The following are highlights from Richland County Government in November:
• Richland County Vector Control conducted an aerial mosquito spray to treat 114,000 acres in Lower Richland following a surge in mosquito populations due to the October flooding. The product used, Dibrom, is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency for use in mosquito population control and poses no undue risks to humans or the environment.
• Richland County named Michael King as a recovery chief to aid residents and lead the County’s efforts to reestablish infrastructure and restore services after the devastating October flood. King is assistant director for the Emergency Services Division and a longtime public safety professional.
• Richland County hosted a series of flood recovery open houses across the County to give homeowners and business owners affected by flooding the opportunity to get first-hand information from several resources. Personnel from a variety of Richland County departments, the City of Columbia, FEMA, the Small Business Association, SC Emergency Management, SC Department of Transportation, SC Department of Natural Resources and more were available at the open houses.
• Richland County officials are working with a disaster recovery contractor, Tetra Tech, to offer assistance to residents whose wells may have been contaminated in the October flood. Tetra Tech will provide, for free, disinfection services for homeowners whose wells already have been tested by DHEC.
• General Information Services, Inc., one of the most experienced and largest background screening providers in the nation, is expanding its Midlands operations with a new facility in Richland County. The expansion is expected to generate 91 new jobs over the next five years.
• A small contingent of Richland County officials traveled to Nashville, Tenn., for one day to attend a meeting detailing how Nashville and Davidson County recovered from the damaging floods the area endured in May 2010. County officials heard from Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and other representatives about their community’s experiences in overcoming the staggering damage caused by floodwaters.
• The Richland County Recreation Commission opened five new public facilities in November, celebrating each grand opening with ribbon-cutting ceremonies attended by County officials and community members.
• A partnership between Richland County's C&D Landfill and Drop-off Center and its next door neighbor, Vulcan Materials Company, has saved taxpayers $20 million in two years. The end of a two-year dirt-moving project that took unwanted dirt and overburden material from Vulcan and relocated it to the County landfill, which was in need and dirt and overburden material, was celebrated with a special presentation at a County Council meeting.
• Richland County Council Chairman Torrey Rush, Richland County Council, Longleaf Middle School, Midlands Regional Education Center and Midlands Education & Business Alliance held an interactive event for local middle-schoolers that showcased career paths for jobs located in Richland County, including military service, four-year and two-year college degrees and entrepreneurship.