July 2017 Council

Council Gives Second Reading
To Solar Farm Ordinance

At Monday’s July meeting County Council gave second reading to an ordinance that will allow a large solar farm to pay a fee in lieu of ad valorem taxes.
  The Beulah Project will be a solar farm encompassing 650-acres in the Beulah Road area of the county, near Batesburg-Leesville.
  County Economic Development Director Ed Parler said the $115 million investment will be the largest made in the county in recent history.
  Construction will employ 1300 workers over the course of six months. It is estimated the construction period will pump an additional $90 million into the economy. Once completed the site will employ five to six full-time workers.
  Parler said the project will pay Saluda County a flat fee of $150,000 per year for the next 40 years, under the terms of the ordinance. He said the exact location will be revealed at the third reading of the ordinance.
  Council approved awarding an RFP to Condrey and Associates from Athens, Ga., to conduct a classification and compensation study for county employees. The cost will be $29,000.
  Council Vice-Chairman Gwen Shealy, who presided at the meeting in the absence of Chairman Don Hancock, said the county has not had an employee study done since 1990. The study will involve Saluda County and employees in developing a new personnel system.
  The County Ag Building and Annex will get new roofs.
  The Ag Building will be a standing seam metal roof with new gutters. The $76,790 cost will include a five year contractor warranty and 40 year manufacturer’s warranty.
  The Annex building will be get am EDPM roof with new gutters and downspouts. Included is a five year contractor warranty and 20 year membrane warranty.
  Lamar Lake of the Saluda County Historical Society asked the county’s helping in meeting a $45,000 match for a $45,000 grant from the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.
  Lake said the Heritage Corridor funds and match will complete with renovation of the Saluda Theater that began in the late 1980’s.
  A concern of the Historical Society has been the rain damaged acoustical tiles inside the theater. Repairs have never been attempted for fear the outstanding acoustics would damaged.
  Lake said a paint now exists that will not only cover the stains, but will improve the acoustics.
  “Now, the Theater can look like it did in 1936 when it opened,” Lake said.
  Other plans include repairs of the seats, refinishing the stage, cleaning the floors, and renovating the restrooms.
  Mrs. Shealy recommended Council take Lake’s request as information, and schedule a work session with the Historical Society as quickly as possible
  She said the county had certain policies when it comes to grants, and many grants have caveats that need to be studied.
  Council approved Jack Atkinson’s request for the county to approve Enabling Technologies Associates being able to purchase from State Surplus.
  The non-profit company, which builds equipment to help the handicapped,  has been purchasing from state surplus for some time. The last approval was granted by former Chairman Hardee Horne, and Atkinson said state surplus wanted an up-to-date approval.
  He said Enabletech is far down in the pecking order to buy from state surplus, coming behind government and schools, etc.
  Atkinson said after a year non-profits are allowed to sell items purchased from the surplus. These funds go back into the non-profit, which provides equipment at no cost to the handicapped recipients.
  The re-appointment of Gerry Spragg to the Airport Commission was approved. Also approved was the appoint of Ted Hite of the Circle VFD to the Fire Board, and Donnie Black as the alternate.

Saluda County Schools Plans
for the Total Solar Eclipse

  On August 21, 2017, America will fall under the path of a total solar eclipse. During the eclipse, the sun will disappear behind the moon, which will turn daylight into twilight, cause the temperature to drop rapidly, and reveal massive streamers of light streaking through the sky around the silhouette of the moon.  
  The Great American Total Solar Eclipse will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, along a stretch of land about 70 miles wide. This will be the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. Saluda has been noted to be an excellent view point of the eclipse on August 21, 2017 that will occur around 2:30 p.m.
  Saluda County Schools will be in session for half a day on August 21st.  We will have early dismissal on this day in order for students to arrive home safely and have the opportunity to view the eclipse with their families.  Early dismissal will be 11:30 a.m. for Saluda Primary, Saluda Elementary, and Hollywood Elementary.  Saluda Middle School and Saluda High School will dismiss at 12:00. 
  It is the District’s desire to ensure that all our students and faculty are protected during the eclipse.  Please keep in mind that looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, could cause eye damage.  It is suggested to never look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection.