Council meeting includes two economic announcements

Kevin Boozer Staff writer

January 14, 2014

WINNSBORO — Fairfield County Council has given unanimous approval to an incentive package for Project Compact, an $18.2 million investment by an Italian company that will bring 121 jobs with it when the company locates its manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters in Fairfield County.

Tiffany Harrison, director of economic development for Fairfield County, made the announcement at Monday’s meeting of Fairfield County Council.

The manufacturing facility and headquarters will be based at the Peach Road industrial park.

The vote was taken after an executive session and included an incentive and conveyance of property agreement including a fee in lieu of ad valorem taxes agreement for Project Compact and the transfer of real property located in Fairfield County to the project.

In other economic news, the county economic development committee met Jan. 6 and entertained an information request from a private Realtor to buy a 402-acre tract on Center Creek on Cook Road.

The county bought the land in 2002 from a pulp and paper company with the intention of reselling it as a retirement village.

Council Chairman David Ferguson said an offer was made to the county about two weeks ago but the county also plans to put the property out for public bids with the caveat that it must be used for a retirement center.

A motion passed in favor of accepting language to put the purchase to a vote at the Jan. 27 county council meeting. Councilman David Brown abstained.

In other business:

• Interim County Administrator Milton Pope reported he had met with department directors and that the 2012-13 audit will be presented at the Jan. 27 council meeting. Once presented the information will go on the county website.

• Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) information was posted to the site this week, according to Pope.

• Pope gave an update on the partial collapse of a wall at Drawdy Park. Engineer Sam Savage with S2 addressed council to report on the incident. Savage said S2 would make good on the project at no additional cost to the county and check to see if there were further issues and repair the damage.

Pope said the entire project was under warranty and that the county will perform due diligence to ensure there are no additional problems with the construction. Pope said he and county staff will provide updates on repairs and project assessments as the situation warrants.

• Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the county administrator and director of the county transit system to file an application with SCDOT on behalf of the system.

• John S. McMeekin was unanimously approved for the county planning commission.

• Pope explained why Fairfield Memorial Hospital requested additional funds from county council. Pope said he spoke with FMH CEO Mike Williams and the hospital’s chief financial officer about the need the hospital had for an advance of $50,000 to meet its payroll obligations.

According to Ferguson the $50,000 was less than what was first requested at a joint meeting of FMH and County Council. Ferguson said council needed to continue to support FMH so it can continue to serve residents who might otherwise not have access to health care.

Council next meets at 6 p.m. Jan. 27.