City - County Agreement
Millers Fork Trail gets an agreement between County and City of Clinton.
The Millers Fork Trail near Clinton has a maintenance partner in the Laurens County Parks and Recreation Department.
Its director, Andy Howard, presented an Intergovernmental Agreement, which was voted into effect, to the Laurens County Council last Tuesday evening. The agreement terminates in the event that the City of Clinton annexes the property.
The trail, not yet publicly opened, is on the frontage road between Hwys 72 and 56, near I-26, east of Clinton. The City, Clinton Canopy and the Laurens County Trails Association are the developers; the trail will be the site June 6 of the LCCT's observance of National Trails Day.
Central Realty Holdings, LLC gave deeds to the city for sewer lines, trailhead, and parking area on the property.
“It’s a good thing,” Howard said of the agreement.
The City of Clinton agrees to pay all the costs related to Phase I of the project.
Laurens County agrees to:
-- provide for proper insurance for the project;
-- provide janitorial services for the project;
-- be responsible for all reasonable operating and maintenance costs for the project (subject to Section 3);
-- provide and maintain all signs for the project (subject to approval).
Section 3 of the agreement says, “Maintenance: During the term of the Agreement, the County shall be responsible for controlling, operating and maintaining the Project using the same standards of care the County applies to recreation facilities owned and operated by the County. Through its operation and maintenance of the Project, the County hall bear all costs of all maintenance, staffing and reasonable repairs/replacements for the Project. Repairs/replacements in excess of $1,000 shall be considered major projects and funding for such items shall be equally shared by the City and County.”
The County will provide all emergency services and law enforcement protection. “In its reasonable discretion, the County shall control access and maintain the Project for the sole purpose of providing and permitting recreation to members of the general public,” the agreement says.
The agreement is effective until June 30, 2021.
It also covers public liability insurance, compliance with applicable laws, default, remedies, assignment and waiver, improvements to the property, notices, and acknowledgement and consent.
The agreement says in November, 2016, the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism awarded a $99,100 grant to the City to construct Phase I of the Project - entrance, trailhead and trailside signage, ADA accessible gravel parking lot, and .5 mile of disability-accessible trail surface. The city awarded a $111,800 contract to Elmore Land & Site Developing - and the City of Clinton appropriated the $12,700 difference between the contract and the grant amount. Phase I was completed in January, 2020.
In a separate matter, the Laurens County Council received an update from the continuing effort to bring a Capital Initiative Penny Sales Tax measure to the General Election ballot on Nov. 3, 2020.
Bobby Smith, vice-chairman of the commission charged with receiving and evaluating projects, and writing the ballot question, said public attendance has been steadily climbing at the panel’s meetings. The Laurens County Airport has submitted a project, and the county’s agriculture community likely will submit a project by the first of April, Smith said.
A new public library for Clinton and a City-backed measure to pay for water and sewer lines also could be submitted.
The Laurens County Council has final review of the ballot question.
The deadline for submitting projects is April 28, Smith said. “We also have developed a series of talking points,” he said. “What the Sales Tax is - and what it isn’t.”
This is the only method authorized by state law for counties to finance large, capital expenses (never salaries). Property taxes are capped by the rate of inflation, and other sales taxes are limited to tourism projects and property tax relief (with a small amount to the general fund for administrative costs). This kind of Capital Initiative Sales Tax can only be voted on during a General Election, and it must sunset after 8 years even if all projects agreed to by the voters are not completed.
It is renewable by another majority vote of the eligible, registered voters.