NEWBERRY COUNTY — The joint county industrial park between Lexington and Newberry County received final approval by Newberry County Council with no changes Wednesday night.
No projects are in the works yet. This was the third and final reading of this ordinance.
Jennifer Wilbanks, Piedmont Technical College’s Dean of County Campuses, spoke to council about a memorandum of understanding between the county and the Newberry campus.
Wilbanks informed council that the Newberry campus wants to offer an associate of science degree in mechatronics as well as a one-year certificate.
The college is working on having a space for this degree, an auditorium and other space for programs and she said that the changes would be taken care of by the college.
The program would cost around $550,000 but the county would only fund $25,000 and no additional maintenance would be needed by the county.
Wilbanks said the college has a strong partnership with businesses and industries in town and they will have state of the art equipment for the students.
County Administrator Wayne Adams said that the mechatronics class would be a huge draw and a lot of industries would benefit from it.
All council members were in favor of this consideration.
Tommy Long, emergency services coordinator, also spoke to council about a couple of purchases.
The first was the permission to approve an EMS ambulance from SE Specialty. There were only two bids received and this vehicle will be a Dodge Ram which is what the last four vehicles were, according to Long.
The other item was to approve moving a spare Pomaria Rescue Squad vehicle to the Consolidated Fire Department which Long said will greatly improve the response time between 12-15 minutes for the consolidated area.
This would be in the best interest, Long assured council.
All council members approved both of these considerations.
Public Works Director Mike Pisano presented three bids for the Berley Road Bridge project which were all over the budget.
Pisano said the engineers offered to evaluate and lower bids and change the specs on the project which would save money.
Council decided to rebid the project with the exception of Councilman Scott Cain.
Another bid on a front wheel loader for the county took much discussion as well as an executive session to receive legal counsel.
The council approved — with two objected — to approve the low bid from ACS Construction Equipment in the amount of $137,575. The company is out of Anderson and the equipment would be a Volvo make.
There were two bidders with Komatsu and Caterpillar makes who were second and third lowest respectively and who are also local to Newberry County.
Council members Les Hipp and Scott Cain wanted to support the local industry despite the higher bid.
Currently, the county does not have a front end loader which Pisano says they would get much use out of at least several times a week.