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    Sumter Economic Development wins award for eSTEAM Festival

    Economic Development eSteam award

    TheLINK Economic Development Alliance
    won a silver award for its eSTEAM Sumter Festival, a project in the category of special event of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 15 during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Oct. 13 to Oct. 16, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    “This award is a big win for our community as it acknowledges what can be accomplished when we work together collaboratively. The eSTEAM Sumter Festival recognition from IEDC showcases that we’re a world-class region with world-class people capable of meeting the needs of both new and expanding business and industry. This festival highlights many of our competitive advantages”, said Erika Williams with TheLINK Economic Development Alliance.

    IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. 34 award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 400 submissions from 12 countries.

    Lee and Sumter counties joined together in 2014 forming TheLINK, the regional economic development organization charged with fostering job creation and increased earnings. Strengthening our talent pipeline is critical to this process as we showcase the region’s assets for business recruitment and business success.

    “The recipients of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day”, said 2019 IEDC Board Chair, Tracye McDaniel. “We’re honored to recognize more than 100 communities for their excellent work, which forges new opportunities for our profession. We look forward to even greater participation from economic developers across the globe in the 2020 awards program.”

    Pinewood Town Council filing from Oct. 11 to Oct. 25, 2019

    Oct 10 2019 Pinewood Town Council notice

    County Council passes first reading on 'Project Combine,' a $26 million economic development project

    Sumter County Council Tuesday evening passed first reading on a resolution for a fee-in-lieu of tax agreement on an economic development project that would bring a $26 million investment and 10 jobs.

    Also during Tuesday’s regular meeting council members approved first reading of an ordinance to adopt the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

    At the outset of the meeting, City-County Planning Director George McGregor talked about a request to allow stand-alone truck parking in the Agricultural Conservation (AC) District.

    The applicant, Hampton Gardner, is having trouble finding commercial truck and trailer parking in rural parts of the county, McGregor said, noting a host of conditions have been drafted related to the request.

    The Planning Commission recommended approval, he said. Councilman Charles Edens asked about size limitations and paving and McGregor said it was two acres and that crush and run gravel is acceptable. Councilman Artie Baker asked about a specific location and McGregor said there was no specific location.

    First reading passed unanimously.

    McGregor then spoke about the 2040 Comprehensive Plan and said he would spend most of his time explaining it during the public hearing that comes before second reading.

    The plan is the long-range land use policy document used to guide development, he said, which is required under state law for communities that have zoning.

    The Planning Commission recommended approval, he said.

    First reading passed; Councilman Chris Sumpter voted nay.

    County Attorney Johnathan Bryan spoke next about first reading of a resolution to authorize a fee-in-lieu of tax (FILOT) agreement for an unnamed economic development project known as ‘Project Combine.’

    “They’re going to invest $26 million and bring 10 new jobs,” he said, and seek incentives to do so.

    First reading was approved unanimously for the resolution and the FILOT, in title only.

    Bryan spoke about an ordinance to authorize the sale of property on Wedgefield Road to Wedgefield Baptist Church for $30,000.

    First reading was approved.

    County Administrator Gary Mixon spoke next about a request from the S.C. Department of Commerce about the Shannontown Project, where dilapidated housing is being torn down. The project is being funded by a grant from the state DOC. Mixon said an error was made on a bid calculation and the state wanted the county to be aware of the change and to approve it. It was originally $12,317 and was intended to be $13,892.

    Council members unanimously approved the change.


    Edens reported on an earlier Land Use Committee meeting during which McGregor spoke about the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. No action was taken, Edens said.

    Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr. said the Fiscal, Tax and Property Committee met earlier and came back with a recommendation and a second to add three School Resource Officers to Hillcrest Middle School, R.E. Davis College Preparatory Academy and Ebenezer Middle School. The state would fund the officers, he said.

    The recommendation was also to amend the full-time county head count and to ask Mixon to bring it back to Council for first reading at the next meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.

    Mixon said Webster Rogers, the county’s external audit company, is on site and currently reviewing the county’s financial records. The firm will be working with the Finance Department for about two months, he said.

    Mixon said he will miss the next council meeting, as he is the state president for the South Carolina City-County Management Association and will be attending the national conference to represent the state.


    F.D. Schmidt told Council she is having a dispute with the Assessor’s office regarding her address.

    Timmy Singletary advocated for a homeless shelter.

    Barney Gadson invited council members to an Oct. 24 celebration at the M.H. Newton Family Life Center to mark 20 years of the H.Y.P.E. after school program, which has nine locations throughout the county and serves about 600 children.

    The meeting adjourned at 6:37 p.m.

    Sumter County Voter Registration and Elections Office unveils new voting machines

    Oct 4 2019 Sumter County Voter Registration new voting machines 1

    Sumter County Director of Voter Registration and Elections Pat Jefferson has unveiled new voting machines.

    “Sumter County, along with all 46 counties in the state of South Carolina, have now been given Express Vote,” she said. “This will be the first time we are using the brand new voting machine.”

    Deidre Boone, Sumter County’s IT Services Manager, helped demonstrate use of the machines for the media. Also on hand were Goliath Brunson, Chairman of the Sumter County Election Commission, Vice-Chairman Charles Moore and Commissioner Trevor Ivey.

    Mayeville Mayor Jereleen Hollimon-Miller was also on hand for the demonstration as Mayesville’s mayoral and town council election is slated for Nov. 5, 2019.

    The tabulation test run went well, Jefferson said, and absentee voting for the Mayesville general election is now open.

    Upon arriving at their polling location, voters should have their photo ID ready, along with their Voter Registration card, Jefferson said, as she explained the process.

    Once a voter is checked in, a paper ballot card is given, along with instructions. If the voter is not familiar with the machines, a demonstration is offered prior to entering the voting booth, she said.

    The voter is taken to cast their ballot and the ballot card is given back for review. If the voter is pleased, they will then be directed to the scanner where the ballot card is entered.

    Jefferson said it’s a faster and more secure process and noted the new machines are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. She said her staff is engaged in many public outreach efforts to ensure folks are familiar with the process and she is happy to speak to civic groups to educate the public.

    The Office of Voter Registration and Elections also has a machine on hand if voters would like to come by and see how it works. It’s located in the Sumter County Courthouse, 141 N. Main St. and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

    “We are excited about these machines and we look forward to using them,” she said.

    For more information, call (803) 436-2310, 436-2311, 436-2312, or 436-2313.


    Census 2020 workers canvassing addresses in Sumter County


    Census 2020 is rapidly approaching and workers are already out and about in Sumter County canvassing addresses as the first major field operation of the upcoming Census.

    Address canvassing improves and refines the Census Bureau’s address list of households nationwide, which is necessary to deliver invitations to respond to the Census. The address list plays a vital role in ensuring a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the United States.

    Census employees will have badges identifying their affiliation with the Census Bureau and some may be carrying briefcases. They will knock on doors and ask a few simple questions to verify the address and any additional living quarters on the property for inclusion in the Census.

    Employees will introduce themselves as a Census Bureau employee, show their official government ID badge and explain the purpose of their visit. People can ask for a photo ID from another source to confirm their identity.

    The importance of an accurate Census count is paramount to Sumter County as each person counted equals about $1,500 in federal assistance to our community, which results in better roads, better healthcare and better educational opportunities for everyone.

    For more information, please visit https://www.sumtercensus.com/

    Sumter's new football hub at Dillon Park unveiled

    Sept 19 2019 Dillon Park Penny for Progress ribbon cutting 1

    A new football hub in Sumter is ready for the season.

    With help from the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and City of Sumter officials, a ceremonial ribbon was cut on Dillon Park’s new football facility on Sept. 19, 2019.

    As part of the Penny for Progress, Dillon Park got a new exercise track and playground equipment in the spring of 2017. And with a Sumter County Recreation & Parks Football Jamboree slated for Saturday morning, families can now enjoy three new football fields, thanks to the Capital Penny Sales Tax.

    Sept 19 2019 Dillon Park Penny for Progress ribbon cutting 8

    Sumter County Government launches online newsletter

    A new online newsletter from Sumter County Government is now available.
    Each month the Gamecock County Gazette will be delivered via e-mail, and for those who wish to receive a digital copy please send your e-mail address to jperry@sumtercountysc.org and our communications coordinator will add you to the list.

    To see the newsletter, click here

    Gamecock County Gazette Oct 2019

    Several County departments now located at Courthouse, County Council will meet there as well

    Sumter County Courthouse Aug 29 2019 

    As there is an ongoing renovation of the Administration Building at 13 East Canal Street, several Sumter County departments have moved to the Sumter County Courthouse at 141 North Main Street.

    Fiscal Affairs, Human Resources, Purchasing and the Administration Departments are now located in the Sumter County Courthouse.

    Sumter County Council will now meet on the third floor of the Courthouse at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, with the next meeting scheduled for Sept. 10. #SumterCountySC

    Assessor, Auditor and Treasurer's Offices located in Magnolia Place

    Aug 1 2019 Sumter County file art Magnolia Place 2

    The Sumter County Auditor, Assessor and Treasurer's offices are located at 20 North Magnolia Street, now known as Magnolia Place. It is across the street from the Health Department and behind Wendy's. Handicapped parking is available in front of the building, and there's a ramp into the building.
    Normal business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.