2018-09-14 / News

Richland County addresses Pinewood Lake issue

By Mike Cox

The Richland County Council met Tuesday, September 11. The meeting featured a well rested group, fresh off vacation, ready to do the county’s work. Too bad that attitude didn’t last.

The first action of the night was a resolution honoring James E. Jaco. Seth Rose read the resolution, which provided highlights of the longtime Olympia neighborhood president. Jaco served in that capacity for 30 years and led a community rebirth including recognition of the history of the Olympia Mill Village and modern improvements to the area.

A request to transfer the proceeds from the sale of property where the SandHills area library was located to the Richland County Library so the money could be used for a new library in Edgewood was passed. Several council members had questions about the request, but in the end, the transfer was approved.

During the assistant county administrator’s report, Dr. Yudice announced the Richland County budget and grants department and the finance department re-ceived the distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. This isn’t the first time Richland County’s budget department received this national award.

The assistant administrator’s report also mentioned a couple of issues involving Pinewood Lake. The area park’s Hospitality Tax request for 2019 funding was held up until the organization can resolve issues over its 2018 HT form. Pinewood Lake received around $14,000 but has only accounted for less than $700 in its paperwork to the county.

As the Pinewood Lake Foundation hands the reins of the park over to the Conservation Commission, there are issues of some property located at the park. The county’s staff asked the council to give it direction on how to move forward with the rather small amount of property. Several council members expressed surprise they were involved in this issue but were told repeatedly this was an issue the staff had no authority to resolve.

Council Chair Joyce Dickerson offered a sometimes rambling explanation or plea for help at the current state of the usually well-oiled machine that is Richland County. Dickerson said there is a lot of confusion among the staff about what needs doing and who has the authority to make decisions. Dickerson expressed a belief part of the problem is the council has not named an acting, interim, or permanent county administrator. Seems like the last guy was fired for causing that type confusion.

Lakita Watson was introduced as the new Richland County Recreation Department head. Watson hails from Virginia, where she spent 15 years as a recreation department director.

Dawn Mills Campbell was added to the Historic Columbia Committee. Tim Miller and Kathryn Lang were assigned to the Midlands Workforce Development Board.

Council Chair Joyce Dickerson, Vice Chair Bill Malinowski, Calvin “Chip” Jackson, Norman Jackson, Gwendolyn Kennedy, Paul Livingston, Yvonne Mc- Bride, Jim Manning, Dalhi Myers, Greg Pearce, and Seth Rose were present. More detailed information as well as complete agendas and minutes from past meetings can be found at the Richland County website: www.rcgov.us.

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