By Stan Welch
During the Anderson County Council meeting Tuesday, councilmembers discussed the Kinder Morgan fuel spill, spending of recreation funds, EMS and a new terminal for the county airport.
District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson gave the Anderson County Council an update Tuesday night on the cleanup of a 2014 fuel spill from the Plantation Pipeline in Cheddar. (See related story elsewhere in this issue.)
Wilson referred to a study recently received by the County which indicates that more than one leak might have occurred over a period of several years. She reported that DHEC had postponed a split sampling event so that they could have personnel actually on the scene when the samples were drawn. It appears that the Anderson County storm water department, as well as representatives of the Savannah RiverKeepers will also be collecting samples for independent testing.
Councilman Ray Graham, whose third District has also been impacted by the spill, said that the information received indicates to him that other spills may have occurred. “I think as we continue to get and test true samples, and they undergo independent testing, we will have one of two results. Either we will have peace of mind that the situation is contained, or we will have a direction to go in to address the situation. Right now, all we really know is that we have a mess over there.”
Councilwoman Gracie Floyd, of District Two, who had chastised Wilson at the last Council meeting for not keeping her informed about the situation, had no comment.
She did, however, air several complaints during her report on activities in her district during February. She bemoaned the lack of attendance by other Council members at two events associated with Valentine’s Day. She took special umbrage at comments posted on the county website about a Valentine’s event she held for senior citizens.
The citizen who posted the remarks questioned Floyd’s use of a county vehicle and her purchase of gifts and door prizes with taxpayer’s money. The presence of Kim Poulin, clerk to the county council, at the event was also questioned. Floyd defended her use of the vehicle, saying that her physical condition made it difficult to get around, and that she felt that Poulin shouldn’t have to use her own vehicle; hence the county car.
She also argued that it was funds from her recreational account that were spent, and that she had nothing to hide. She berated those who question her commitment to the people of her district and demanded that those critics “Just leave me alone and let me do my work. Leave me alone.”
There was a very brief report on the EMS situation by Councilman Graham, who said that the the consultants who are preparing a proposal for modifying the current system had traveled around and met with the various squads, seeking input. He also stated that the main suggestion to result is to equip all ambulances with ABL locators, which would show dispatch the closest unit to the source of the 911 call. That would allow dispatch to send the closest unit instead of sending a unit from the specified squad headquarters.
The question of a new airport terminal was also addressed. County staffer Steve Newton reported that the decision was made to demolish the fifty year old existing terminal and build a new one. “The deciding factor was that there is a great deal more grant money available for new construction than there is for remodeling and updates.”
He also reported that the committee charged with supervising the efforts had come up with a design to emphasize the abundance of outdoors recreational opportunities in the county. In order to capture that basic aspect of Anderson County, the terminal will incorporate a lot of timber and stone work. The estimated cost of the terminal is two and a half million dollars. Newton said the design phase is about half way through, and once it is complete, the terminal will become a reality “in he near future.”