Hospitality Tax Allocated in the County

      A second reading of the Laurens County Fire Budget for the year was unanimously approved at last night’s Laurens County Council meeting. The public hearing along with the third and final vote will be held at council’s only scheduled meeting next month, set for August 13th.

    Laurens County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Andy Howard presented County Council with requests and recommendations for Laurens County Accommodations Tax Allocations. He said there were nine applications submitted this year, with each requesting two thousand dollars. The requests were from Clinton Business Association for Town Rhythms, The Laurens County Museum Association, the Hospice of Laurens County’s ‘Flight of the Dove,’ The Town of Waterloo, the Gray Court-Owings Historical Society, Main Street Laurens for Squeelin’ on The Square, Bailey Manor for Festival of Trees, the Ware Shoals Catfish Festival and The Laurens County Shrine Club for the annual Shrine Race.

     The program is still transitioning from a former method of allocating funds and retaining some money to build up an account to be used for the Laurens County Parks Program. County council unanimously granted final approval on these allocations, but not before some questions by council.

    Councilman David Pitts asked if the county profits from these allocations, with Council Chairman Jim Coleman responding, “We usually get more back than paid in through the accommodations tax.”

     Councilman Keith Tollison mentioned that in the past there had been some serious issues with putting this money in the right place. Andy Howard responded “This has been the best year so far, with all the money spent on tourism.”

    In other business, County Council went into executive session on a contractual matter involving a potential sale of county property and an employment matter regarding the Victims Advocate Department. After last night’s regular council meeting, there was a committee meeting on budget and finance regarding Laurens County hiring and recruitment policy and procedure.