The following are highlights from Richland County Government in March:
· Richland County established a new contact for flood-related issues. A monitored email account, Recovery@rcgov.us, was set up for residents to request assistance for unmet needs, ask questions or request other information related to the flood.
· Richland County waived building permit fees and business license fees for individuals and volunteer organizations working to repair structures damaged by the October flood. Building permits and business licenses still are required, but County Council approved waiving the fees until June 30, 2017.
· The Hopkins fire station got a new addition to help fire crews protect the community and the nearly 1,800 properties it serves. The County’s Community Development Department purchased a $422,000 fire truck with federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and unveiled the new pumper fire truck during a special community event.
· The S.C. Department of Natural Resources recognized the Richland County Weather Information Network Data System (RCWINDS) for providing data from its network of observation weather stations during the historic October flood. The information helped state climatologists accurately document rainfall in the Midlands. DNR cites RCWINDS in an online journal designed to help assess the state's vulnerability to flooding and raise awareness about solutions to help the state become more resilient to future flooding.
· Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (RC CASA), through a partnership with the National CASA Association and the Toy Industry Foundation, received a massive toy donation. An 18-wheeler packed with a variety of toys delivered a variety of toys to a donated storage space. RC CASA volunteers, known as Guardian Ad Litems, will give the toys to children in the family court system during the Christmas holidays.
· Richland County Councilwomen Joyce Dickerson and Julie-Ann Dixon recognized 14 community-minded women for being “trailblazers and true change agents.” The second annual Richland County Distinguished Women’s Awards Luncheon celebrated the contributions of the honorees.
· The Richland County Vector Control Program began surveillance on mosquito populations, as well as treating larval breeding sites and spraying for adult mosquitoes in densely populated areas of the County. Residents were urged to inspect properties for potential breeding sites and use preventive measures.
· Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was honored the SC Emergency Medical Services Network as the 2015 EMS Large Service of the Year. The County’s EMS staff, part of the Emergency Services Division, was cited for its programs to assist and educate residents, its collaboration with local hospitals and its heroic response during the October flood event.