Council approves first reading of temporary asphalt plants

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During its regular meeting on Tuesday, Sumter County Council approved first reading of an ordinance to allow temporary concrete and asphalt plants to assist in recovery efforts after natural disasters.

Sumter City-County Planning Department Director George McGregor said the temporary plants would have portable facilities with all necessary equipment, including silos and storage units. The plants will also reduce the distance to transport concrete or asphalt because the materials will be made closer to the effected area, he said.

The amendment would make the temporary plants permitted uses in general commercial, light-industrial warehouse and agricultural conservation districts.

McGregor said the facilities would be located in the county for six months, he said. Contracts could be extended if necessary, he said.

Interested parties would apply for an application through the city-county zoning office, he said.

Also, county council approved a notice of intent to receive a Community Development Block Grant, issued by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to fund stormwater and road improvements in the Pearce Subdivision, located off of Pinewood Road.

Council accepted a bid of $1.9 million, the lowest bid for the project, from B&B Construction Co. of Sumter.

In other news, council elected a new chair and vice chair to serve during the 2017-18 term.

Councilman James McCain, nominated by Christopher Sumpter, was elected as chairman by a unanimous vote. Councilman Jimmy Byrd, nominated by councilman Artie Baker, was elected vice chairman by a 6:1 majority vote - councilman Gene Baten voted in opposition of Byrd's nomination.