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City council approves airport expansion, property transfer to SealCraft Corporation | News | The Press and Standard

by | January 13, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: January 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Walterboro City Council adopted two ordinances at its Jan. 3 meeting.
The first ordinance approved a 30-year lease agreement with Lowcountry Aviation Company Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant for 5.85 acres at the Lowcountry Regional Airport. The company is expected to invest just over $3,000,000 in buildings, infrastructure, machinery and equipment and create approximately 127 new full-time jobs at the site. The lease is still subject to approval by the Federal Aviation Authority.
The business purpose is listed as aircraft management, aircraft maintenance/repair/overhaul including electronic/avionic components, aircraft modifications and upgrades, engineering design, aircraft paint, charter airline/services, flight training and simulation, aircraft brokerage, aircraft rentals, aircraft on the ground services and aircraft storage services.
Lowcountry Aviation will submit a site plan for buildings, parking, drainage, etc. within 180 days of execution of the lease for the city’s approval. Construction can begin 180 days after that approval.
Walterboro resident Carol Black expressed her concern with approval of the project, citing the number and size of planes flying into the airport affecting the quality of life for residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the airport.
Council also passed approval to join with the county and the Walterboro-Colleton Airport Commission in conveying by quit claim deed five acres at 418 Wellston Circle in the Industrial Area to SealCraft Corporation. The transfer of ownership will allow SealCraft, which has closed its Walterboro operations, to sell the property to another industry.
In other business:
 Council voted to establish an assistant city manager position and eliminate the position of director of planning and codes. The county will assist the city with building inspection services in the interim until an assistant city manager can be found.
 Council chose Wharton-Smith Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant. The company submitted the lowest bid for the project at $3,644,000.
The project will be paid for with an EDA grant of $2,040,000; a S.C. Rural Infrastructure grant of $500,000; and a S.C. Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan of $1,104,000.
 Approval was given for the city’s engineer, AECOM, for construction observation services for the wastewater treatment plant upgrade project for $96,000. The money will be paid from the water consumer deposit account.
 Council scheduled its annual retreat for Jan. 27-28 at Wampee Conference Center in Pinopolis.
 Council approved the minutes of its work session held Sept. 20 on plans for the move of a number of city offices to the former First Federal building on Hampton Street.
At that work session, Scott Cook of Cook Design Studios in Walterboro showed council members his proposed plans for renovation of the building. Renovation will be minimal, he said, mostly cosmetic updates to make the building more customer-friendly and the addition two handicapped-accessible bathrooms, an elevator and some office walls.
Departments moving include the municipal court, planning and codes, water and sewer billing, business license, finance and human resources.
 The Feb. 7 council meeting was rescheduled for Feb. 21.

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