Zoning changes effective January 1, 2010

At the Bamberg County Council meeting Monday night, the Bamberg County Planning and Zoning Commission’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Land Development Regulations, and Mobile and Manufactured Housing Ordinance ended with the ordinance passing with a contingency of a January 1, 2010 implementation date for enforcement.

The proposed changes are outlined in detail in the Zoning Ordinance and Land Development Regulations booklets and are available for public review at the Bamberg County Tax Assessor’s Office in the Bamberg County Courthouse, or download a copy at www.bambergcountysc.gov, on the homepage under the “Bamberg County Council and Bamberg County Planning Commission” article heading.

Roy Vinson, CEO of Bamberg County Memorial Hospital, reported that patient volume and finances were improved for the month of June, raising the totals for the nine month fiscal year period. Vinson reported that the sale of the Bamberg County Nursing Center is complete.

The Multi-County Park agreement, between Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, and Hampton Counties, was the subject of a proposed amendment to allow for expansion of boundaries defined in the original agreement. The proposed expansion would potentially increase income and possible jobs by the inclusion of the Dixie Narco Project into previously established Park boundaries. Council heard comments from Michael Kozlarek, representing Dixie Narco Inc., and Danny Black of the Southern Carolina Alliance. After hearing comments, Council Members voted to pass the resolution authorizing the amendment, with the exception of Councilman Chris Wilson, who expressed concern about passing the resolution without hearing the legal opinion of the Bamberg County attorney regarding the matter.

Council advised there are many Bamberg addresses that need to be properly labeled, with numbers clearly visible from the street either on the home, or clearly displayed and readable from the road with the correct 911 address. Council also expressed concerns for missing and stolen signs on roadways and residential streets, asking that citizens become more active in reporting these crimes as it puts lives and property at risk when emergency services are unable to locate addresses.

Property owners are responsible for installing the required numbers at each address.

Councilman Chris Wilson said, “What is the purpose of having a law (911 ordinance) on the books when it is not being enforced. We need to either change the ordinance or start enforcing it.”

A 2010 Census Committee was appointed to assist with compliance of the upcoming U.S. Census in the Bamberg County area. This is important to help in securing billions of federal dollars in possible funding for Bamberg County, and all citizens are required to participate.

Bamberg County Administrator Rose Dobson- Elliott reported on the potential candidates for architectural services for the renovation-construction project regarding a municipal complex to house the Bamberg County Sheriff’s office, District One Court, and Administration offices. The four best qualified of 39 original candidates will be reviewed by Council at a later date to determine who will be awarded the contract.

Council is scheduled to meet Monday, September 14, at 6:30 p.m.