Local farmers market in Richland? Maybe

A proposal to establish a local farmers market in Richland County will get further study.

In the coming month, the County Council will look more closely into establishing a market for small and mid-sized vendors on Atlas Road. Members also will consider using land the county already owns on Pineview Road for a local market.

Acquiring the Atlas Road site was up for a vote Tuesday, but proponent Kelvin Washington asked the council to refer it to a committee for financial analysis.

The S.C. State Farmers Market moves to a new site in Lexington County in April, but not all vendors want to relocate.

Electronic billboards OK'd in Richland

Fast-changing, lighted billboards will be allowed in Richland County, reversing an anti-sign philosophy that had been the rule most of this decade.

On a final, 7-4 vote Tuesday, County Council sided with business leaders who wanted the new technology. Majority support for the measure became clear in June.

Chairman Paul Livingston, though, added a stipulation that no more than one-third of current billboards could be converted to digital.

Lamar Advertising, the biggest company in the Midlands, has 170 to 180 billboards in unincorporated Richland County.

In 2001, the county placed a ban on new billboards, designed to reduce the number over time. The ban remains in place, but now allows billboard companies to change traditional signs to digital.

The new technology is allowed in Columbia and Lexington County, and along major highways in the state.

- Dawn Hinshaw