JENKINSVILLE — Fairfield County District 4 residents gathered for a community meeting in Jenkinsville and heard updates about recent events.
Fairfield County Vice Chairman Kamau Marcharia and Jenkinsville Mayor Greg Ginyard, who is also president of Jenkinsville Water Company, also discussed future goals.
Dr. Mike Fanning, who facilitated the meeting, shared an Ethiopian proverb to begin the meeting. “That means, When spiderwebs unite, they can tie up a lion,” Fanning said.
Fanning said, in his opinion, the people of District 4 should feel fortunate with their governmental representation.
“We actually have a councilman looking out for us, a mayor working for us,” Fanning said.
District 4’s Marcharia provided an update regarding recent action taken by Fairfield County Council, including third and final reading of the budget for the fiscal year beginning in July.
“As some of you might know, the Council has just finished our budget reading,” Marcharia said.
He voiced dissatisfaction with Council’s decision to reduce budgeted county allocations for social programs by $29,100.
“In my opinion, some of the council members want to cut things down to the bone, and when the cut down to the bone, if that’s not good enough, they want to reach in and take the marrow out of the bone,” Marcharia said.
Marcharia shared council’s decision to pass a road usage fee of $5 for residential vehicles and $10 for commercial vehicles with District 4 residents.
“Of course, there’s a group that thinks that’s overtaxing the tax base,” Marcharia said.
Marcharia provided an update about progress related to implementing Fairfield County’s recreation plan. Marcharia said the plan to build facilities for each district was facing opposition. He said there are groups that oppose the building of new recreation centers in Fairfield County, and a group that would like to see a single large facility, such as a YMCA, built in Winnsboro.
Marcharia said he was against the idea of using government money to help build a private facility.
“That’s ludicrous,” Marcharia said. “I would not support that in any way, shape or form.”
However, Marcharia said bidding for District 4’s recreation facility will soon begin.
“Sometime next week, we should hear what the bids cost us,” Marcharia said. “Once they do that, we can start clearing the land.”
Ginyard provided updates about ongoing Jenkinsville Water Company and Town of Jenkinsville projects.
Jenkinsville Water Company’s president reminded those in attendance the consumer report had recently been mailed. Ginyard also provided an update regarding a $5 million grant, which would finance a water treatment plant.
“The grant has been accepted, and it’s being looked at,” Ginyard said.
An environmental study, which is a prerequisite for receiving the grant, is being conducted.
“We’re doing an environmental study, where the environmental people come in, and they look and see if this is going to be a danger to the fish, if it’s going to be a danger to the environment,” Ginyard said.
Ginyard provided an update on the Clowney Road Well, which was one of JWC’s most productive wells and was shut down because of radium content.
“There was high radium content in that well,” Ginyard said. “It’s been shut down almost a year now, but we did a grant through rural infrastructure that we received $160,000 to put a filtering system in that well to clean that water up.”
Ginyard said when that well comes back online, JWC should be self-sufficient, or close to it, and be able to buy much less, or no, water from Mid County Water Co.
“We’re hoping in September, that well’s filtration system will be done,”Ginyard said.
In the meantime, Ginyard said JWC’s available water is for residents.
“People say, you ain’t got water for this project, how you got water for this project?” Ginyard said. “Well, we’re going to sacrifice and do for residents, if anybody builds a house, puts a house here, we’re going to give you water.”