Florence County Council OKs tax deal with company

By: Andrew Boardwine, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence County Council approved an ordinance Thursday for a fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement with the David C. Poole company Inc.

David C. Poole Company, a South Carolina corporation previously identified as “Project Railroad,” is one of the leading distributors of recycled fibers, woven fibers, spinning fibers and heavy denier in the Southeast.

The company is headquartered in Greenville and has a distribution and manufacturing center in Johnsonville.

“It’s going to mean more industrial development, which leads to more jobs being created,” said Kent Caudle, chairman of the Florence County Council. “That’s why we do things like this. We assist them, particularly when they start out, so that they will turn around and reinvest in our local economy.”

The council voted in favor of an ordinance to rezone about 1.535 acres owned by Leacon Inc. from unzoned district to planned development district on Second Loop Road and South Thomas Road.

An ordinance to construct a new well for the Timmonsville water system at $1,800 was passed on third reading.

“We transferred that portion of land to the City of Florence, which had bought that water system,” Caudle said. “We’re giving them some property so that the residents can be serviced in that area.”

Lighthouse Ministries

Lighthouse Ministries, an organization that assists in the community, asked for assistance of up to $24,000 with a nonrecurring capital project to retire the mortgage for its new building at 1416 W. Evans St.

“Lighthouse Ministries has served Florence County residents for more than 20 years and in 2017 we served more than 2,000 households with their basic needs,” said Cecilia Meggs, executive director of Lighthouse Ministries. “This past summer, Lighthouse Ministries had to unexpectedly move out of our home on Elm Street due to sudden and potentially dangerous deteriorations in the building.”

Lighthouse Ministries has more than 50 active volunteers and assists with deposits or payments of rent, utilities or necessary medications. They also provide traveler’s aid for stranded travelers and build ramps for those who are disabled in addition to many other family-oriented programs.

The request was received as information by the council.

Jr. Leadership Florence

Students in the Jr. Leadership Florence program participated in the morning’s meeting.

Jr. Leadership Florence is a program put on by the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, Francis Marion University and the Clemson Extension office.

“Leaders are not necessarily born, they’re made,” Caudle said. “It’s encouraging to me to see these students taking on leadership roles and contributing to the betterment of the community.”

The goal of the program is to expose the students to various career opportunities in Florence and show the youth what is going on in the community.

“This is very wonderful program,” County Councilman Waymon Mumford said. “It gives students a great opportunity to see what’s going on in the real world. These truly are our future leaders of tomorrow.”

Other business

The County Council approved up to $3,000 from council districts 3, 6 & 7 to replace two portable pitching mounds and one batting cage net at Francis Marion Recreation Park.

The council also approved up to $5,000 from District 5 infrastructure funding to replace two roll-up doors at the canteen at the Greenwood Athletic Complex.

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