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County residents complain about road conditions Print E-mail

Bamberg County Council members heard several complaints from county residents about the conditions of roads near their homes at their March 1 meeting. Council members agreed to refer the matter to their public safety committee to look at the entire county road system to determine what roads needed to be put back in the county maintenance system.

Representative Bakari Sellers, who was in attendance at the meeting Monday night stated, that for a road to be paved a constituent must first refer his or her concern to a member of the County C–Fund Committee. Then the matter must go through different Department of Transportation (DOT) processes and must meet justification for paving, i.e. a traffic count must be taken, the number of homes on the road, the number of people in the homes, illnesses of people in the home.

Gary Breland, who lives on Zig Zag Landing Road complained about the condition of the road he lives on noting that the county had maintained the road for 40 years before it stopped maintenance. It was noted in the meeting that Zig Zag Landing Road was not on the books as a county road.

Samantha Driggers complained about the condition of the road she lived on saying that for her and her three children is was “pretty scary in the dark.” Rev. Rufus Jamison of Denmark who has appeared before council on a number of occasion concerning the road near his home accused the council of “ dragging their feet” on repairing the roads.

“It’s a lot of stuff, I don’t know everything they at DOT do to approve paving roads,” Sellers said, adding that he has called DOT’s hand of some of the roads left unpaved. Sellers stated that Dally Road and New Bridge Street had been approved for paving. He noted that it took approximately $800,000 per mile to pave a road.

Councilmember Chris Wilson stated that the county could start paving every road in the county tomorrow but it would require raising taxes. “We were going broke scraping roads,” Wilson said. Wilson noted that the county made a list of the roads that needed to be taken out of the of the county maintenance system and will now look at every road to determine what roads needed to be put back in the system.

. Also during the meeting council members heard a report from Bamberg County Hospital Administrator Carl Menist who informed council that decreased patient volume in January resulted in a $30,000 loss for the month. Year-to-date net revenues for the hospital are $200,000 behind budget, however expenses are under budget $65,000 for the month.

.Council members gave third reading approval after a public hearing in which no one made comments to an ordinance to implement an additional assessment of building permits fees for new and existing structures in Bamberg County. The building permit fee increase of $5.00 per permit is to cover the cost of a new software program to be purchased to implement building inspections. The new fee will go into effect on April 1. Fees on demolitions in the county were reduced from $50 to $25.

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