Search Results for: penny

“Penny Tax” Info Meeting – March 7th at Ballentine Park

RichlandPennycrop

Email from Ballentine-Dutch Fork Civic Association

PENNY TAX INFO MEETING – MARCH 7TH 6:30 PM BALLENTINE COMMUNITY CENTER CALL 542-2419 FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Please be sure to invite all your friends, neighbors and other contacts in this area to this important meeting. Get the facts from the “horse’s mouth” as they say.

Tom Callan, the President of the Ballentine Civic Association, contacted Ms. Betty Gregory, Community Involvement Coordinator of the Penny Tax program, who enjoyed learning about Ballentine’s interest in the Richland Penny projects, particularly the road widening that will positively impact our community.

Our completed Richland Penny Speaker Request Form has been officially submitted for a Richland Penny Update and Overview Program to the Ballentine Civic Association, Monday, March 7, 2016 with arrival by 6:15 pm and ending time 7 pm at the Ballentine Community Center, 1009 State Rd S-40-286, Irmo, South Carolina.

Mr. David Beaty, Richland Penny’s Program Manager, and Mr. Clem Watson, Richland Penny’s Construction Engineering Manager, will be the presenters for a 15-20 minute update with Q and A. For our information, their bios are attached.

In addition, staff will be present from their public involvement team to assist in any way. They will bring the Yearly Report as Tom requested for hand-outs.

They appreciated the invitation. They welcome the opportunity to inform, educate and engage the citizens in the Ballentine community and look forward to being with us March 7.

State of “The Penny” (Richland Transportation Tax)

In April 2013, Richland County Council appointed the Transportation Penny Advisory Committee (TPAC). The function of the TPAC is to review, comment, on, and provide recommendations to Richland County Council regarding the Council’s use of the one-cent additional sales tax that voters approved in the November 2012 referendum.The TPAC is composed of 15 Richland County citizens representing Arcadia Lakes, Blythewood, Columbia, Eastover, Forest Acres, Irmo, and unincorporated areas of Richland County.TPAC members are volunteers who serve without compensation. Their terms of service range from three to five years. The TPAC meets on the third Monday of most months at 5:00pm in the fourth floor conference room of the Richland County Administrative Offices at 2020 Hampton Street. TPAC meetings are open to the public.

To learn more, visit Transportation Committee Advisory Committee information

More on the Transportation Penny

Next month Richland County voters will decide on a “local-option sales tax” increase to be used for transportation items throughout the county (Roadway/Bus Service/Bike/Pedestrian/Greenway).

I’ve attended a local forum in our community and heard presentations to the Irmo Chamber Board of Directors, as well as to the Richland County House and Senate delegations.

There is plenty of information out there for you to make an informed decision before you head to the polls next month. With more than $1 billion on the ballot for up to 22 years, it’s important you read the issue and form your opinion before you “just press a button” at the polls.

While there are many “yes” websites, I could not find a “no” website to share. (If a reader knows of one, please feel free to post the link in the comment section)

Richland County website
Citizens for a Greater Midlands
Say Yes 2 The Penny

Voters may recall the referendum narrowly failed to receive approval two years ago.

Here are the 2010 results from the 14 Richland County precincts that make up our community:

Ballentine…………989 No…..435 Yes…..69.45% No
Dutch Fork #1…..707 No…..370 Yes…..65.65% No
Dutch Fork #2…..886 No…..564 Yes…..61.10% No
Friarsgate #1……534 No…..375 Yes…..58.75% No
Friarsgate #2……449 No…..292 Yes…..60.59% No
Harbison #1…….457 Yes…..399 No…..53.39% Yes
Harbison #2…….284 Yes…..277 No…..50.62% Yes
Oak Pointe……….822 No…..593 Yes…..58.13% No
Old Friarsgate…..386 No…..252 Yes…..60.50% No
Parkridge…………144 No…..137 Yes…..51.25% No
River Springs…..1065 No…..657 Yes…..61.85% No
Riverwalk………….721 No…..617 Yes…..53.89% No
Spring Hill…………503 No…..160 Yes…..75.87% No
Springville………..1241 No…..525 Yes…..70.27% No

Richland County: Penny Tax Meeting, September 17th

From “The State/Dawn Hinshaw”

Richland County has scheduled the first round of community meetings to explain details of a proposed penny sales tax for transportation.

The increase, to 8-cents on the dollar on most purchases, would raise $1 billion over 22 years to improve roads; bus service; and expand bike lanes, sidewalks and greenways.

The sessions, announced Tuesday, are:

• Monday: 9/ 10 Adult Activity Center, 7494 Parklane Road
• Sept. 13: Eastover Park, 1031 Main St.
• Sept. 17: Friarsgate Park, 1712 Chadford Road
• Sept. 19: Richland County Public Library, 1431 Assembly St., Columbia
• Sept. 20: Blythewood Park, 126 Boney Road
• Sept. 24: Bluff Road Park, 148 Carswell Road

All presentations will begin at 6 p.m.

County spokeswoman Stephany Snowden said staff will give presentations as well as hand out project lists and maps.

Members of the anti-tax group Not a Penny More will attend some of the sessions “so we can at least ask appropriate questions,” spokesman Michael Letts said.

Richland County staff members are available to provide educational information to community associations, neighborhood organizations and other civic groups. See the county website at www.rcgov.us, e-mail transportationpenny@rcgov.us or call (803) 576-2050.

A Business Plan for 2018

This week marked the beginning of the 2nd regular session of the 122nd South Carolina General Assembly. We returned to Columbia with a long list of issues to tackle and 18 weeks to complete the work of the people. I am thankful for the trust you have given to me to represent you and our community in Columbia.
After hearing from our constituents over the past several months, many of us have discussed a Business Plan for 2018 focusing on a broad range of issues. Each item contained in the plan directly affects the lives of South Carolinians and will require serious debate.

For several years, we’ve seen results through debates on infrastructure improvement, workers’ compensation reform, property tax reduction, strengthening immigration laws, ethics reform and elimination of the Budget and Control Board, among many others. It’s my hope we will see results on this plan as well and Representative Huggins and I will keep you updated each week here through the Irmo News.

Ratepayer Protection Package
Based upon extensive study and review by the House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee (formed after the VC Summer fallout), the legislative package proposed in our plan lowers current rates and prevents consumers from paying a single penny more for the costly failed project. Additionally, the bills modify existing law and put proposals in place that advocate for South Carolina ratepayers. Just this week, I was honored by my colleagues to be named a CoChair of the bipartisan SC Energy Caucus. We formed to not only focus on the ratepayers of our state but also to look at our state’s energy policy and consider alternatives and options that currently do not exist in the monopoly that is our energy providers.

Retirement System Reform Phase II
Last year, the House passed Phase I of retirement reform which placed the state retirement system back on a path toward solvency. When finalized by the Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review, the recommendations in Phase II will complement the achievements of Phase I by providing the most cost-effective retirement solutions that keep employee recruitment and retention competitive while also balancing long-term affordability for taxpayers. It remains important to note that these changes would only apply to future employees.

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
The SC House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee recommends several new pieces of legislation and supports the passage of a series of bills filed in the first year (2017) of the session in addition to non-statutory recommendations. The comprehensive approach, among other things, limits the overprescribing of opioids and encourages additional prescriber education on addiction symptoms and safe prescribing practices, tracks opioid overdose antidote administrations, institutes licensing guidelines for addiction counselors, expands access to life-saving opioid treatment programs, reduces damaging stigmas, encourages additional research on opioid misuse prevention, and empowers community and faith-based solutions. Representative Huggins has been a leader on this issue for many years.

Education Reform
The legislation uses only the state portion of the child’s per-pupil funding to create an optional education savings account (ESA) directed by parents of students meeting certain eligibility qualifications. ESA funds may only be used by parents on an approved list of services and providers to customize their child’s education. ESA eligible student populations include: students with disabilities diagnosed by a physician or psychologist; students residing in a household eligible for free and reduced lunch; current and previous foster care students; and children of military families.

Entitlement Reform
The bill would require able-bodied adults to actively seek work in order to receive food stamp benefits. While currently administratively enforced by the South Carolina Department of Social Services, this bill would make the practice permanent law.

In the coming weeks, I will be asked to vote on each of these matters, and I welcome your feedback and input regarding these and other issues that are of interest to you. Please contact me through my website www.nathansnews.com or call me directly at home at 732-1861.

It’s an honor to again serve you and your family as your State Representative in Columbia!

UPDATE: several road improvements

w20-7a

Hopefully you’ve noticed improvements all around our community in the past several months! You will continue to see more in the months and years ahead!

When we return to session in January, the General Assembly will continue to address our infrastructure needs as this is vital not only to our way of life; but also the future of our state’s economy (aka jobs, jobs, jobs)

Thanks for bringing several of these needs to my attention. Thank you SCDOT for always being willing to listen and perform the studies needed to find solutions and improve safety!

By the way, there are 3 meetings next month that may be of interest to you:

October 4th (5pm-7pm) Seven Oaks Elementary – Carolina Crossroads (aka Malfunction Junction)
October 11th (5pm-7pm) Chapin High School – I 26 Widening Project ranging from est Exit 85 to Exit 101
October 13th (5pm-7pm) Chapin Middle School – same as above

** RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECTS IN OUR AREA **

Richland County CTC Resurfacing
West Shady Grove Road (S-40-612).

S-40-940: Peace Haven Road
Completed except for permanent pavement markings.

S-40-1403: Three Dog Road
Completed except for permanent pavement markings.

S-40-620: Captain Lowman Road

** ACTIVE PROJECTS **

S-40-621: Trillie Lane
This road is under contract for full-depth reclamation and asphalt surface triple treatment. The completion date is November 30, 2016. RCE is Chris Kelly, can be contacted at 786-0706 regarding this project.

S-40-2265: Silver Point Road
This road is under contract for full-depth reclamation and asphalt surface triple treatment. The completion date is November 30, 2016. RCE is Chris Kelly, can be contacted at 786-0706 regarding this project.

** RICHLAND COUNTY PENNY PROJECT **

Kennerly Road at Coogler Road
This is a Richland County Penny Project being administered by ICA Engineering. Per my discussion with Project Manager Jennifer Bragg, the scope of the project is to install a roundabout at this intersection. It is one of six intersections included in a Design Build contract. The contract was awarded to C. R. Jackson and work started mid-August. The work on this project is expected to be completed in Spring of 2017. For more information, you may contact Project Manager Jennifer Bragg at (803) 726-6146 or Richland County Transportation Director Rob Perry at (803) 576-1526.

Widening Broad River Road
This is a Richland County Penny Project being administered by ICA Engineering. The general scope of this project is widening of Broad River Road from North Royal Tower Road to beyond I-26. The construction work is currently planned to begin in 2020. For more information, you may contact Richland County Transportation Director Rob Perry at (803) 576-1526.

I-26 Interstate Pavement Preservation
Interstate Preservation: I-26 from MP 100.8 to MP 107.7 in Richland and Lexington Counties. This project was in the July 12, 2016 Letting with a November 30, 2018 Contract Completion Date. Anticipated start is Spring 2017. Project is being managed by CEI Consultant – Infrastructure and Consulting Engineers. Point of contact is Jim Cravens, can be contacted at 822-0333 regarding this project.

I-126 Interstate Pavement Preservation
Interstate Preservation: I-126 from MP 0.00 to MP 3.68 in Richland County. This project was in the July 12, 2016 Letting with a November 30, 2018 Contract Completion Date. Anticipated start is Spring 2017. Project is being managed by CEI Consultant – Infrastructure and Consulting Engineers. Point of contact is Jim Cravens, can be contacted at 822-0333 regarding this project.

** 2016 Richland CTC Resurfacing Program **

Treatment: Resurface
Proposed Let Date: June 14, 2016
Completion Date: November 30, 2017
• Firetower Rd. – Kennerly Rd. to Western Ln.
• Scotts Hill Rd. – Hiller Rd. to Dead End.
• Owenswood Ln. – Western Ln. to Dead End.
• South Hampton Dr. – Koon Rd. to Davenport Dr.
• Davenport Dr. – Sutton Way to South Hampton Dr.
• Western Ln. – Broad River Rd. to 0.85 miles North of US 76.
Resident Construction Engineer: Chris Kelly 803 786-0706

** 2017 Federal Aid Preservation Program **
Treatment: Full Depth Patching (6211)
Proposed Let Date: September 13, 2016
Completion Date: TBD
• Chapin Rd. – Newberry Co. Line to Richland Co. Line.
Resident Construction Engineer: Joey McIntyre 803 359-4672

Treatment: PMST / Microsurfacing
Proposed Let Date: March 14, 2017
Completion Date: TBD
• Broad River Rd. – Newberry Co. Line to Broad River Rd.
Resident Construction Engineer: TBD

Treatment: Crack Seal
Proposed Let Date: March 14, 2017
Completion Date: TBD
• Dreher Shoals Rd. (SC 6) – US 76 to Lexington Co. Line.
• Dutch Fork Rd. (US 76) – Lexington Co. Line to 0.25 miles West of Gates Rd.

Resident Construction Engineer: TBD

** 2017 Federal Aid Rehab. Program **
Treatment: Resurface
Proposed Let Date: January 10, 2017
Completion Date: TBD
• N. Woodrow St. – Broad River Rd. to N. Royal Tower Rd.
Resident Construction Engineer: TBD

Treatment: Full Depth Reclamation
Proposed Let Date: TBD
Completion Date: TBD
• Ray Stoudemayer Rd. – Broad River Rd. to Newberry Co. Line
• Freshly Mill Rd. – Broad River Rd. to John Chapman Rd.

Resident Construction Engineer: TBD

** 2017 Non-Federal Aid Rehab. Program **
Treatment: Resurface
Proposed Let Date: September 13, 2016
Completion Date: TBD
• Dan Comalander Rd. – Broad River Rd. to Lexington Co. Line.
• Page Derrick Rd. – Kennerly Rd. to Shady Grove Rd.
• Eleazer Rd. – Shady Grove Rd. to Kennerly Rd.
• Point Dehaven Rd. – Richard Franklin Rd. to Local Rd.
• Rucker Rd. – Johnson Marina Rd. to Local Rd.
• Old Rd. – Richard Franklin Rd. to Old Rd.
• Creekwood Rd. – Old Rd. to Dead End.
• Circle Dr. – Richard Franklin Rd. to Richard Franklin Rd.
• Lazy Cove Ln. – Silver Point Rd. to Dead End.
• Gates Rd. – Dutch Fork Rd. to Wise Rd.

Resident Construction Engineer: Paul Miller 803 786-0717

** 2017 Non-Federal Aid Preservation Program **

Treatment: Full Depth Patching
Proposed Let Date: September 13, 2016
Completion Date: TBD
• Sid Bickley Rd. – Chapin Rd. to Dead End.
• Indian Fork Rd. – Hiller Rd. to Dead End.

Resident Construction Engineer: Joey McIntyre 803 359-4672

Treatment: Chip Seal
Proposed Let Date: June 14, 2016
Completion Date: June 30, 2017
• White Rock Rd. – Mt. Vernon Church Rd. to White Rock Rd.
• White Rock Rd. – White Rock Rd. to White Rock Rd.
• Three Dog Rd. – Old Hilton Rd. to Three Dog Conn.
• Three Dog Conn. – Old Hilton to Stone Hill Rd.
• Brody Rd. – Johnson Marina Rd. to Dead End.
• Amenity Rd. – Johnson Marina Rd. to Dead End.

Resident Construction Engineer: Robert Power 803 796-9540

Treatment: Chip Seal
Proposed Let Date: October 11, 2016
Completion Date: TBD
• Willow Cove Rd. – Old Forge Rd. to Dead End.
Resident Construction Engineer: Robert Power 803 796-9540

** FUTURE PROJECTS **

US-76 @ Johnson Marina Road Intersection Improvement
This is an intersection improvement project that will provide turn lanes on both US-76 and Johnson Marina Road. Traffic Engineering is currently developing plans for the project. They have indicated issues with both right of way and railroad at this location. The project was let September 2016 and has a completion date of September 30, 2017. RCE is Joey McIntyre, can be contacted at 359-4672 regarding this project.

St. Peters Church Road Safety Improvement
Tentative December 2016 Letting. This project involves moving the ditches back, widening the road ~2’ on each side, resurfacing, pavement markings, and guardrail. RCE is Joey McIntyre, can be contacted at 359-4672 regarding this project.

Bypass Lane on US 76 at Hiller Road
SCDOT Maintenance will construct a bypass lane on the railroad side of US 76. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October.

I-26 Widening
FROM EXIT 101 (US 176) HEADING WEST TO BE DETERMINED – RICHLAND, LEXINGTON, AND NEWBERRY COUNTIES.
The project includes widening of I-26 from MM 101 (US 176, Exit 101- Irmo) heading west on I-26 with the western termini to be determined. Project includes widening I-26 from 4 to 6 lanes for approximately 16 miles; overpass bridge replacements at S-58 (Koon Road), S-80 (Shady Grove Road), S-234 (Mt. Vernon Church Road), S-405 (Old Hilton Road), and S-49 (Peak Street); and jacking/rehabilitating overpass bridges at S-39 (Peak Road) and S-167 (Parr Road). Project is scheduled for 2018.

Other notable projects in the Chapin area include:
• Lexington Avenue Enhancement (Landscaping) Project for the Town of Chapin.
• Columbia Avenue Corridor Improvement Project – this proposed project is being administered by Lexington County. A consultant has proposed several alternatives for replacing the bridge over I-26, widening Columbia Avenue, and constructing new connector roads. These alternatives have been narrowed to a preferred plan that is being further developed and will be presented for public review sometime during the Fall or Winter of 2016.

Richland County: It’s happening…again

2016 GOP primary

Everyone makes mistakes. But it seems Richland County is getting “real good” at making “mistakes” lately: the county Penny Tax county Recreation …. county elections .

Thanks to my neighbor, who first brought this to my attention April 29th when he walked over and showed me the letter you see above, I learned 203 voters in our community received this letter…by mistake.

The letter begins:

“You requested an absentee ballot for the REPUBLICAN Primary on June 14th, 2016, but there will be no REPUBLICAN primary for any of the offices you are eligible to vote….Therefore, you will NOT be receiving a REPUBLICAN ballot for June 14, 2016.

Not sure how the county didn’t know there was a Republican race out here. It’s the only Republican race in the entire county so it should stand out. I would hope they wouldn’t “forget about us” about here – but looks like they did.

The State wrote about it this week and I’ve copied some of the article below.

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC

More than 200 voters in Richland County mistakenly were told by the beleaguered county elections office that they could not vote absentee in the June Republican primary for state House District 71.

Thousands of voters across the county requested absentee ballots for the June 14 primary. Most of them correctly received letters from the Richland County Voter Registration and Elections office telling them there is no Republican primary for them to vote in, elections director Samuel Selph said.

But 203 voters in House District 71, who are eligible to vote in the county’s sole Republican primary, received those letters by mistake, Selph said.

“We were just trying to be proactive” by informing voters when there were no primaries in their districts, Selph said. “We made a mistake and sent it to some people in District 71, and we corrected that. … You don’t like for these things to happen, naturally.”

Read more here

The county has since mailed those 203 voters a corrected letter (see below) and it’s my hope that all voters will receive their absentee ballots and that come June 14th, every vote will count and the county will have the legal number of (working) machines at every precint.

2016 GOP correction

UPDATE: community road improvements

Road_Construction_Sign

As I continue to speak with constituents in the district, everyone wants to know about roads! I’m pleased that most see the improvements in our area; but also understand their frustration with our state road system.

Below is an update to the report provided last August of improvements in our area:

SC-6 @ Salem Church Road Intersection Improvement
Project is now complete.

S-40-216: Lowman Home Barn Road
Project is now complete.

S-40-296 – A.J. Amick Road
Project is now complete.

S-40-620: Captain Lowman Road
This road is under contract for single treatment – Contract ID 5190090. C. R. Jackson is the prime contractor. No work has been performed on this road to date. We anticipate that C. R. Jackson will begin full depth patching in May 2016 and follow up with surface treatment shortly after patching is complete. The project has a completion date of September 30, 2016.

US-76 @ Johnson Marina Road Intersection Improvement

This is an intersection improvement project that will provide turn lanes on both US-76 and Johnson Marina Road. Traffic Engineering is currently developing plans for the project. They have indicated issues with both right of way and railroad at this location. The project is tentatively scheduled to be let September 2016.

Richland County Penny Project – Kennerly Road at Coogler Road
This is a Richland County Penny Project begin administered by ICA Engineering. Per my discussion with Project Manager Jennifer Bragg, the scope of the project is to install a roundabout at this intersection. It is one of six intersections included in a Design Build contract. The contract was awarded to C. R. Jackson with a window for completion in Spring 2017 of all intersections. For more information, you may contact Project Manager Jennifer Bragg at (803) 726-6146 or Richland County Transportation Director Rob Perry at (803) 576-1526.

Richland County CTC Resurfacing
Shadowood Drive (S-1680) is complete. West Shady Grove Road (S-612) needs additional full depth patching and then will be resurfaced. Water Garden Court (S-1708) is complete. The contract completion date is October 31, 2015. Lane is in Liquidated Damages at this time for not completing the project by the completion date.

Amicks Ferry Safety Improvement
This project was awarded to Lane Construction in September 2015. This project involves select clearing, widening the pavement ~1’ on each side, resurfacing, pavement markings, and guardrail. Clearing work is expected to begin mid to late April. The project is expected to be completed by Fall 2016.

St. Peters Church Road Safety Improvement
Tentative July 2016 Letting. This project involves moving the ditches back, widening the road ~2’ on each side, resurfacing, pavement markings, and guardrail.

Murray Lindler Road @ Old Lexington Road Roundabout
Tentative November 2016 letting.

OTHER COMPLETED PROJECTS

Firetower Road Bridge Replacements
Both of the bridges on Firetower Road have been replaced with SCDOT crews and the road has been reopened.

PROJECTS ADDED TO THE LIST

S-40-621: Trillie Lane
This road is under contract for full depth reclamation and asphalt surface triple treatment. The completion date is November 30, 2016.

S-40-2265: Silver Point Road
This road is under contract for full depth reclamation and asphalt surface triple treatment. The completion date is November 30, 2016.

S-40-940: Peace Haven Road
This road is under contract for full depth reclamation and asphalt surfacing. The completion date is October 31, 2016.

S-40-1403: Three Dog Road
This road is under contract for full depth reclamation and asphalt surfacing. The completion date is October 31, 2016.

I-26 and Interstate Pavement Preservation
Interstate Preservation: I-26 from MP 100.8 to MP 107.7 in Richland and Lexington Counties. Anticipated to be in the April 12, 2016 Letting with a June 30, 2018 Contract Completion Date

I-126 Interstate Pavement Preservation
Interstate Preservation: I-126 from MP 0.00 to MP 3.68 in Richland County. Anticipated to be in the April 12, 2016 Letting with a June 30, 2018 Contract Completion Date

I-26 Widening
FROM EXIT 101 (US 176) HEADING WEST TO BE DETERMINED – RICHLAND, LEXINGTON, AND NEWBERRY COUNTIES
The project includes widening of I-26 from MM 101 (US 176, Exit 101- Irmo) heading west on I-26 with the western termini to be determined. Project includes widening I-26 from 4 to 6 lanes for approximately 16 miles; overpass bridge replacements at S-58 (Koon Road), S-80 (Shady Grove Road), S-234 (Mt. Vernon Church Road), S-405 (Old Hilton Road), and S-49 (Peak Street); and jacking/rehabilitating overpass bridges at S-39 (Peak Road) and S-167 (Parr Road). Project is scheduled for 2018.

Other notable projects in the Chapin area include:
• Lexington Avenue Enhancement (Landscaping) Project for the Town of Chapin

Intersection Improvements on the way?

Intersection

A few years ago, when Richland County passed the “Penny Tax” ( don’t get me started again on all that), I was hopeful we would soon see improvements in our area. Frankly, there wasn’t much in our area in that “Penny Tax” proposal; but this one intersection was at least supposed to be addressed.

Here is the lastest update for that Kennerly Road/Coogler Road intersection.

***
Representative Ballentine – I am writing to provide an update on the status of this Richland County Penny Project being administered by ICA Engineering. Per my discussion with Richland County Transportation Director Rob Perry, the scope of the project is to install a roundabout at this intersection They awarded the contract on November 1st with an 18-month window for completion of all intersections. Due to the complexity of the intersection, late summer 2016 is the earliest anticipated start date, however it may be as late as Fall 2016.

For more information, you may contact Project Manager Jennifer Bragg at (803) 726-6146 or Richland County Transportation Director Rob Perry at (803) 576-1526.

Please let me know if I may be of further assistance with this or any other transportation related issue.

Bryan L. Jones, P.E.
District Engineering Administrator
SCDOT – District One

***

COMMUNITY UPDATE: January 2016

Community Update

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STATE HOUSE
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The 2nd regular session of the 121st SC General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at noon. You can keep up with what’s going on in Columbia by visiting Nathan’s News often or going to the Statehouse website for lots of information on members, voting, legislation, committees, and every meeting that’s scheduled during the year!

I’m hopeful this year my colleagues will ultimately pass legislation that will improve our state infrastructure needs as well as improve our educational issues in our state. While we have one of the state’s top school districts in the state; others are not as fortunate. Closer to home, I look forward to support from members throughout the state to address concerns raised by the recent flood.

For a look at this year’s prefilled bills, you can go here. These bills will have to be on the “fast track” if they hope to become law before we adjourn in June. To see just how many bills have become law in recent years, you can read this previous post I wrote in 2013.

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YOUR MONEY
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It seems like the nightmare never ends for Richland County. Just recently we’ve seen more issues from the “Penny Tax” and I expect more issues are yet to come. I have kept an eye on this issue from the start and made improvement that we can from the General Assembly. Unfortunately, most of the changes needed must come from the county level. Just not sure what we can expect; although this looks like a good start .

In other news, state officials have provided estimates of an additional BILLION dollars for the SC General Assembly to appropriate this year in our budget. The state portion of our budget is in excess of 8 BILLION (and we have 2 other parts that fund the entire budget as well: Federal Funds and “Other funds”). It’s great to see our economy growing (fyi, unemployment is 5.5% which is a level our state has not seen since 2011) and that our state has lived within our means. While a BILLION dollars is a lot of money, you need to know that our state’s colleges and universities have requested ALL OF IT for their use and the total of all state agency new requests for the upcoming budget debate is TWICE that much.

I would love to hear from you where you would like to see any “new money” go. So you know, the BILLION dollars already has several million accounted for due to previous legislation we have passed (Property Tax Relief, Reserves, etc) and obviously we have growth in services associated to Medicaid. Still, there is a large portion we can use to improve our state. How would you prioritize it? Please let me know by contacting me through the website.

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COMMUNITY
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MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: I want to continue to share members of our community with you that I hear about doing good things in our community. Be sure to give me details here about someone you think deserves recognition. Here’s an old post from the past that has several community members listed for various reasons.

OUR TOWN COUNCILs: Irmo’s town government has a four-year term and consists of a Council of five members . It meets the first and third Tuesday of every month in the Municipal Building, 7300 Woodrow St., Irmo, SC 29063. November’s elections placed two new members on the town’s council. The current council consists of Mayor Hardy King, Councilman Barry A. Walker, Sr., Mayor (Pro Tem) Julius Waites, Councilwoman Kathy Condom and Councilman Mark Pouliot. When you need to contact Chapin’s Mayor or Town Council, you can get that information here.

OUR CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE: You still have time to make plans for the first meetings of 2016! Irmo’s Chamber Luncheon is Wednesday, January 13th from 11:30-1pm at St. Andrews Presbyterian. That next Tuesday, January 19th from 5:30 to 7pm is Chapin’s Chamber Monthly Meeting at the Market Place of Chapin. If you haven’t visited their websites lately, you need to check them out: Irmo Chamber of Commerce ; Chapin Chamber of Commerce

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OUR SCHOOLS
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CHAMPIONS…AGAIN: Another championship season for two Chapin teams. Their cheerleaders and their band both were crowned CHAMPIONS and will be recognized later this year by Representative Huggins and me. It’s always great to see District Five students recognized for their work on and off the field!

DUTCH FORK HIGH SCHOOL / FLOOD RELIEF: Dutch Fork High School students help rebuild home as part of flood relief project. Students at Dutch Fork High School helped give a local family a late holiday present as part of a project to rebuild a home damaged by last year’s flood. Members of the school’s Beta Club spent several hours rebuilding walls and lives as part of Project Rebuild. The project was part of a partnership with Home Works of America, St. Bernard Project, the United Way of the Midlands and several other local groups. “They can see the magnitude at which the community was affect. It’s a direct way to give back,” said Kelly Payne, Home Works site leader and Dutch Fork High School Beta Club advisor. “The students jumped right into the project, even the building tasks that were outside of their comfort zone…Giving back is a lesson that will be with them a lifetime.”

DISTRICT FIVE RECRUITMENT FAIR: Lexington-Richland School District Five will hold its 2016 Teacher Recruitment Fair on February 6, 2016 at Irmo Middle School, 6051 Westcott Road, Columbia, S.C. 29212 from 8:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Pre-registration is available through February 3. To register click here. To be considered for employment, all attendees must complete an on-line application at www.winthrop.edu/scteach before attending the recruitment event. Early Contracts for critical areas, such as Math, Science, Special Education and World Language may be issued.

DISTRICT FIVE SCHOOL BOARD TO BE RECOGNIZED IN JANUARY: Lexington-Richland School District Five will join school districts statewide in celebrating School Board Recognition Month in January. More than 600 elected and appointed school board members throughout South Carolina will be recognized by schools and communities for their service and dedication to public education. The theme of this year’s statewide celebration, “School Boards Stand Up 4 SC Public Schools,” reinforces the roles and responsibilities of school boards and the ownership they take for governing their local public schools. The District Five Board of Trustees is the district’s official policy-making entity, formulating policies to enhance educational opportunities in District Five by interpreting the needs and goals of the community. The men and women serving Lexington-Richland School District Five include: Robert Gantt (chairman), Ellen Baumgardner (vice chairman), Jondy Loveless (secretary), Larry Haltiwanger, Jan Hammond, Beth Hutchison, and Ed White. District Five will recognize board members during its Jan. 25 school board meeting. The event, which is open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. at Chapin Middle School.

For more District Five news, read the Weekly News and Highlights which can be found here .

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THANK YOU
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Thanks again for the privilege you give me to represent the Irmo/Chapin/Ballentine/Dutch Fork community! If you have events or people you’d like me to share with our community right here through Nathan’s News, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

I’m always eager to spend time with you at your Homeowners Association Meetings, Churches, and other civic events in the community! Let me know dates and times and I’ll work to be there!

Nathan Ballentine
803-734-2969
www.nathansnews.com
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland-Lexington Counties
320B Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29201