Laurens County’s government plans to re-open the Hillcrest Square Judicial-Services-Administration Center in Laurens on Nov. 2, barring any new COVID-19 infections.
The security detail will be on-site that day, County Administrator Jon Caime told the Laurens County Council Tuesday night. The council’s meeting was in the council chambers, second floor of the historic courthouse in downtown Laurens.
The COVID-19 numbers in Laurens County “are getting worse,” Caime said.
The Hillcrest drive-through has been open for payments, but the building was closed this month after “multiple cases” of the highly contagious coronavirus were detected. County Finance Director Lisa Kirk publicly thanked Emergency Management Director Joey Avery for checking on her and assisting her office during the most recent infections.
Kirk said Laurens County has requests for reimbursement pending and another request in the works for SC CARES funds and federal FEMA funds to pay the county back for PPE and extra cleaning associated with COVID-19 (since mid-March).
Also, council members urged everyone to vote Nov. 3. Council Chairman Dr. David Pitts read the definition of Democracy.
Council Member Diane Anderson gave a reminder that the Laurens County Elections Office will be open this Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., for in-person, absentee early voting.
Council Vice-Chairman Joe Wood said, “I hope they vote for Trump.”
About 8,000 absentee ballots have been cast so far in Laurens County, the council was told.
In other business, the Laurens County Council:
-- agreed to spend $55,431.51 for a new scale at the solid waste transfer station; the current scale which will be kept operational is 30 years old. Anderson voted “no” - she said a new scale should have been planned for in the original construction plans for the new transfer station, instead of now that the building is under construction, and a new vehicles maintenance shop at the site is being bid-out. The money will come from allowing the solid waste enterprise fund to continue to run in the red.
-- agreed to allow the County Fire Service to spend $21,869 for acrylic roof-sealing material at the Wattsville and Maddens Fire Stations, to stop roof leaks; the money will come from the fire service reserve fund of just over $1 million.
-- agreed to allow the EMS to spend up to $45,000 for routers in vehicles that will allow for a Mobile CAD System; the money will come from the EMS capital fund.
-- extended a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with Fukoku; approved a year’s postponement of property tax reassessment; repealed an ordinance made out-of-date by the county’s new RV Parks’ ordinance; and approved a land agreement with Vulcan related to a trash-convenience station near Gray Court.
Also, Wood urged everyone visiting The Square in downtown Laurens to look at the Historic Courthouse Dome, praising the county-funded work to restore the dome and stabilize the iconic building’s roof.