County Council helps make walking to Sanders Middle School safer


Laurens County Council received thanks Tuesday for supporting an effort to make walking to Sanders Middle School safer.

Members of Bridging the Gap’s Hype Team said they appreciate the support of council, and Councilman Stewart Jones, in having warning lights installed on West Farley Avenue in Laurens.

They previously told council that walking from Washington Heights subdivision and the Bridging the Gap headquarters, across the busy street and to the school was dangerous. The Hype Team joined with a nationwide safe-walking-to-school initiative to bring the matter to the attention of people who could fix it.

The SC Department of Transportation installed the warning lights on one of Laurens’ busiest streets.

“They wanted to express their appreciation to the council in their own words,” said Calvin Whitmire, founder of Bridging the Gap Advocacy.

The young people made their presentation at Tuesday’s regular council meeting, which featured a brief agenda and then a budget discussion among the council members. The county budget will go for 3rd and final reading, and a public hearing on June 27. It is expected to be balanced, close to last fiscal year’s figures, without a property tax increase. The new budget must be in place by July 1.

In other action, council approved Resolutions of Recognition for Clinton High School. Principal Maureen Tiller accepted the resolutions recognizing CHS as a Bronze Medalist for U.S. News & World Report’s top high schools in the U.S., and recognizing the Science Olympiad teams of Clinton High and Middle Schools as South Carolina Champions.

Jones made the resolutions presentation to Tiller, who thanked the council on behalf of Clinton High School and District 56.

Council approved 3rd and final reading of a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes resolution for Birdseye Energy (Project Angus), an $80 million solar farm to be built between Clinton and Joanna. Ground-breaking is expected in 2018.

Company officials met this week with Laurens County officials about buildings codes, the council was told.

Council also congratulated the Laurens County Emergency Medical Service.

EMS is one of 13 SC services receiving Silver Status in the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline awards program. The service receives the award for “implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks,” a news release said.