Pax cleanup cost in the millions

The total cleanup cost from Winter Storm Pax for county maintained roads in Barnwell County will be more than $2 million.

The estimated total cost is $2.7 million, Simon Carlyle, with Leidos, the company monitoring the debris cleanup, said during the April 8 regular county council meeting. The county could end up being on the hook for 20 percent of the cost, $555,000, if the state doesn't pick up the tab. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is paying for 80 percent of the cleanup cost.

Nearly 80,000 cubic yards of debris is expected to be picked up along the less than 200 miles of county roads when all is said and done. And 20,000 hazards - trees blocking roads and low-hanging limbs above roads, will have been removed. In the past few days a final pass of county roads to pick up debris was conducted.

The vast majority of roads in Barnwell County, including the streets in municipalities, are being cleared under supervision of FEMA and the state Department of Transportation.

Statewide, the cleanup cost could total more than $200 million, County Administrator Pickens Williams Jr. said Monday.

In other business:

Lisa Firmender, of Generations Unlimited and who is also on the YMCA steering committee, updated council on the progress of bringing a YMCA to the county. She said the Barnwell Y has over $300,000 in committed funding and hopes to start programs this summer at the Gail Reyes center and other sites. She said the next step is to hire a director for the Barnwell Y.

The Barnwell Y will be under the umbrella of the August YMCA board of directors, which means it will be able to receive marketing, legal and insurance benefits, Firmender said.

Council passed a resolution honoring Ethel Mae Sanders, who turns 100 later in April.

Councilman Lowell Jowers brought up the issue of Myrtle Drive, a private road outside of Snelling that is in need of repair. The road is on private property, but since the drive is the only access to another road with several homes on it Jowers suggested the county do something about it. Council voted to have the 500-foot road repaired.

Council approved the design plans for the new county jail, which will sit on the same site as the current jail on Calhoun Street.