County working toward new SPEC Building

By Andrew Wigger -

NEWBERRY — Newberry County Council has passed a first reading on an ordinance that will authorize the sale of certain real estate property from Newberry County to Newberry Electric Cooperative. The purpose of this ordinance is the construction of a new speculative building.

“As directed by Council, administration has been discussing with Newberry Electric Cooperative to finance and construct a speculative building at the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park. Those negotiations are ongoing,” said County Administrator Wayne Adams. “Generally, the agreement is expected to involve contributions from the county of approximately 20 acres of land and a half-million dollars in site development costs.”

The Cooperative would contract with a development company to finance and construct the building, and would pay some amount annually to the development company to offset marketing/carrying costs. There will likely be a buy guarantee on the building at the end of some term, between five or seven years.

The first reading was approved after a motion was made by Councilwoman Harriett Rucker, and seconded by Councilman Travis Reeder.

In other business, Council approved a second reading of an ordinance to rezone over 510 acres portion of a 531 acres real estate parcel from Rural to Industrial. Duke Energy would like to rezone this land for the purpose of locating a large-scale solar energy farm on the land. If the rezoning is approved, the intended use would still have to comply with conditions established in the county’s zoning ordinance pertaining to solar farms.

These requirements included buffering and screening, as well as financial guarantees related to decommissioning the project. Protecting neighboring property owners against glare from the panels is also a conditional requirement.

The second reading was approved after Councilman Bill Waldrop made a motion and Councilman Scott Cain seconded.

Other business

• Michelle Long, executive director of the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce, gave a presentation on the Leadership Newberry class, which just wrapped its first year. During the course of Leadership, participants learned about Newberry County Agriculture, Education and Government, amongst other topics.

By Andrew Wigger

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.