County council approves auditorium renovation

By Nikki Rutledge
For The Courier

COUNTY — Pickens County Council members approved a renovation contract for the Liberty auditorium at their meeting Monday night.

A total of five bids were heard for the project, the lowest coming in at $670,000 from Northlake Construction. The renovation is estimated to take 120 days to complete, barring any unforeseen delays, county finance director Ralph Guarino told council.

Council also heard from resident Junius Smith during public forum. Smith expressed his concern over city recreation departments in Pickens County charging more money for out-of-city children to play sports.

“We need a county recreation department for these children to play sports with,” Smith said. “Some of these cities are charging nearly double the normal registration fees for children that live outside of city limits. It’s outrageous, and something needs to be done about it.”

Council chairman Neil Smith said developing a county recreation department would not be in the county’s budget. However, a resolution may be made in the form of a stipulation.

“These cities receive some of the funding for their recreation departments from the county,” he said. “Council can consider stipulating that cities may not charge more for out-of-city children to participate in sports.”

In other business, new county administrator Matthew Delk, who took over last month, gave council a report at the meeting.

“Thank you for having the trust to invite me to be a part of Pickens County government,” Delk said. “God has truly blessed my family and I, and we are very happy to be here.”

Council also heard Pickens County has received 1,228 appeals for property evaluation, and officials can begin working on them now that the Aug. 7 deadline has passed. The Town of Norris has also put in a request for a Competitive Community Block Grant for the purpose of purchasing a new fire engine. Cateechee will be served by the new engine as well.