Laurens County Council experienced a changing of the guard at its Tuesday night meeting.
Dr. David Pitts was elected by majority vote as chairman, and the outgoing chairman, Joe Wood, was elected vice-chairman.
“I thank Mr. Wood for his outstanding service,” Pitts said. He is the Assistant Superintendent of Operations for School District 56.
Wood is a retired businessman representing the Ware Shoals area of Laurens County.
The election was necessitated by the every-two-years election of council seats. Former vice-chairman Keith Tollison’s seat was taken by Jeffrey Carroll (District 5), and Kemp Younts was elected to replace Ted Nash (District 1). Another council seat could be up for election this year, as council member Stewart Jones (Republican) and council member Garrett McDaniel (Democrat) are in the field for the S.C. House District 14 seat vacated by Mike Pitts.
At the Jan. 8 regular meeting, council was presented a five-year Capital Improvements Plan but took no action. The plan calls for spending on the Historic Courthouse, Emergency Medical Services, E-911, signage for the interstate highways identifying Laurens County, recreation areas, fire and law enforcement equipment.
Council approved third and final reading of two economic development ordinances (Projects Autumn and Gator) and second reading for a Flame Spray expansion.
Council approved a $98,850 change order for the Hillcrest Square re-roofing and HVAC replacement project. The change order pays for new lighting (2 ft. x 4 ft. LED panels), and pushes the overall cost of the project to $3.4 million.
The county has judicial, taxpayer services and finance and administration in Hillcrest, a former shopping center building.
The next meeting of the Laurens County Council will be Tuesday, Jan. 22, 5:30 p.m., in the council chambers, second floor of the historic courthouse in downtown Laurens. These meetings are open to the public, and there is time set aside for public comments to the council.