New County Office Building Considered

Due to the many issues the Laurens County Council has in front of them, an extensive planning session was held along with a regular meeting on Tuesday night.

A review of preliminary plans for the construction of office space at the Hillcrest Square Facility was presented by Scott Holland, the Director of Public Works.

The existing County Administrative Office on Church Street has been described by council as being too small to fit their needs, and there is also a health issue due to mold.

Council Chairman, Jim Coleman said that the need for this new facility is the, “Number one priority that we need to address.”

Ernie Segars, County Administrator urged council to go through with this project due to an urgent need for storage, especially with the large volume of documents that need to be maintained.  The summary report presented by Holland, was prepared by DA Architects of Summerville South Carolina.  The projected total project balance is rounded to $3.6 million for a two-story building, of 16,500 square feet.

Various ways of funding this project was explored at the meeting.  Councilman Joe Woods suggested using part of the nine million dollars the county has in reserve, be used for a down payment to lower the cost of interest, if a bond is secured.

Coleman noted that the current bond for the Church Street office will be completed this year.  Holland offered his services for any additional meetings as this plan progresses.

Debi Parker, Director of Human Resources for the county presented an organizational chart which reflected current operations of the county.

Some questions were raised by Wood on insurance for on-call employees working for the Coroner’s Office.  Parker stated that any employee on duty in this department is covered by Workman’s Compensation.

The total county payroll for its 447 employees is roughly thirteen million dollars a year.

It was decided by council that every county employee should be given a complete job description of their duties.