The Lancaster County Council met on Monday night, February 26th. Resolution 0990-R2018 to Reserve Funds for EMS headquarters not to exceed $1 million was considered. The Public Safety and Administration Committee recommended reserving the excess collection of EMS billing and proceeds from a property sale for renovation use at the new EMS headquarters building. A discussion ensued when Councilmember Jack Estridge raised concern that funding was being used for a new headquarters when EMS workers are working 24-hour shifts. Estridge suggested hiring more EMS workers to relieve the current workers.
Clay Catoe, the Director of Emergency Services, addressed the question of shift duration. He explained that the duration of the shift does include times when the EMS staff can rest between calls. Currently EMS staff work 24 hours on and 48 hours off. There have been proposals to change the ration to 24/72. Catoe explained if the shifts changed to 12 hours on and 12 hours off, then many workers would leave the service. That shift would require 18 new positions at a cost of $80,000 each position. Currently, 75% of EMS services in South Carolina operate on the 24-hour shift schedule.
Catoe also spoke to the need of an EMS headquarters due to inability to use the 15th street facility. He reports that EMS is bumped for their scheduled use of that facility so often that they now consider themselves as third rate citizens. The council voted 6-1 to pass the resolution.
In other actions, Ordinance 2018-1496 was moved to the non-consent agenda. That ordinance related to the rezoning of the property of Robert Wilson. The Ordinance would allow the rezoning of 1.25 portion of an 11-acre piece of property fronting on Hwy 521 from Low-Density Residential to Neighborhood Business. Mr. Wilson has plans to build a 3-story office building. The Council originally did not approve the 2nd reading, but reconsidered and recalled their vote, and will have the second reading at the next meeting. The reason for reconsidering was that Mr. Wilson was not notified of the move to non-consent agenda, and was not in attendance.
On the Non-consent agenda was resolution 0988-R2018 to declare the roads in Ashley Glen as Legacy Roads. This passed 7-0. This means the roads will become part of the county road system.
Resolution 0989-R2018 was a resolution to establish a course of action of accepting Reid Point Subdivision into the county road system. Currently, the HOA has presented a letter of credit for $75,000. That amount will not be sufficient to bring the roads up to a level to allow the county to accept the roads. The option for the homeowners of the subdivision to vote to have a special tax district established for the properties in the subdivision. This would impose a special tax levy on the properties that would be for many years. This would allow the funds to be obtained with the tax as security for the loans. 15% of the homeowners would have to sign a petition for the tax district vote. The vote would pass if 50% + 1 of the homeowners agree to the district. If the vote fails, the homeowners would own the roads and be responsible for the maintenance. Resolution 0989 R2018 passed 7-0. It will now be up to the homeowners of Reid Point to determine if a vote will be held.