Lexington lawmakers seek to address road maintenance conflicts

By Al Dozier

The Lexington County legislative delegation met with Lexington County Council members and representatives of the county’s municipalities March 19 to resolve differences over road maintenance agreements.

Irmo Mayor Bill Danielson said he was pleased the meeting was held with lawmakers who could help modify the agreements.

“We got their attention,” Danielson said.

There wasn’t any agreement reached at the meeting, but Sen. Ronnie Cromer, R-Newberry, said the problem can be resolved.

“We want them to get together and try to work it out.” he said.

Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington, chairwoman of the delegation, held a similar view. She said the council should have had a meeting with local municipalities before adopting the new plan.

Shealy said she is hopeful that the council will respond to the concerns expressed during the meeting. If the council does not address the problem, Shealy said the delegation has the option to step in and make change.

The conflict arose after Lexington County Council cancelled a road service maintenance agreement with municipalities that has been in effect since 1978. The county is offering a new agreement that would require new residential developments annexed into a town or city to meet Lexington County’s development standards in order for the county to continue the services on road maintenance.

But that’s not going over well with municipalities. Most have refused to sign off on the agreement.

Danielson and other municipal officials are concerned that Lexington County Council has turned their backs on local governments.

“It a unilateral decision made in the dark of the night,” Danielson said of the county’s new plan to require municipalities to comply with the county’s development plans when new developments are annexed into a town or city.

The county’s new agreement policy has an impact on 14 towns and cities within Lexington County that received maintenance services on roads and drainage systems.

Many of them have sent out resolutions expressing their concerns.

A resolution adopted by the Irmo Council recommends the transportation committee that approves funding allocations include representatives of municipalities. Currently the committee is made up of Lexington County Council members.

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