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Support for naming detention center fails

  • Shellie Murdaugh/Special to JCST Sheriff Chris Malphrus presents Zeke Dunham a plaque for 30 years of service to the JCSO.

The Jasper County Detention Center (also referred to as the Law Enforcement Center) became the center of discussion as far as its namesake during the most recent Jasper County Council meeting.

Two families have requested the center be named in honor of their loved one. The first request was for the center to be named in memory of former Sheriff Ben Riley, who was killed in a car wreck in 2007. The other was a request to have it named in memory of former Sheriff Clarence Floyd.

Following a request a few months ago, a second request was presented during public comments as Brian Tillotson, representing the family of the Floyd, spoke to council.

“In regards to the detention center, I propose the building be named after my grandfather, Clarence Floyd, who was killed in the line of duty,” Tillotson said.

Tillotson said to council his grandfather took office in 1942 until he was killed in the line of duty on Jan. 18, 1962.

“I think this would serve his memory well to name this detention center after him,” he said.

Council took no action and thanked Tillotson for speaking. Later in the meeting, the topic of naming the detention center for former Sheriff Riley came up as an item on the agenda.

Councilwoman Barbara Clark

made a motion that the minutes be accepted from a February meeting as it was written and agreed upon. Following conversation, council was informed by its attorney that anyone could make a motion to rename the center. Clark then made the motion that the building be named after former Sheriff Riley and that no other building in the county would carry a name after this building. The motion died because it was not seconded.

Ordinances approved for first reading for economic development

Council approved first readings of two ordinances which could benefit the county in terms of economic development.

The first ordinance received approval for first reading and would authorize a fee-in-lieu of tax agreement between Jasper County and Project Clear. County Administrator Andrew Fulghum explained to council Project Clear is investing more than $5 million in the county and would have 10 full-time employees. Chairman Marty Sauls added the company, which has not been named, is a Fortune 500 Company. Council approved the first ordinance in title only and also approved a second establishing a multi-county industrial/business park with Hampton County.

Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation report

Michelle Knight, of the Lowcountry Council of Governments, presented a consolidated annual performance and evaluation report to council. Knight said this was for their home program and they report back each year what they have accomplished. The 2016-2017 year was their 11th year of funding in partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. It highlights the progress that has been made with their action plan and consolidated plan for housing.

“During this past year, we expended $601,793 in program funds throughout the four-county region,” Knight said.

Other Business:

Sheriff Chris Malphrus presented a plaque to Zeke Dunham, who has served 30 years as a reserve officer for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

“Zeke puts in tireless hours for free and he is my transport guy,” Malphrus said. “We appreciate his service to the county.”

Council also approved the lowest bid of $119,235 from Griffin Contracting Inc. out of Georgia for the Cypress Ridge Industrial Park Storm Water Extension Project. There were seven companies to have placed bids with Griffin being the lowest. The bid was $100,000 cheaper than the next lowest bid. With council taking the lowest bid, according to Fulghum, it will leave them under budget with funds to expend in other areas of the project.

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