Drive Safely

Driver Urged To Use Caution
As The School Year Begins

  Drivers are urged to use caution as the new school year begins.
  With no school traffic the last three months, adjustments need to be made by motorists, L/Cpl Bradley J. Sutherland, S.C. Highway Patrol Troop 2 community information officer, said.
  “Drivers need to make plans to leave a little earlier for work, knowing there are school buses and extra traffic on the road,” Sutherland said.
  Motorists should also use extra caution when they see children along the road waiting  for the bus. You never know when a child might dart into the road.
  Sutherland said parents should make sure their children can been seen at the bus stop, especially later on when the children may be waiting for the bus in the dark.
  Buses stop often on their routes each day.
  The best rule of thumb for drivers is when they see the caution light come on the bus, to go ahead and stop.
  “Don’t speed up to beat the stop sign,” Sutherland said.
  Passing a stopped school bus carries some stiff penalties. The minimum fine is $500, while the maximum is $1062. Drivers also lose six points on their license, which amounts to a big insurance increase.
  A second offense carries a minimum $2000 fine.
  School zones that have been dormant all summer are back in place for the school year, many with flashing lights and reduced speeds at the school opening and dismissal each day.

One-Cent Sales Tax To
Be On November Ballot

Saluda County voters will go to the polls in November to decide if the county should add a one cent sales tax for capital projects.
  County Council, Mon., Aug. 13, gave third and final reading to an ordinance that will allow citizens to vote in a referendum that will cap the maximum to be raised by the penny tax at $9,400,000.
  Council Chairman Derrick Jones said a committee has decided where the money would go should the referendum pass. The projects are as follows: Saluda County Library, $125,000; Saluda County Animal Shelter, $125,000; Ridge Spring downtown revitalization and economic development, $175,000; Brooks & Roston Park bathroom rebuild, $50,000; Saluda County Detention Center, $8,439,000.
  In the public hearing, Jack Atkinson was the only citizen to speak. Atkinson said he did not like adding sales tax.
  “If you want something, you should raise property taxes,” he told the Council members.
  Atkinson said the problems in Richland County, made him more leery of the sales tax.
  As the chairman of the Elections and Registration Board, Atkinson recommended the full description of the referendum be put on the ballot, and told Council it had to submit the referendum ballot by Wednesday.
  Council passed the ordinance by a 4-0 vote. Councilman D.J. Miller was absent.
  Amanda Corley offered some suggestions on Litter Control. She said litter control grants are available from Palmetto Pride, and litter control could  be added to the job description of Road & Bridge Department employees.
  Second reading was given to an ordinance that would impose building permit fees, and to the manufactured home ordinance that would set permit fees.
  Council approved awarding a contract to build the Duncan Road waterline to serve the S.C. Pet Foods Solutions plant.
  Economic Development Consultant Ed Parler said the bids came in higher than expected.
  Parler said the price could be met with $338,663 from an RIA grant, $15,661 Aiken Co-op grant (left over from previous project), $200,000 from the Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick, Saluda Partnership and $6,600 from the county Infrastructure Fund.
  Parler said he couldn’t speak for the Water & Sewer Authority, but he felt homeowners along the line could tap on. He said the waterline will include five fire hydrants, which should drop homeowner insurance rates in the area.
  First reading was given  to grant easement on county owned property to the Water & Sewer Authority.
  Council approved an $18,972 dishwasher replacement project at the Detention Center, as requested by Jail Administrator Janice Ergle.
  Coroner Keith Turner’s request to fill the vacant deputy coroner position due the hiring freeze died for the lack of a second.
  Charles Gardner from Old Town Fire Department was re-appointed to the Fire Board.
  At the beginning of the meeting, Councilwoman Gwen Shealy thanked the public for the kindness shown her family at the death of her mother Mary Corley and step-mother-in-law Eleanor Shealy.
The following came out of Exexcutive Session:
  1. Council approved to enter into a contract as presented to Council with Safebuilt Carolinas, LLC for Building Official Services effective immediately.
  2. Council approved placing current employees of the Building Codes department on paid administrative leave through August 21, 2018 to allow the county attorney and staff to enter negotiations to terminate their employment with Saluda County amicably.