Synopsis of Berkeley County Meeting on June 8th, 2018 by Pieri Hayes
(This is highlighting some of the points of the meeting – the entire presentation can be viewed at www.DWCTODAY.com under documents)
Speakers - Berkeley County Supervisor - Bill Peagler, Berkeley County Deputy Supervisor and CFO - Jim Callanan
Chuck Taylor – Whiteville Rural Fire Board, Paul Stoney, President and CEO, Cannon St YMCA of Greater Charleston, Gene Brunson representing the library along with Barbara Ash, mobile coordinator
• 26 Districts within Berkeley County that have not had a tax increase in 10 years. $5.00 increase in taxes was granted and will be enough to build the Cane Bay Firehouse. Firehouse building plans have been approved – site plans still pending - 60 days to groundbreaking
• The tax increase will be a “wash” as taxpayers will get a decrease in insurance costs with firehouse proximity within 5 miles…and much more…please see the following:
• Since 2015, 9,000 jobs created in the county, 150 cars have been bought and put on the street and 6 new ambulances have been put into service
• Sheep Island Interchange has been opened ahead of schedule
• Cane Bay Boulevard will connect to Black Tom Road as soon as the reconstruction of Black Tom is completed
• Nexton Interchange an $85m project, already looking to widen Nexton to 4 lanes rather than 2, with expected completion in mid-2019.
• Widening of 176/State Road began as a $.01 sales tax issue – the most expensive part is phase 1 which is from 17A to Nexton Parkway –Council approval will give expected start in late 2019. There will be 2 dedicated left-turn lanes on all roads and 1 dedicated right-turn lane on all roads.
• Widening of 176/State Road will begin at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020 – phase 1 will be from 17A to Nexton Parkway – at Black Tom Road interchange
• 30 days to start the road to Black Tom – new interchange from Black Tom to Nexton Parkway expected by the end of the year. Fairwinds to 17A, 2-3 years out.
• For further information on the road projects and their progression – www.buildingberkeleycounty.com
• Curbside recycling – 2015 saw the value of recyclables collapse. In 2019, Repower South will be taking over the sorting of garbage with a 60 – 65% rate of recoverable materials - $0 cost to
• 26 districts within Berkeley County that have not had a tax increase in 10 years. $5.00 increase in taxes was granted and will be enough to build the Cane Bay Firehouse. Firehouse building plans have been approved – site plans still pending - 60 days to groundbreaking
• The tax increase will be a “wash” as taxpayers will get a decrease in insurance costs with firehouse proximity within 5 miles.
• Berkeley County has the lowest property taxes in the state – based on the average home cost of $200,000, school taxes - $610, County taxes - $225 and keeping a 4% assessment
• Response times have decreased, 22 positions have added, 29% increase in Officers, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has had a 20% pay increase. EMS has had a 58% increase in staffing with a 30%
decrease in response times. 24-hour ambulance located at Carnes Crossroads and 2 – 12-hour ambulances located at Four Seasons and at the intersection of 17A and Black Tom Rd.
• Berkeley County and the State need help in their educational system. This will be the 1st YMCA in the country with a public library incorporated in it. 4,500sq ft will be allotted to the library with 7 – 10,000 items in their collection
• Timeline – Ribbon Cutting and Registration will be mid-February (delayed due to 180 days of rain)
• 3 Phases – Phase 1 - YMCA and Library, 2 fields and outdoor pavilion. Phase 1B – 2 Baseball/Softball Fields and 6 Tennis courts. Phase 2 – More parking, 2 more baseball/softball fields, 6 more tennis courts, more multi-use fields and a waterpark.
• Cane Bay Players will be using the facility, this time next year.
• 54,000sq ft building with the indoor track.
• With the YMCA encompassing 34 acres – a proposed community garden will be possible on the grounds.
• Carolyn Hunter Swim Program will be put in place with a goal to teach every 2nd grader in Berkeley County, how to swim. McDonald's (several owned by Carolyn Hunter) has made 6 figure donations to this cause.
• Need volunteers and members and brick sales will begin to help with funding.
• The mobile library will continue 2X per month at Del Webb
• Progress can be watched on their website – www.berkeleylibrarysc.org