Some local residents in both Richland and Lexington counties are looking to form a new county in the Midlands.

From the Irmo-Seven Oaks Patch

By Shireese Bell

About 45 people frustrated with their local county governments gathered in The Cotton House in Irmo Tuesday night to determine the groups’ next steps in the push to form a new county in the Midlands.

“I’m excited about putting something together,” said Ballentine resident Keith Solomon. “I feel so distant from Richland County especially with what happened with the last election with the penny tax.”

“I feel we were totally ripped off.”

The first Citizens for Birch County meeting was held to gauge residents’ interest in the creation of the new county, which would include parts of Ballentine, Irmo and Chapin.

“This is not a political organization,” said Scott Malyerck, one of the group’s organizers and former executive director of the SC Republican Party. “This is a group of folks that are concerned about the future of their communities.”

After the transportation penny in Richland County was passed in November , some residents thought it was time to revisit the idea that was discussed years ago.

Bill Able, a former attorney for Richland County, said he first thought of the idea to form Birch County and that now was the right time to “bring government back to the people.”

“It has grown too big,” Able said of the government. “It has distance itself from the people.”

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