News Archive

(2605) Week of June 29, 2005

Week of June 29, 2005

Fireworks, special events kick off July 4th weekend
You can participate in the Rai$ing Race
District One Board approves budget
July Jubilee features free concert in Piedmont
Saluda-Reedy Watershed workshop includes stop in Piedmont

Piedmont street dance a success
County Attorney responds to Wilson’s agenda/legal questions
Sheriff’s office now charging for reports

Fireworks, special events kick off July 4th weekend

There will be no shortage of fireworks locally leading up to the celebration of the nation’s independence on July 4th.

Several area towns and churches are offering residents special activities and spactacular fireworks next weekend..

Hwy. 29 Whitefield area - Whitefield Baptist Church will be one of the first, sponsoring a celebration featuring special activities and fireworks on Friday, July 1 beginning at 7 p.m. The church, located on Hwy. 29, will offer train rides, inflatable rides, live music, and Besto. Fireworks will start at 9 p.m.

Williamston - The Town of Williamston is planning a Freedom Celebration for Saturday July 2 which will include fireworks, a cruise-in carshow, entertainment and other special activities.

The cruise-in will be held at McDonalds of Williamston beginning at 6 p.m. It is open to the public.

The Williamston Fire Department will have tickets available for three $50 drawings to be held each hour during the cruise-in.

Proceeds will go toward trophies for the Spring Water Festival auto show in August, according to Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison.

The Williamston Fire Department and The Town of Williamston will also host the fireworks show being presented by Pyrotecnico of Atlanta. Ellison said the show will be bigger and better than years past.

A dance with a D. J. will be held in the Mineral Spring Park from 7 p.m. to midnight. It is open to all ages.

An inflatable bounce will also be available for children. 

Pelzer/West Pelzer - The Towns of Pelzer and West Pelzer will sponsor the 3rd annual Pre-Fourth Celebration at the Pelzer ballfields July 2.

Jack Roper from News Channel 7 and the Weatherman Band will be playing from 7 to 9 p.m. The West Pelzer Fire Department will be selling barbecue plates and presenting the fireworks show.

Shriners will be offering watermelon and there will be ice cream for sale.

Free sno-cones, popcorn and drinks will be offered to persons with a ticket, which will be available at the gate, organizers said.

The West Pelzer Fire Department will offer barbecue and hotdog plates from 6 to 9 p.m.

Clowns will be on hand offering creative balloon art for children and door prizes will be announced each hour beginning at 7 p.m. You must be present to win.

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the fun at the Pelzer ballfields from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 2.

Piedmont - Pride In Piedmont is sponsoring a July Jubilee to be held on the grounds of the old Estes Plant on Saturday, July 2 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The event will feature two live concerts by Nashville recording artist Kelsey DiMarco, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

In addition to the concert, the event will include a peanut toss, horseshoe tournament, womanless beauty pageant and other activities.

Bags of peanuts (with prizes inside) will be tossed into the crowd every hour starting at noon.

The event will include a horseshoe tournament, womanless beauty pageant, and a Little Miss and Mr. Fircracker contest with lots of prizes for kids.

Special old time competitions will include kickball, pie bake off, tug of war, three legged race, sack race, egg race and more.

Organizers encourage you to bring your own chair and join the fun.

Ware Place - Beech Springs Tabernacle will have its 8th annual "Freedom Celebration" on Sunday, July 3 beginning at 7:30pm. 

You are invited to bring your lawn chair and come enjoy a night of music and a spectacular fireworks display. There will also be skydivers and recognition honoring the military. Drinks and refreshments will be offered, organizers said.

For more information visit their website at www.beechsprings.org or call the church office at (864) 243-3697 Beech Springs Tabernacle Church is located at 125 Cooley Bridge Road (Highway 247) Pelzer at the Ware Place.

You can participate in the Rai$ing Race

Organizers of the Rai$ing Race in Anderson’s Amazing Space are looking for contestants, sponsors and volunteers for the event which will take place August 12 and 13.

The event will be limited to 100  two person teams competing for prizes, according to organizer Kelly McCorkle.  She said the event is open to contestants of all ages. Teams will pay an entry fee of $300 and can obtain sponsors she said.

The number of teams will be limited and  will be accepted on a first come - first in basis, according to McCorkle.

McCorkle said several team members from the Amazing Race Season 7 will be participating in the event.

Rob & Amber, Ray & Deanna, Ryan & Chuck and others are expected, according to McCorkle, who competed with her boyfriend Ron Young in the reality show race that covered 5 continents 25 cities and more than 40,000 miles.

Participants in the Rai$ing Race will experience what it’s like to be a contestant firsthand, McCorkle said, and possibly alongside members of the AR Season 7 cast.

There will be various tasks for participants as they obtain clues, and negotiate obstacles that could include detours, roadblocks and pit stops along the way. Participating teams will have the opportunity for prizes and a grand prize, a free trip for two with spending money.

The event is also looking for corporate sponsors. Sponsorship, which includes a logo on the event T-shirts and promotional materials is $1,000.

Volunteers are also needed to drive contestants to their tasks. They will act as monitors and will not be allowed to help the contestants in any way other than driving.

For more information on being a sponsor, contestant or volunteer, check the website at www.lesliemazzarafund.com or call 202-250-0509

Kelly McCorkle, Miss SC 2002 and a participant in the The Amazing Race is organizing The Rai$ing Race to help raise funds for a memorial to  her best friend, Leslie Ann Mazzara, who was murdered, along with her roommate, last October in Napa California.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Leslie Mazzara Fund for a new Calvary Home for Children cottage.

District One Board approves budget

Anderson School District One Board of Trustees unanimously approved final reading on the $43,792,662 budget for 2005-2006.

No one spoke at a public hearing on the budget which was held prior to the vote.

The budget contains several increases over last year’s budget, with the bulk in upkeep and maintenance, funding for after school programs, adding 15 new teachers and salary increases, according to Superintendent Dr. Wayne Fowler.

The budget shows a $398,939 shortage which will be made up with a 3 mill tax increase if it is approved by the County Board of Education in July.

The budget includes a 1.55 percent salary increase amounting to $1,997,166 and a .5 percent increase in local supplement for teachers, increasing teacher pay to 12 percent above the state minimum.

The budget also includes a substitute teacher pay increase of $5 per day, amounting to $25,544.

There is an additional $587,678 budgeted for adding 15.3 teachers as the result of student growth in the District which is expected to be approximately 150 students.

Other increases include an expected health insurance increase of five percent in January budgeted at $176,772; national board certification $10,000 and increasing homebound funding by $10,000.

Student supplies and materials are being increased by $2 per student amounting to $16,800.

The budget includes $75,000 to continue after school programs which were being funded through a grant.

By combining summer school funding from the state and a carryover amount, Fowler said the district will be able to continue to provide homework centers 3 or 4 days each week staffed with certified teachers.

The budget includes additional funding of $80,000 for the Career and Technology Center. Dr. Fowler said the amount is based on a formula for District One and Two. He also said the CTC lost $60,000 in EIA money and will be getting approximately $20,000 from the District as a result of changes in the state funding.

Also included in the budget is $119,642 for six additional support personnel for schools.

Dr. Fowler also asked the board to approve $150,000 in the new budget for maintenance and special projects.

Other budgeted expenses include repairs and maintenance $13,538; property casualty insurance, $14,680; utilities $47,320; and technology hardware and software $23,000.

Revenues for the 2005/2006 budget are based on 8,099.58 students in grades K5-12. The district weighted per student amount is funded at $10,120.71.

Education Finance Act revenues are expected to be $17,879,569.

Dr. Fowler said the revenues generated from an expected 100 to 150 student increase is not included in the budget figures.

State property tax relief is estimated at $1,717,730 and Homestead exemption of $586,767.

Anticipated local revenues are budgeted at $15,024,807; State EFA $26,906,739 and other sources $1,462,168.

Anticipated revenues are $43,393,713. Budgeted expenditures of $43,792,662 leave a difference of $398,949 which Fowler said will be made up by a proposed 3 mill increase for the District.

Dr. Fowler said District One has the lowest millage rate of Anderson’s five school districts.

The Distict One millage rate is 105.7, he said. Others are 153.8; 121.3; 132; and 140.5 respectively.

Dr. Fowler said he expects the County Board of Education to approve the budget which will allow the District to increase the fund balance to 5 to 7 percent in the future.

According to Fowler the value of a mill is set at $130,299.

On a $100,000 house, the 3 mill increase will amount to $12, he said.

The proposed $43,792,662 budget was presented to the County Board of Education in a workshop on June 14. A final vote will be taken by the County Board in July.

July Jubilee features free concert in Piedmont

Pride In Piedmont is sponsoring a July Jubilee to be held on the grounds of the old Estes Plant on Saturday, July 2 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The event will feature two live concerts by Nashville recording artist Kelsey DiMarco, who recently kicked off a 100 city tour in North Carolina.

His summer tour, “Outlaws and Bandits” will feature songs from his new album to be released this summer.

DiMarco, a native of Bowersville, Georgia, has been performing for more than two decades and has recent hits including  “Some Summer”, Thing Like That” and Don’t Try to Find Me.” His influences include Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and the Bellamy Brothers, all of which can be heard in his music.

His debut album, “Some Summer,” has achieved nationwide success producing three chart singles, rave reviews and extensive worldwide radio airplay.

The two free performances by DiMarco in Piedmont will be at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

For more information check his website at www.kelseydimarco.com.

In addition to the concert, the event will include a peanut toss, horseshoe tournament, womanless beauty pageant and other activities.

Bags of peanuts (with prizes inside) will be tossed into the crowd every hour starting at noon.

Persons interested in competing in the horseshoe tournament can sign up at the main tent between 10 a.m. and 12 noon or call Mistie at 908-6686 to register or for details.

For more details on the womanless beauty pageant, call Heather at 908-6686.

Other events will include a Little Miss and Mr. Fircracker contest with lots of prizes for kids.

Participants should decorate a jar and ask family and friends to donate pennies to Pride In Piedmont. Each penny counts as one vote. Votes will be counted at 5 p.m. with winners announced after the concert. Sign up by calling Heather at 908-6686

Special old time competitions including kickball, pie bake off, tug of war, three legged race, sack race, egg race and more.

Organizers encourage you to bring your own chair and join the fun.

Saluda-Reedy Watershed workshop includes stop in Piedmont

Members of the Upstate Forever Saluda-Reedy Watershed Consortium,  participating in a day-long watershed workshop that included  stops at 8 different locations in the Saluda-Reedy river basin included Piedmont in their field trip last Thursday.

The group included eight representatives of organizations who were on a field trip to see first hand projects related to the Saluda and Reedy rivers.

During the stop in Piedmont, the group met with the organizers of the grassroots driven community organization, Pride in Piedmont.

Eddie and Michelle Anderson started Pride in Piedmont in 2002.

The organization sponsored cleanup efforts along the river and is currently working toward providing better recreational opportunities in the Piedmont area.

According to Eddie, the group is concentrating on four areas: the wagon bridge (soon to be the location for the fishing pier), the Hwy. 86 bridge area, the sandbar,  and the sawmill.

Each of the areas has its own special needs, Anderson said.

The main focus of the group is now on the wagon bridge, where a floating fishing pier is to be placed, hopefully sometime this summer.

In addition to the pier, work to be done in the area includes removing concrete pilings, which were brought by crane from the old mill, and placed to keep vehicles off the old bridge road bed, removing sediment from the old road bed,  providing benches and safety fencing. The group also plans to provide a gazebo with swings and an information station.

The next big project scheduled for the area is the fishing pier, which Anderson said should be installed this summer.

Anderson County Planner Steve Newton is finalizing the paperwork necessary for the $10,810 PARD grant the organization was awarded for the project in July 2004.

Once paperwork is completed, work on the pier will begin.

According to Anderson, accomplishments for the group in the area already include obtaining a 10 year lease with property owners CHI, clearing of kudzu and brush from the road bed, and placing a trash receptacle in the area.

The trash cans placed at two of the site have cut down tremendously on trash, Anderson said.

Goals for the area around the Hwy. 86 bridge and the steps which were already there, include providing a picnic area, providing an access/exit for canoes and kayaks, placing park benches and fire pits with rings in the area. They also plan to  back fill certain areas to allow for safe parking near the road, provide repairs for the existing steps and remove selected trees.

In this area, they have accomplished the following: obtained a ten year lease of the property, cleared underbrush, made existing steps passable, removed 40 bags of trash, removed large debris, placed a trash receptacle at the site, and purchased 3 fire rings. The area is also a designated river exit for a registered paddle trail that begins upriver in Powdersville.

The Andersons also attended a 6 day seminar on “How to form a registered paddle trail in your community.”

According to Anderson, the impact of the efforts in the area already show increased daily use of the area, reduced trash, and underbrush and kudzu growth deterred.

The area also received a Keep America Beautiful award for positive impact in a single area, Anderson said.

The third site, the sandbar area, is owned by Metromont Building Materials. Plans for it, based on obtaining permission, include providing a boat ramp, clearing of underbrush and cleanup of a dump site, and providing a primitive camp site and possible lighting.

Accomplishments in the area include a regular cleanup with assistance from Anderson County Detention Center, cleanup of large debris and litter signs being placed in the area.

Anderson said the group would like to purchase the privately owned sawmill area which could be used for parking and other recreational facilities. They are also looking into the possibility of purchasing and relocating the CSX depot, which Anderson said has historical value to Piedmont.

Pride in Piedmont was organized in 2002 to instill PRIDE back into the community., Anderson said.

One of the first projects was a trash pickup in Piedmont. Other events and town meetings have been held.

The group hopes to eventually see the river cleaned up and additional recreational facilities available along the river.

Anderson said that after several field trips to other communities and “seeing how they were using the  natural resources to revive their communities, Pride in Piedmont set out to do the same with Piedmont.”

The Saluda-Reedy Watershed Consortium is a group effort by organizations and individuals concerned about the impacts of changing land use on the water in the Saluda-Reedy basin, according to Jason Van Driesche, Director of Watershed Concervation for Upstate Forever.

The watershed is basically the entire land area that drains into Lake Greenwood.

It encompasses approximately 1,200 square miles, is over 80 miles long and includes approximately 1,500 miles of streams.

The one day workshop included stops in Ware Shoals, Piedmont, Lake Conestee, and in Grennville at Liberty Bridge, RiverPlace, Cleveland Park West, the Reedy River Greenway site in northwest Greenville and the Union Bleachery site in northwest Greenville.

For more information on Upstate Forever or the consortium check the website at www.saludareedy.org or www.upstateforever.org.

For more information on Pride in Piedmont, check their website at www.prideinpiedmont.org.

Piedmont street dance a success

Norma Hedstrom, a co-organizer of the street dance held Saturday to benefit the Piedmont Emergency Relief Committee (PERC) reported the event was a success, raising more that $700.

The following is her account of the event:

Local businesses and individuals donated prizes totaling over $2,000 in value. These items were given away in drawings during the evening of the Street Dance.

We received $700 in underwriting monies from local businesses and individuals to support the event. The event itself brought in over $700 to benefit our community.

This proves that even in the rain, Piedmont has spirit. The bands were great. Gritz played two sets and sounded wonderful. We love their blue grass style. Daystar played one set of new impressive music, not only played by the duo, but also written by the duo. Dwayne Strickland, our M. C. supreme and performer, kept us on our toes with his sounds of Elvis and his own style of gospel. He is wonderful!

The peanut tosses were of course, a hit. The prizes were great and well appreciated by all. It was fun not only for the persons visiting the event but also the volunteers.

The Carolina Blood Bank “Blood Vessel” came out to help bring in the spirit of helping our neighbors.  Many people visited the Blood Vessel and donated blood.

Cub Scout 717 underwrote and manned the corkgun shooting gallery, and will share in the proceeds from their venue. The Piedmont Christian Sports Association manned the  kids games which were free to all children 5 and under.

How much can you say about a good hot dog on a hot summer night?

“Thanks to many volunteers and the assistance of Mr. Joe Fleming of Emmanual Full Baptist Church. The hot dogs were filled with taste, chili, slaw, kraut or anything else you’d possibly want  on a hot dog. Nachos, cheese and jalapeno peppers were on hand with cold drinks, just in case you needed it. Cotton Candy was not only fun to watch , but really tasted good.

Our volunteer Donna Porter enjoyed making the cotton candy along with playing with the children while she was making the sweet gooey stuff.

Donna’s husband, Paul Porter was kind enough to take some photos of the event. Ms. Betty Davenport graced us with her presence and support. What a wonderful woman. She’s an example of community spirit.

The event was a major success, even with the rain. We are already planning next year’s street dance, but will make sure we have rain or shine included in everything. If there is a threat of rain, we will move it to the community building but, we’ll know it will be held on the last Saturday of June. This seems to be the perfect time to kick off the summer.

We’d really like to say thanks to all of the businesses and individuals in our community that helped make this wonderful event possible. Without community support, we would have never succeeded. Without caring neighbors and friends, there would be no reason to have a street dance. Piedmont is a wonderful place to live and play.

Remember, this event is put on by the community itself. It is not related to any club or organization. It’s just the community getting together and planning an event that will be affordable for everyone. If you would like to participate in planning next year’s annual street dance, please call Ron Hedstrom at 845-0110 or Cory Hedstrom at 845-3467.

“We invited the people of Piedmont to get involved in their community and have a great time,” Norma said.

 

 

The Towns of Pelzer and West Pelzer will sponsor the 3rd annual Pre-Fourth Celebration at the Pelzer ballfields July 2.

Jack Roper from News Channel 7 and the Weatherman Band will be playing from 7 to 9 p.m. The West Pelzer Fire Department will be selling barbecue plates and presenting the fireworks show.

Shriners will be offering watermelon and there will be icecream for sale.

Free sno-cones, popcorn and drinks will be offered to persons with a ticket, which will be available at the gate, organizers said.

Clowns will be on hand offering creative balloon art for children and door prizes will be announced each hour beginning at 7 p.m. You must be present to win.

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the fun at the Pelzer ballfields from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 2.Towns plan joint

Pre-4th Celebration

County Attorney responds to Wilson’s agenda/legal questions

By Stan Welch

 The controversey over violations committed in the construction of existing phases of the Beaverdam sewer project continues.

Long time opponent of the project, District 7 County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson , continues to seek answers concerning a number of violations cited by the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE). County officials apparently continue to resist providing those answers.

 The latest impasse arose  as a result of her request that the issue be placed on the agenda for the June 21 meeting of the Council.

According to a document provided by Wilson, she requested “a brief explanation by the Administrator, Dewey Pearson, and engineers of Design South regarding expenses, fines levied and corrective measures taken on Beaverdam Sewer line Phase 1A and 1B. Photographs would be helpful. The Administrator to decide how much time he will need.”

What appeared on the agenda, which is set by  County Administrator Joey Preston and approved by Council Chairperson Gracie Floyd, is the heading “Beaverdam Sewer Line Questions: Ms. Cindy Wilson  (requested 5/allotted 5)” indicating that Wilson had requested five minutes and had received  that amount of time for her questions.

Floyd, questioned by Wilson at a previous Council meeting about a reduction of time requested by  Wilson to discuss the project, told Wilson she was tired of hearing about the sewer project.

In a letter dated June 17, Wilson asked County Attorney Tom Martin to state “whether (under the Council/Administrator form of government) the Council Chairman or the County Administrator have the authority to re-word another Councilman’s agenda item.

Again, under the Council/Administrator form of government, does the Administrator have the right to refuse to answer a Councilman’s inquiry, or questions regarding violations and fines lodged against the County and possibly its consulting engineers? The County in this instance is the owner of the project.”

She goes on to ask what financial and legal consequences Council members might face as a result of not requiring the corrections be made before the county was cited. She referred to several meetings at which she provided information, including correspondence from federal agencies, which indicated that problems indeed existed.

At one such meeting, Council Chair Gracie Floyd said that if the County hadn’t been officially informed that there were violations, then there were none.

It quickly came to light that a cease and desist order from the COE had been sent to project manager Dewey Pearson nearly a month before. At that same meeting, Administrator Preston and Pearson both denied any knowledge of any such violations, despite the receipt of the order, which Pearson described as a form letter..

Those violations, which Pearson continues to characterize as conflicts between state and federal regulations, are being addressed, according to both Pearson and COE officials. 

According to Wilson, those repairs and mitigation efforts are being performed , at least in part, in lieu of payment of fines, which she says exceed $100,000. It is those efforts and  fines which she wants Pearson and Design South representatives to explain.

In the June 17 letter to County Attorney Martin, she also seeks clarification of a statement made in a March 15 letter from Preston to USFWS official Timothy Hall. That letter objects strongly to the publication of a news story in  The Journal, which reported the results of an inspection of the Beaverdam project by a USFWS biologist.

 The letter also includes this statement, “Ms. Wilson has waged a campaign since 1998 to stop the Beaverdam Creek sewer line project, which is slated to run through her ancestral property, and has been a party  to significant legal action against the County to stop its construction and implementation. In 2000 Ms. Wilson was elected to Anderson County Council . . . but continued to pursue litigation against the County’s construction of the sewer lines. Therefore, she is prohibited from officially representing Anderson County in any matters related to the project and has been previously advised of this.”

Wilson strongly questions this statement, and reminds Martin in the letter that  “Your office was contacted on 5/3/05 and asked what the prohibition was and where it was issued and in what form. To date your office and Mr. Preston’s office (contacted 5/2/05) have failed to indicate what this prohibition is. As my request for explanations of  these matters have again been refused, time is of the essence and your response before our 6/21/05 meeting is necessary.”

Wilson reported that as of noon on the day of the June 21 meeting, she had received no response to her requests.

That changed with the issuance of a letter to Wilson by Martin dated June 23rd.

Martin, in a four page response, expressed some discomfort in responding to Wilson’s queries, saying that Wilson’s use of questions which are “loaded with certain assumptions and arguments, which, if not fully refuted, seem to become a part of the record from that point forward.” He also bemoaned Wilson’s and third parties’ inclination to dissect responses to her inquiries “for import and meaning which was never intended.”

He also said that Wilson often recharacterizes, reformulates, or restates responses “to convey a meaning which was never intended to be, and never was, a part of the response.”

His greatest concern, however, is Wilson’s history as an adversary, saying, “I am not sure in what character or role you are asking questions of me, so that I am not sure whether I am responding to an elected official of the client I represent . . or to an adverse party, looking to use comments which I make as adverse weapons in legal actions against my only client in the matter, Anderson County.”

Wilson has in fact pursued legal means to force the release of legal vendor files, as well as more mundane county financial records, such as general ledger reports.

She is currently seeking a writ of mandamus to force the immediate release of those records. She was also a party to a lawsuit to prevent the Beaverdam sewer project, even before her election to Council, when the Council expanded to seven members.

A federal lawsuit involving her and County Administrator Joey Preston was recently settled, though Wilson insists she personally refused to endorse the settlement.

Martin continues to express his concerns as he responds to some of the specifics of Wilson’s letter. He explains that the rewording of the agenda item is not addressed by home rule, per se, but by the County’s ordinances, which give the administrator the authority to create the agenda, subject to final approval of the Council Chair; in this case, Gracie Floyd.

Martin, however, added that the request for Pearson and representatives of Design South to appear before Council “would appear to conflict with the Home Rule provisions of state law, in that your agenda item directed the Administrator and County staff to appear at the Council meeting and address your questions.”

He went on to express that only the full Council can direct the Administrator, and only he can direct staff.

He further explained that the wording change to which she referred was performed in order to bring her request into compliance with Home Rule.

Wilson contends that paid consultants and contractors are not County staff, and are therefore not subject to the protections of Home Rule.

 As to Wilson’s references to fines and violations, Martin declines to acknowledge that either has occurred, and reasserts his opinion that she, as an individual, cannot direct Preston to respond to those queries.

Martin continues to spar, as the letter continues. 

To Wilson’s request for clarification of a “prohibition” on her as regards the Beaverdam project, Martin responds at some length regarding the delay in his response.

He then goes on to say that the prohibition, while not a specific formal act, exists in the sense that Wilson is only one member of Council, and one with a history of an adversarial relationship.

He concludes that response by saying, “I therefore read that particular comment in Mr. Preston’s letter as saying nothing more than that you, acting alone, have no authority to speak for or bind Anderson County in this matter, which is a perfectly true statement.”

 As to Wilson’s assertion that Martin has willfully refused to respond in a timely manner, he denies having ever refused to give any explanation she has requested, and says further that his only refusal to do so in his letter is in the matter of potential legal and financial liability incurred by the Council in not responding to her prior notifications of violations and fines. He expressed his uncertainty as to her role and motivation in seeking the information, adding that such information would be rendered in a non-privileged setting and provided “to a party who has previously been adverse to the County on the same matter and who has asked multiple federal agencies to bring sanctions against the County on that matter.”

Sheriff’s office now charging for reports

By Stan Welch

Anyone seeking access to public records generated by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will find the process just a bit lengthier and more expensive than before.

A recent change in policy regarding both incident reports and background checks will require that citizens pay for such information, as well as going through a public information officer to obtain it, at least in the case of the incident reports.

Incident reports, which are commonly sought by those who have been burglarized or vandalized, and are submitting claims against their insurance, will cost $6 a copy and will be obtained through the public information officer for the Sheriff’s Department, Ms. Susann Griffin.

Background checks will still be performed by the Records Department, for those needing such documents for jobs or other legal requirements, such as being bonded or otherwise insured. The documentation will now cost $10. The prices are identical to those charged by Greenville County.

Chief Tim Busha says that the changes are part of a revamped records system which has been in place for about two months. “Eventually, much of this information will be available on our website, which should be up and running in a couple of months.  The new system also provides mapping and crime tracking capabilities, and should make the entire records process more efficient.”

Previously, all current police reports were available for review in the media room near the entrance to the Sheriff’s Department. Under the new policy, there is a summary of the reports which lists each one by case number, street location of the incident, and the offense. Anyone interested in a copy of a report, which are public records, would then write down the case number and request the copy through Griffin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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