Typically, spending $4.6 million warrants at least a word or two. York County Council didn’t need the discussion. They had a county to fund.
At its first meeting of 2018, council approved a lengthy consent agenda. That’s the portion of a meeting where items unlikely to cause controversy or concern can be approved as a group. Council members can pull an item out if they want to discuss it.
They didn’t pull out many Jan. 16.
Among the 36 items approved that night as a lump sum, the country agreed to spend $4,658,957.01. And to apply or help apply for $799,569 in grants. But also to accept $42,000 from a developer for an entrance as part of S.C. 274 and Pole Branch Road work in the Lake Wylie area. Council pulled and deferred another $102,603 for a utility agreement with Comporium.
In fairness, a lack of discussion on the $4.6 million that night doesn’t mean the county decided flippantly. The purchases were part of council’s extensive annual budgeting process starting last spring and running through the summer. They covered a variety of county departments. The spending will put roads on the ground, police there to protect them and a host of other services. Items include:
▪ Resurfacing of 20 county-maintained roads ($1,413,582.02)
▪ 1 new landfill compactor for the solid waste disposal department ($612,968.88)
▪ 18 new, marked interceptor SUVs for the York County Sheriff’s Office ($530,820)
▪ 4 new trucks with roll off tilt frame for the solid waste collection department ($424,682)
▪ 4 new dump trucks for the road maintenance department ($318,014)
▪ 4 new rail tilt frames and reeving assemblies for the solid waste collection department ($182,142)
▪ 6 new, unmarked interceptor SUVs for the York County Sheriff’s Office ($176,640)
▪ Contract for cable/wiring projects for the public works department ($156,905.11)
▪ 5 new trucks for the water and sewer, and fire safety departments ($155,170)
▪ 5 new pickup trucks for the planning department ($114,280)
▪ 1 new terminal tractor for the solid waste collection department ($112,400)
▪ 2 new crew cab trucks for the solid waste collection department ($95,980)
▪ 2 new cargo vans for the building maintenance department ($76,210)
▪ 2 new trucks for the road maintenance department ($60,328)
▪ 2 new trucks for the engineering department ($51,954)
▪ 1 new crew cab truck for the solid waste collection department ($47,079)
▪ 2 new trucks for the equipment maintenance and purchasing departments ($45,712)
▪ 1 new SUV for the public safety communication department ($44,538)
▪ 2 new sedans for the York County Sheriff’s Office ($39,552)
Perhaps the most interesting cost to come before council is the only one it didn’t approve. The county put out a bid for two new SUVs for use by the York County Sheriff’s Office. Two bids came in, the lowest at $54,466. So did a letter from Sheriff Kevin Tolson, asking the county to reject both bids.
The unmarked vehicles are needed for “undercover operations and surveillance,” he wrote. A certain make a model have become prevalent among such vehicles in the county lineup, and both bids came in for that same type. The vehicles are well suited for the job, the sheriff wrote, but are “diminished in their ability to covertly blend in to their surroundings.”
He asked the county to put out a new bid specific to another make and model.