In This Weeks Edition: 06-20-2012
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County residents voice concerns about high taxes

Residents of Bamberg County expressed their concerns about the proposed one cent capital sales tax at the June 11th County Council meeting.

A local business owner said that his business was already being taxed enough and that he was paying high taxes on his vehicles and his property and this made it hard for him to be competitive in his business with additional taxes.

According to Bamberg County Council Chairman Chris Wilson, the one cent sales tax is to fund capital projects needed in the county.

Wilson said the projected revenues from a one cent sales tax would be close to $1.1million with the first year including some start-up costs. According to Wilson, the money cannot be used for operational costs, it has to be used for building projects, such as the courthouse which is in need of repair.

There will be a meeting of the committee of six appointed officials from all over the county regarding the capital sales tax on Monday, June 25, at 6pm at the courthouse.

The proposed sales tax will be on the November ballot as a referendum for the citizens of Bamberg County to vote on.

Economic Development Commission member Craig Walker gave an update on the proposed Wellness Park to be built on Highway 78 between Bamberg and Denmark. According to Walker, grants have already been applied for to complete Phase 1 at an estimated cost of $500.00. The park is to be built on a 47 acre tract of land owned by the county.

Walker said the only thing the wellness committee was asking the county to fund would be the Veterans’ Memorial to be placed at the site.

One resident asked why did the county want to build a park in the middle of the woods.

Councilperson Alzena Robinson said that the residents need to know that council is doing what is best for the county and its citizens.

In other business:

• Finance Director Thomas M. Thomas said the county had collected year-to-date revenues totaling $6.8 million through April 30. The year-to-date expenditures totaled $6.6 million.

• There will be a 3rd reading of the 2012-2013 budget at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, at the courthouse.

• Council approved the sale of three old fire trucks and timber from the county’s 36- acre landfill with proceeds from the sale to help purchase a new fire truck.

City of Bamberg receives ‘Unqualified Opinion’ on audit

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The city of Bamberg received an “unqualified opinion” on its 2010-2011 audit, Barnwell-based auditor Del Brown told Council members at their June 11, meeting.

Brown noted the report showed the city had assets exceeding liabilities to give the City a positive net worth of $2,322,516.00 for the year. He noted that general fund expenses had exceeded revenues to record a $47,068.00 loss for the year. Brown explained that due mainly to the booking of depreciations of $156,846.00 and the booking of OPEB liabilities of $103,944 the result was an overall decrease in the fund balance of $271,368.00 for the year.

Also during the meeting:

• Council members gave first reading approval to a 2012-2013 budget of $2,007,895.00. The proposed budget would include a three percent cost of living increase for City employees and would not require any furlough days. A millage rate for the budget was set at 114.34 mills.

• In the Police Commission report, Chief Morris told Council the department had received 31 applications for the police officer’s position which are presently being reviewed. The Chief informed Council that some of his young officers violated every police policy when they left Bamberg on a high speed chase the other weekend which resulted in two Bamberg police cars being wrecked and a third car with a blown engine leaving the department with a $4,000 repair bill.

Chief Morris stated that he has told officers they are not to be involved in a high speed chase unless a serious felony has been committed. Chief Morris said he hoped the officers got the message.

• Commissioner Janeth Walker informed Council that everything was running well in the Sanitation Department.

• Commissioner Nancy Foster said things were busy at the Ness Sports Complex. Foster noted that cement had been poured at the basketball courts and the versa court titles should be arriving this week for the courts.

Under Old Business:

• Councilman Kevin Sandifer made the motion to approve on second reading Ordinance 12-1 adding Section 26-3 regulating burning within the City of Bamberg. The motion was approved by Council.

• Council members approved the recommendation from the Planning Commission to rezone the property of Heyward Gunnells from HC to R-10.

• Council approved a motion to enter a request to have the civic center be placed on the ballot as the city of Bamberg’s one percent Capital Sales Tax Project.

Bamberg man charged with attempted murder

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

A Bamberg man has been charged for his alleged part in a brutal attack on another man that left the victim in critical condition in a Columbia, South Carolina area Hospital. William Henry Moody, 66, of 145 Oakdale Trailer Park in the city of Bamberg has been charged with attempted murder in the alleged brutal attack on William Lassiter, 63, of the same address, that according to a Bamberg Police Department Incident Report, left the victim with a “crushed head and face.”

According to the report on June 2, at 6:15 p.m. Bamberg Police units were dispatched to 145 Oakdale Trailer Park, in the city of Bamberg. The caller (complainant) stated that a man just beat another man with a stick next door to him. According to the report Moody was sitting in a chair along side of his residence towards the driveway. Moody got out of the chair and officers asked him “repeatedly to sit down.” According to the report Moody replied “I beat the hell out of him, I'll beat the hell out of you too.” The victim was flown to Palmetto Richland by Life Net, where he was listed in critical condition and on life support. According to the report, during an interview of Moody by police officers, Moody stated that the victim “was reaching for a knife under the mattress.” Officers obtained a search warrant to reenter the trailer and found nothing under the mattress.

According to the report during an interview, Moody stated that he had struck the victim with one “stick” until it broke and then went and found a bigger stick and returned to continue beating him, which is supported by evidence at the crime scene and found while processing the evidence the report noted.

Kinard & Odom win seats

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The final results of the Tuesday, June 12, elections in Bamberg and Denmark show that in the Bamberg County Council District 1 Democratic Primary, political newcomer Trent Kinard received 330 votes in defeating challenger Gregory Clark, who received 137 votes. In a special election for a seat on Denmark City Council to fill out the remaining term of the Rev. Rufus Jamison, who resigned in March, the results show that political newcomer Calvin Odom was the winner with 92 votes, followed by John Fogle with 31 votes and Johnnie Ruth Rosa with 23 votes.

Automobile accident

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

A one vehicle accident on Tuesday morning in the city of Bamberg resulted in the driver being taken to the hospital and extensive property damage to the car and property of a Smoak Street resident. According to a Bamberg Police Department South Carolina Traffic Collision Report Form at approximately 8:15 a.m. a vehicle driven by Gloria D. Hicks, of 488 Smoak Street, in Bamberg, was traveling south on Smoak Street, when it crossed into the northbound lane striking a mailbox and culvert.

According to the report the vehicle went “airborne” and clipped a telephone pole before landing on its side in the yard of Mrs. Colleen Jolly at 289 Smoak Street, damaging her fence. The condition of Ms. Hicks wasn’t available at press time.

 

 

 

 

 

Fleming named Head Coach

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

Replacing a legend is never easy. However longtime Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School assistant baseball Coach Tracy Fleming is up to the challenge as last week he was named the new baseball coach at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School replacing legendary coach David Horton.

Coach Fleming, who served for the last 12 years as head coach of the Bamberg-Ehrhardt JV baseball team, coached at Class 4-A Aiken High School and led the program to a state runner-up finish in 1987. He also served tenure at Allendale-Fairfax High School before coming to Bamberg.

When asked about replacing Coach Horton, Coach Fleming said that was something that couldn’t be done: “Nobody’s going to replace Coach Horton,” Fleming said. “I’m just going to do the best I can, being myself and do the best I can do.” Fleming said he was fortunate to have longtime assistant coaches Jimmy Wilson and Roland Deaton back to assist in making the transition easier.

Red Raiders compete

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Red Raider football teams’ skill players got an opportunity to hone their skills this past weekend on the big stage. As they participated in the Steve Spurrier 7-on-7 Passing Camp, held at the University of South Carolina practice field “proving grounds” and in huge Williams Brice Stadium.

When the day was done, the team would come away with a record of (1-2-1) against teams from SCISA and SCHSL in all different classifications from across the state. B-E Head Football Coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby said he was pleased with his team’s performance in their first 7-on-7 passing league contest of the summer.

“Overall it went well,” Coach Crosby said. Crosby noted that his young team that is looking to replace two cornerbacks and two linebackers on defense this year “started out slow” and settled in and played well at the end of the contest, losing its only two games by one possession. With the offense recording nine touchdowns on the day, Crosby noted that it was just a matter of his young defensive secondary becoming more aware in passing situations. In the final match of the day the B-E defense came up with several key stops to preserve a 7-7 tie with Hanahan.

All in all Crosby said it was a great experience for the kids, who enjoyed the day in Columbia.