Editor's Note: The York County Roundup is a weekly look at highlights from The Herald's sister weekly newspapers, the Lake Wylie Pilot, Fort Mill Times and Enquirer-Herald. The publications come out Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, respectively, and are available across the county.
Schools chief Booker named York Citizen of Year
YORK -- Superintendent Russell Booker was named York's Citizen of the Year last week by the Greater York Chamber of Commerce.
"I am humbled by this recognition," Booker said. "When I came to York, my goal was to be more than just a school superintendent. I wanted to serve this community in a number of ways and become one of its own."
Booker was chosen for the honor long before he announced his decision last month to leave the district for a post in Spartanburg, chamber director Paul Boger said.
Boger said Booker was selected because of his contributions to the community and for improving the communication between the school district and residents.
"He made a tremendous effort to go out and meet with people across the district, from one end to another," Boger said. "He's done so much to bring the district together and build a strong educational platform in the district."
Booker also is a member of the York Rotary and York Optimist Club and serves on the chamber's economic development committee, among other community contributions.
Also honored last week by the chamber were Don Hyatt, Business Person of the Year; J.L. Gaddy Wholesale, Small Business of the Year; Anne Allison, 2008 Volunteer of the Year; and Duke Energy, Business of the Year.
-- Enquirer-Herald, www.enquirerherald.com
New diner planned in downtown Fort Mill
FORT MILL -- The empty storefronts next to PJ's Food Store on Spratt Street won't stay that way long if everything goes according to Casey Kuhlkin's plan.
Kuhlkin plans to open a new diner in the storefronts formerly occupied by Domino's and Cuttin' Up, which is relocating to 212 S. White St., the same building that houses Culp Bros. It should reopen soon.
Kuhlkin hopes to open as soon as possible, but as of Monday, he had not gotten a business license from Fort Mill. He said getting the license was his top priority.
"The whole thing kind of fell into my lap," Kuhlkin said. "With Domino's moving out, it was already set up for a kitchen, which makes things easier."
He plans to call the new restaurant A.M. Joe's Diner, and will serve breakfast and lunch to begin with.
"Restaurants that serve dinner have been hit a little harder than the breakfast and lunch places," he said. "People are still eating out, and it's easier to spend $5 or $6 on lunch than $35 for a sit-down dinner."
Kuhlkin said he does have some apprehension about starting a new business in the current economy, but he thinks there will be enough local support for another place to grab breakfast or lunch.
Before A.M. Joe's, Kuhlkin was a part owner of the Gridiron in Charlotte. He's been out of the restaurant business for a few years but is excited to get back to doing something he loves.
Initially, he and his wife will run the operation with one or two other employees, but eventually, he hopes to be able to hire a full-time staff of four.
The new restaurant, should Kuhlkin get the business license he needs, could mean a few more jobs in town when most employers are announcing cuts.
It also will add to town coffers through the license fee and additional hospitality and sales taxes collected.
-- Fort Mill Times, www.fortmilltimes.com
York County must revise buffer ordinance
LAKE WYLIE -- A revised buffer ordinance must be tweaked before York County can move forward.
The York County Council last month unanimously gave initial approval to the most current buffer revision ordinance, while sending it to the county planning committee for more work. The latest revision focuses on how to include perennial streams -- streams with continuous flow year-round during normal rainfall -- in the document designed for lake and river buffers.
"The original ordinance applied only to perennial streams leading into the Catawba River. This would apply to all perennial streams," County Manager Jim Baker said.
Perennial streams are just the latest obstacle. In late 2007, the county considered an updated buffer rule that was tabled because of public confusion and "premature" presentation to council, said Susan Britt, planning and development director. After more than a year of public workshops, a revised ordinance appeared in November. It was deferred to the coming year because of concerns about the landscaping procedure.
"This section has gone through quite a bit of public participation," Britt said.
The ordinance, with "some minor amendments," could now appear for a second vote and another public hearing if the perennial streams issue can be resolved.
"We're very close on it," said Councilman Tom Smith, who represents Lake Wylie. "The perennial streams, though, I think you have to get isolated by itself because you can't mix it in with the Lake Wylie buffer. You can't do things with a stream that you might do with a buffer."
The intent of the buffer is to protect water quality, mainly by establishing a 50-foot area inland from the high-water mark surrounding the Catawba River and Lake Wylie where construction or clearing is not allowed.
To read the buffer ordinance, visit yorkcountygov.com, click on "departments," then go to "zoning," and click on "agendas and actions" and "draft buffer ordinance."
-- Lake Wylie Pilot, www.lakewyliepilot.com