County backs Sawmill Branch upgrade

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014

At its meeting Monday, Dorchester County Council voted unanimously to contribute $10,000 to Leadership Dorchester’s latest community project effort.

Leadership Dorchester’s Class of 2014 recently unveiled its plan to add a number of amenities to the Sawmill Branch Trail, a hiker/biker path that runs along Sawmill Branch Canal in Summerville from East Richardson Avenue to the Oakbrook YMCA. Leadership Dorchester plans to add at least four oases -- landscaped resting areas with benches, water fountains for people and their pets, recycling and trash containers, and fitness trail equipment – at points along the trail, Leadership Dorchester member Beau Ganas told council.

Leadership Dorchester unveiled the plan last month during July’s Third Thursday event in Summerville; the class is in the process of securing funding and finalizing other details such as sites for the amenities.

Councilman Jay Byars, who invited Ganas to address council during his designated speaking time, thanked his fellow councilmembers for taking the time to consider Leadership Dorchester’s request.

“I know the Sawbranch does not come under the purview of the Parks and Recreation Commission, however, this is a wonderful project that will positively impact many people across our community,” he said.

Council voted unanimously to grant Leadership Dorchester’s request of $10,000.

At the request of Councilman Larry Hargett, council also discussed the county’s efforts with regard to assigning geographic coordinates to area golf course fairways, greens, and tee boxes for EMS use when responding to 911 calls.

The concern, Hargett said, is that people who call in a medical emergency on a golf course, for example, may not be at the physical address on record, such as the clubhouse, but rather some distance away out on the course.

Dorchester County EMS, however, is in fact working with these and other such entities such as public parks to better map locations and accesses, according to Councilman George Bailey, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, and Doug Warren, EMS Director.

Chairman Bill Hearn suggested that council receive periodic updates as the work nears completion.

Other business

Council went into executive session to receive legal advice and discuss a Quit Claim Deed on Shannon Loop, sale of property at Pine Trace to Mungo Homes, a purchase of real estate from the Thurman family, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, a Title IV Unit Cost reimbursement contract for the Clerk of Court, the Detention Center Construction Contract, and Personnel Matters.

After returning from executive session, council took the following actions:

• Council voted to authorize the County Administrator to execute a Quitclaim deed for Shannon Loop.

• Council voted to authorize the County Administrator to offer up to 20 percent above the minimum salary for the Human Resources Director position.

• Council voted to authorize the County Administrator to include in the proposed Contract of Sale for the purchase of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thurman located at 3004 Trotters Club Way that the county will pay all closing costs and the Thurmans be allowed to remove their furniture, window treatments, non-built-in appliances, dining-room chandelier, bedroom ceiling fan and the shop in the back yard.

• Council took no action regarding the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, but reiterated its commitment to provide $50,000 funding to the alliance.

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