nd year with 20 kids participating in some of the lessons and 15 kids completing the program. That’s up from 12 participants the first year; a 25% increase. The next program starts this fall with even more participation expected.

150 children are expected to participate in Fall Soccer; up from 130 children last year.

Football and Cheerleading surrounding the Young Saints program had 80 kids last year and this year’s expectations are even higher.

For information on these activities and more contact Calhoun County Recreation Department at 803-655-7514 or follow them on Facebook.

John Ford Community Center Phase II Renovations Update: Councilman Haigler and Councilman Westbury have been meeting with the project manager and architect. The focus has been to adjust the plan for the layout of the gymnasium, kitchen areas, bathrooms, and potential uses on certain existing spaces. Input from the two councilmen indicate that progress is being made but they are working diligently to ensure the county gets what they need within budget.

The council approved renewal of two contracts; one with SC Department of Juvenile Justice to pay $50 per day for any Calhoun County juveniles housed at DJJ and a $625,000 contract with Orangeburg County for detention services to house prisoners from Calhoun County and her municipalities. The contract for $625,000 is a four-year contract with a 90-day, opt-out clause.

Calhoun County Finance Director, Denise Christmas, presented the Year-end (FY2017) financial report. Ms. Christmas

addressed various revenues and expenditures in the general fund that puts the county on tract to underspend 2016 by $90,000. Most other categories were in good shape for the year except wastewater which will be short by $30,965. Work is being done so that 2018 will not have a shortfall in this category.

Mr. Bob Horger, an attorney for The Regional Medical Center (TRMC) and Liza Porterfield, Chief Financial Officer for TRMC, requested that the council approve a resolutions for TRMC debt service bond. This is basically a refinancing of existing debt that will decrease the debt service expenditure by $126,000/year.

The council approved a resolution to build a 25,000+ square foot TRMC Emergency Facility in Bamberg County. The county does not provide funding for this facility.

A resolution to change the county’s Procurement Policy to state that women and minorities would be encouraged to participate in contracting services. This is already a county practice but the change puts it in writing. The county will also track the number of women and minorities participate and the number who are awarded contracts.

The county will apply for a Site Enhancement Grant from the Department of Commerce and commit $83,000 in local funds. The specific site is in Calhoun Industrial Park across from Starbucks.

The first reading of Ordinance 2017-12 was approved. This ordinance is for a general obligation bond in the amount not-to-exceed $360,000.

The county administration office and Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office have received noise or nuisance complaints. It is thought that the complaints are about deer cannons that are used to protect farmer’s crops from deer. The county will research options for handling these types of complaints in such a rural area as Calhoun County.

The next meeting will be August 14 at 5:30 in council chambers. The July 24th council meeting was cancelled in lieu of a council work session.

Council adjourned into an Executive Session.

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