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Laurens County Council has set aside for now a resolution that would have supported the SC General Assembly if it decided to conduct a forensic audit of the 2020 Election results.

Arizona recently completed its forensic audit of Presidential Election results.

Council Member and Laurens County Republican Party Chairman Luke Rankin introduced the resolution. He said, “Our integrity in the election has fallen off.”

He, Council Chairman Brown Patterson and Council Member Kemp Younts voted “no” on a motion to table.

Council Vice-chairman Jeff Carroll, and members David Tribble, Dianne Anderson and Shirley Clark voted “yes” on a motion to table.

Rankin wanted to debate the tabling action, but County Attorney Sandy Cruickshanks said that was out of order, on a presiding motion. Rankin said he will introduce the resolution again.

Rankin said it is no reflection on the 2020 Elections work done by the Elections and Registration Office in Laurens County. Rankin said several of his constituents said they do not have faith in South Carolina and National elections.

Having an audit, and reassuring citizens that there was no improper voting, should be something that all Republicans, Democrats and Independents should want, he said.

Anderson said the resolution was divisive and unnecessary. Tribble said state lawmakers won’t care what Laurens County thinks about the issue. 

Carroll said the resolution would cause strife and, besides, no one had expressed to him their feelings that their vote did not count in South Carolina.

Rankin said he is in contact with more people than Carroll is; he said he has heard from “the grassroots”.

Rankin said the motion to table was “a cheap shot”.

The Laurens County Council also gave the 2nd of 3 readings to a revised Subdivisions Ordinance; final reading will require a public hearing.

Council authorized County Administrator Thomas Higgs to discuss with the Coroner’s Office the need for lift-stretchers to transport people 400 - 500 pounds. The Laurens County EMS has these lifts, and Coroner Vickie Cheek said her office needs them, too, because lifting that weight is a burden on the coroners. “We should not be an organization that requires our people to handle 400 pounds,” Tribble said.

The county could buy lifts, or contract with an outside vendor to handle all Coroner transports (with a dedicated truck in Laurens County). The situation/request will be discussed further.

Council agreed to an industrial inducement resolution and a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for a private developer building a 300,000 sq ft spec building in the Woodfield Industrial Park. “Project Plate” is the first private investment of this kind in Laurens County since 2008. 

The fee ordinance requires two more readings. The agreement would generate more than $8 million for the county over the life of the contract.

Council passed a National Disability Employment Awareness Month resolution. It supports the work of School Districts 55 and 56, Vocational Rehabilitation, the Laurens County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, and partners to train differently-abled individuals and find work for them.

Council agreed to cancel its Dec. 28 meeting, because of its proximity to Christmas. The Nov. 23 meeting will have a short presentation about redistricting (based on the 2020 Census) and a work session discussion of how to spend ARPA funds (the federal American Relief Plan Act).