By Stan Welch
The Anderson County Council kicked things off Tuesday night by adopting three resolutions. One declared September as Sickle Cell Month, and encouraged blood donation as one step in helping victims of the disease find donor matches. The second one honored former County Councilman Francis Crowder for his service to the county and his community. The third resolution honored Colonel Dan Durham for his service to the county and community, during his twenty five years as the board chairman for the Pelzer Rescue Squad, and his thirty six years as an elder in his church.
(Crowder and Durham both passed away recently)
The Council then heard an update on the recent transition to a single provider for the county’s EMS services According to public safety committee chairman Ray Graham, most of the problems have been minor. “Twenty one days into the new system, we have had several kinks, but we have met with the provider and are working those out. We had some issues with dispatch but have made adjustments on getting the ambulances sent to the right places.
All the QRVs (Quick Response Vehicles) are deployed. The provider (Priority Ambulance) is required to have 17 ambulances on duty and last weekend they had 21.”
Council chairman Tommy Dunn then commented that the call volume for service had really spiked lately. Graham concurred, saying that last weekend saw the highest volume of calls ever.
Councilman Brett Sanders then reported that the ad hoc sewer committee had instructed the county attorney and county sewer director to produce a proposed policy to guide the county ion engaging with municipalities that might decide to annex areas that contain county sewer infrastructure. The need for the policy was spurred by the city of Anderson’s plans to annex property that contains county sewer lines. Once formulated and approved by the committee, the policy will be brought to the full council for review and a possible vote.
Sanders also reported that the committee recommends mothballing the Six and Twenty sewer plant. The move would not close the plant, but take it off line, with the flow being diverted to the Rocky River plant, which has excess capacity available. A study would then be conducted on the cost and feasibility of using the Six and Twenty plant to treat septic tank and portable toilet waist, as well as grease trap refuse. There is currently no place for septic waste to be treated in the county without going to ReWa. There is no place at all for grease trap waste to be treated.
It is currently being transported to Georgia, according to Councilman Jimmy Davis.
Sanders added that thirty one million dollars of the thirty nine million the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act would be spent on eight proposed sewer projects. The projects involve both the repair of old lines and the construction of new ones in the county.
Sanders also chairs the finance committee and announced a $23,000 program to create wifi hot spots. He stated that approximately 18,000 citizens have no legitimate access to the internet. A pilot program to help new workers get transportation to their jobs at the various new plants that have and are locating to Anderson county. The$75,000 subsidy program will help new workers defray the cost of Uber transportation while they accumulate their own funds to acquire a vehicle. The county’s efforts to extend the bus lines to address the problem were inadequate, according to county administrator Rusty Burns.
“The plants run their shifts at different times, which diffused our attempts to expand bus service. This one time pilot program, funded by the American Recovery Act, shows promise. The subsidy goes to the workers themselves to help with the cost of transport.”