Yesterday, Secretary of State Mark Hammond called me to inform me that the efforts of several in our community will soon have a chance to appear on the ballot!

Within the next several weeks, members in the designated area will get to vote on whether to incorporate or remain an “unincorporated part of Richland County”.

They’ll also be choosing a name (see below): Ballentine, Dutch Fork, Lake Murray.

Stay tuned for more details. Below is a cut/paste from the Ballentine/Dutch Fork Civic Association:

Several months ago 657 residents of our area signed a petition to vote on the issue of forming a new municipal government. Shortly after the first of the year, registered voters living in the proposed municipal area will have the opportunity to vote yes on this issue.

A Working Group has been meeting on a regular basis since the petitions were collected to prepare the papers for Incorporation. Our proposal received the support of the South Carolina Joint Legislative Committee on Municipal Incorporation on November 15th. Two weeks later on Nov. 29, the Secretary of State authorized us to conduct a referendum to decide how we will be governed in the future.

Here are the questions the Working Group plans to have on the ballot:

1. Do you support the incorporation of a new municipality? [See the map of the proposed municipality on the reverse side of this page.]

2. Which of the following names do you want this new town to be called? (a) Ballentine (b) Dutch Fork (c) Lake Murray

3. Do you support a Mayor-Town Council form of government where the Mayor presides over the Town Council and acts as chief administrator of the Town?

4. Do you support having the Mayor and four Council Members elected at large from the municipality with each serving four-year terms? State Law requires that the Mayor and Council Members initially be elected for a two-year term.

5. Do you support municipal elections being held on a non-partisan basis?

These are the questions that the first referendum will ask. If we receive a majority vote to Incorporate, a second election will soon follow to elect a Mayor and four Council Members.


1. Register to vote if voting records do not show you as a current, active voter living at your current address. Call 576-2240 if you’re not sure you are accurately registered. You can register at any DMV office.

2. Attend a public meeting to discuss Incorporation. We plan to hold three public hearings on the issue of Incorporation. The first one will be Monday, Dec 3, at 6:30. Two others will be on Saturdays, Dec 15 and Jan 5 at 10:00. All meeting will be held at the Ballentine Recreation Center. Please plan to attend and bring a neighbor!

Member of the Working Group on Incorporation

Ken Colton, Chair 749-0417
Tom Callan 477-3472
Bill Sheely 781-8899
Mike Sloan 749-6740
Bill Edenfield 749-9599
Tom Yeoman 781-0452
Les Tweed 781-2995
Bruce Holland 732-2973