Jail Referendum

Referendum Set For Detention Center
Emergency Services Buildings

  Saluda County Council at its May 8 meeting passed a resolution setting the stage for a referendum on building a new jail, and other emergency services building improvements.
  According to the resolution:
  “Shall the County Council of Saluda County be empowered to issue and sell, either as a single issue or as several issues, general obligation bonds of Saluda County, South Carolina in the principal amount of not exceeding $7,500,000, the proceeds of which shall be applied to defray the costs of designing, constructing, equipping and furnishing of (i) facilities to house County emergency medical services, fire protection services, (ii) an expansion of the Saluda County Sheriff’s office, and (iii) a new County jail, along with all associated costs and costs of issuance?”
  The referendum will be held August 8. (See referendum legal notice on Page 3 of today’s paper).
  Council gave second reading to the school and county  budgets,
  School Superintendent Dr. Harvey Livingston said unfunded state mandates had added $1 million to the school district budget. He said the district will be able to absorb half of the shortfall, but would need additional millage to take care of $500,000 of the unfunded mandates. Livingston said the school board is very mindful of the taxpayer’s  money. Council passed second reading.
  The county budget is also facing unfunded state mandates and will require a five mill increase, Council Chairman Jim Moore said.. The budget currently stands at $16,127,323, with a $255,314 deficit.
  The new state  law the school county and county mentioned exempts from property taxes “farm buildings  and agricultural structures owned by a producer in this State used to house livestock, poultry, crops, farm equipment, or farm supplies and all farm machinery and equipment including self-propelled farm machinery and equipment except for motor vehicles licensed for use on the highways. For the purpose of this section 'self-propelled farm machinery and equipment' means farm machinery or equipment which contains within itself the means for its own locomotion.”
  While passing the law, the General Assembly did not provide funds to the schools and counties to make up for the property tax money they will lose.
  A public hearing was held at the beginning to the agenda on an ordinance allowing the Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority to decrease its boundaries. This will allow the Saluda Commission of Public Works to provide water and sewer to the county Commercial Park on the Columbia Hwy. No one spoke at the public hearing.
  Council later passed second reading on the ordinance by a 3-1 vote. Moore, Councilmen Carey Bedenbaugh and Frank Daniel voted in favor. Councilman Jack Atkinson voted against. Councilman Justin Anderson was absent from the meeting.
  Council approved a $6,274 match to a FFA Planning and Design Grant. The grant will go toward planing an upgrade of the lighting system at the Saluda County Airport. The current lighting system is 40-years old, Assistant Emergency Management Director Jill Warren said.
  Warren also presented a match request for a Hazard Mitigations grant. This grant comes from funds from Hurricane Ian relief, and would go toward funding a $200,000 emergency disaster trailer used as a teaching tool for surviving fires, earthquakes and other disasters. It would  be used a schools, festivals and other events. This was approved. If the county gets the grant, the match would be $50,000.
  Council also approved an updated grant policy and updated pipe/driveway policy.
  At the beginning of the meeting, Moore announced the county now has an animal control officer and a truck. No animals will be picked up until a shelter is available, however.

SC FFA Members And Ag Educators Donate
Plants To Landscape State House Grounds

  COLUMBIA, SC…On April 26th, FFA members and Agricultural Educators from across the state contributed hundreds of flats of spring bedding plants to landscape the grounds of the state house and governor’s mansion.
  The plants were grown by students enrolled in agricultural education courses in secondary schools and technology centers across the state.
  The Presentation of Flowers is an annual project of the SC FFA Association and the SC Association of Agricultural Educators.   Chris Smith, Horticulturalist with the Division of General Services, Laurie Funderburk, Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, and Representative Bill Hixon, Chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee accepted the plants on behalf of the state.
  Fourteen students from the Saluda High FFA Chapter were in attendance.

Good Rainfall Continues

  Good rainfall continued in Saluda in April
  During the month 5.03 inches of rain fell, bringing the yearly today to 20.85. This compares to 16.79 during the same time in 2022.
  April had typical spring high temperatures.
  The temperatures ranged from a high of 46 on April 9 to 87 on four days. The lowest morning temperature, 33, was recorded on April 11.
  This information was reported by NWS observer James D. Gayle at the Saluda CPW.