Lexington County forms panel to shape sales tax projects

tflach@thestate.comAugust 27, 2013 

Lexington town hall. 2013

— An advisory panel will start work this fall on the package of projects in Lexington County that would be paid for by a proposed penny on the dollar sales tax.

County Council leaders are eager for the panel to start shaping a list due back by April, after two more council members were appointed Tuesday.

“We’ll be moving down the road,” council chairman Bill Banning of West Columbia said.

Council members added public relations executive Lee Bussell of Chapin and pharmacy owner Larry Stroud of West Columbia to the panel, bringing its members to four.

The pair join banker Mike Crapps and road-building executive Sammy Hendrix, both of the Lexington area, on the panel that will recommend which road, water, sewer, recreation and other improvements should get attention first.

“Prioritizing them may be the challenge,” Councilman Johnny Jeffcoat of Irmo said.

Panel members will pick two other members shortly, with some council members calling or those choices to come from the western and southern areas. “We need rural representation,” Councilman Todd Cullum of Cayce said.

The package settled on by the panel will go to council members for acceptance or rejection. If accepted, the plan then would go to voters for adoption in November 2014.

Some municipal leaders are warning the package must contain something for all areas of the county in order to attract widespread support for a tax estimated to generate up to $35 million a year..

Banning agreed the tax plan needs to be seen as benefiting many areas. “We understand that’s a necessity,” he said.

In other news - Deputy Lexington county administrator named

Chris Folsom, a former leader of the State House security force, has a new position as second-in-command of the daily operations of Lexington County.

He was named deputy county administrator Tuesday after serving in executive roles in animal services and community development with the county after leaving his state post.

Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.

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