County makes plans, awards multiple contracts

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Colleton County Council met Tuesday Sept. 1 in a virtual meeting to discuss extending the mask ordinance and award contracts for debris removal and management.

The emergency mask ordinance requiring face coverings to be worn in public places and public buildings within the county was reinstated for another 60 days. Exceptions are: children under two, people who have trouble breathing or are unconscious and incapacitated, in personal vehicles, alone in enclosed spaces, involved in outdoor activity, at home, actively dining or smoking, or receiving personal services.

In other business, council voted to accept a request from the Town of Lodge for the county to assume authority and jurisdiction over planning, zoning, subdivision, floodplain, and building code regulations within the town limits.

Beginning Nov. 3, Lodge will be included in the county’s comprehensive plan and will be under the auspices of the Colleton County Planning Commission.

The county has experienced a $1M shortfall due to COVID. However, a grant of $121,000 for COVID reimbursements is coming and was not part of the budget. Several disaster relief applications have been sent out and County Manager Kevin Griffin is optimistic that the county will receive these monies for approximately $380,000.

Griffin also updated council members on Community Development Block Grant projects:

Gadsden Loop neighborhood project updates are: exterior rehab has been done, cleared environmental review, street lights have been added, asbestos testing has been done, demolition has proceeded, and they are now in the process of acquisition of sidewalk easements.

The old high school football stadium demolition has been completed. Re-seeding and repairing of the grounds as well as adding perimeter fencing and lighting is scheduled. This will be used for green space.

The East Side water project is moving forward rapidly.

The Buckner Building is still in the process of being tested for asbestos before demolition.

Ivenia Brown school scheduled to be demolished and a Green Pond community center will be built.

County Council also awarded several contracts for debris removal, recovery and monitoring.

Tetra Tech, Inc. was awarded a contract for debris monitoring and recovery services for a period of two years on a pay-as-used basis and in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster that makes their services necessary. FEMA requires the county to monitor and report amounts of debris, and this company will be in control of this aspect.

A “first push” contractor was selected for procurement of debris removal and disposal services. The contract was awarded to Wood Brothers for hurricane and natural disaster debris clean up. This contractor will come in within 72 hours of the disaster event to clear roadways and drainage.

AshBritt, Inc., a national company, received the contract for debris managements and disaster recovery services. This contractor comes in after the 72 hours and after residents have put debris on curbs to clean this up for months. They can also clear waterways of vessels.

Smart Communications Holding, Inc. was chosen to provide inmate communications systems and maintenance at the Colleton County Detention Center with the use of the company’s Smart Kiosk.

Additional business included the appointment of individuals to board vacancies:

James Bunton and Jasmine Douglas were appointed to the Board of Disabilities and Special Needs.

Adam Bishop was appointed to the Colleton County Planning Commission.

John Burroughs was selected for the Edisto River and Kayak Trail Committee.

The meeting concluded with councilman Philip Taylor honoring the memory of Mable Hendricks, former Victim’s Advocate for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department who recently passed away.

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