The following are highlights from Richland County Government in October:
• Unprecedented flooding devastated much of Richland County, and South Carolina, at the beginning of October. Washed out roads and breached dams led to several emergency rescue efforts and around-the-clock response from County departments. County Councilmembers and officials held daily news briefings to inform the public of news and updates, Emergency Services Department personnel monitored flood situations and recovery initiatives, Solid Waste & Recycling conducted emergency waste pickups to help clean up storm debris, and Public Works employees continue to evaluate and repair more than 800 miles of County-maintained roadways.
• In light of this month’s historic flooding, Richland County extended property tax payment deadlines (for non-vehicle taxes) an additional 30 days. The plan to delay the mailing of tax bills by Auditor Paul Brawley and to delay the additional penalties by Treasurer David Adams was unanimously supported by Richland County Council.
• The Richland County Conservation Commission supported a new hiking trail and historical marker at Congaree National Park that recognize the historical significance of Congaree River ferries. Both the Bates Ferry Hiking Trail and the marker were celebrated with a ribbon-cutting event.
• Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson held her annual District 2 Fall Forum, during which residents heard from several County department representatives and learned about news and updates across their district.
• The Richland County Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) celebrated National Community Planning Month by hosting a series of community events during a “spirit week.” The public was invited to several forums to learn about NIP, and staff members visited Muller Road Middle School to engage students in a “Box City” exercise that teaches the ins and outs of community planning.
• Employees from Richland County’s many departments held a variety of fundraisers during October. From car washes to chili cook-offs, the fundraisers were part of the County’s annual campaign to raise money for United Way of the Midlands.
• Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates volunteer-turned-employee Matthews Perkins has been named a recipient of a National Points of Light Award for his years with the organization, which recruits and trains community volunteers that represent abused and neglected children in the Family Court system. As part of the recognition, Perkins will receive a certificate signed by former President George H. W. Bush, who founded the National Points of Light Award in 1993.