The following are highlights from Richland County Government in September:
· Councilman Torrey Rush presented a resolution Sept. 11 recognizing the last Saturday in September each year as a Green Apple Day of Service in Richland County. The presentation took place during the SC Green Schools Summit at Westwood High School. The Green Apple Day of Service encourages schools to work on environmentally friendly projects.
· The transportation program development team provided County officials with a draft priority list of hundreds of projects that will be funded by the penny tax. Members of the Transportation Penny Advisory Committee also reviewed the rankings and gave feedback. Richland County Council is expected to approve a priority list in October.
· An historic marker funded by the Richland County Conservation Commission was unveiled at the Harriet Cornwell Tourist Home, 1713 Wayne St., on Sept. 4. Harriet used her house as a “tourist home,” providing safe lodging and meals for African-American travelers during the era of segregation. Her nephew Dr. Reginald Scott grew up in the home and has returned to restore it.
· As part of a pilot program to conserve energy, Richland County replaced fluorescent fixtures at its Public Works facility on Powell Road with LED fixtures. A $5,000 grant from the South Carolina Energy Office and $8,900 in funding from the SCE&G Energy Wise program helped offset the cost. The LED fixtures offer a higher quality light and greater longevity compared to traditional fixtures. For the first quarter of the year, the County saw an average reduction of 15 percent in energy usage at the Powell Road facility.
· The Ritedose Corp., a leading pharmaceutical products manufacturer, announced Sept. 17 its plans to expand operations at its Richland County facility. The expansion is expected to cost up to $110 million and create more than 65 jobs over five years.
· Dozens of community members attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Crane Creek Pedestrian Park and Nature Center on Sept. 20. County Councilman Torrey Rush, District 7, helped cut the ribbon at the entranceway of the new facility, which features a quarter-mile-long walking trail made of recycled rubber, five covered picnic areas with grills, benches, trash receptacles and a covered nature center that can accommodate about 30 people. The County spent $470,000 to renovate the 2.6-acre park.
· Richland County residents joined in a third round of community open houses Sept. 8- 11 to give insight and suggestions about what the County’s future should look like. Five PLAN TOGETHER meetings were held at different locations throughout the County. At the meetings, residents reviewed a draft amendment to the County’s comprehensive plan that will establish policies for future growth and development in Richland County.