Laurens County Council gave special recognition Tuesday evening to people transitioning out of and remaining in public positions of responsibility.

Two resolutions of appreciation were presented, and two presentations of the Henry Laurens Award – Laurens County’s highest honor for service – were made during the council’s regular meeting.

Retired State Rep. Mike Pitts, who once served as Laurens County Council vice-chairman, was honored for 14 years’ service in the S.C. House of Representatives.

His replacement in the House, fellow Republican Stewart Jones, was presented a resolution of appreciation for his service on the county council. Jones defeated fellow councilman Garrett McDaniel in a special election to fill the House 14 seat, leaving Jones’ seat vacant for now.

Council presented the Henry Laurens Award, on recommendation of Jones when he was on the council, to James Gambrell, a driving force of the Laurens County Museum. A proponent of conservation and preservation, Gambrell is a one-man litter-busting machine – he has rid Laurens County of more than 23 tons of trash that other people have thrown out on the county’s roadways.

Council presented the Henry Laurens Award, on recommendation of McDaniel, to former Gray Court Mayor John Carter. The recipient has provided 43 years of service to the northwestern Laurens County community, home of the ZF Transmissions plant.

Updates on operations in the Auditor’s Office and Animal Control were presented by Auditor Jim Coleman and Geoff Brown, animal control supervisor, respectively. Jon Coleman presented a wages update on behalf of the Laurens County Development Corporation – wages in Laurens County have grown 60 percent in 2008-17, thanks in part to the LCDC’s role in recruiting higher-paying industries to the community.

Council gave second-reading approval, by title, to the Fiscal Year 2019-20 general fund budget and the separate fire fund budget, accepted a deed to the Ora Community Park property (two acres), agreed to buy .29 of an acre for a solid-waste transfer station, and gave second-reading approval to a Hunter Industrial Park amendment for a new industry, Muffin Mam.

Alan Rickard invited the council to a First Responders Appreciation Barbecue this Saturday at the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. A public speaking will be conducted at 1 p.m., sponsored by the Laurens Modern Woodmen of America Chapter 16551.

This volunteer project will benefit Laurens County First Responders and Sheriff Don Reynolds’ Christmas Fund.

The next meeting of the Laurens County Council (all meetings open to the public) will be May 28, 5:30 p.m. in council chambers, second floor of the historic courthouse in downtown Laurens.