BONHAM — By a margin of nearly two-to-one, the participants in an online poll conducted by The Union Daily Times favor Union County relocating county facilities in the Bonham community to accommodate industrial development.
The Bonham Fire Department announced in December its plans to acquire land for a new fire station in the event that its current location was needed to accommodate the expansion of existing industry in and/or the recruitment of new industry to the area. The department’s current station is located behind the Gestamp Automocion South Carolina LLC manufacturing facility and the Gonvauto North American steel service center which is projected to go into operation in June.
In a December briefing to Union County Council, Bonham Fire Chief Scott Austin said the presence of the Gestamp and Gonvauto facilities and the possibility of their future expansion as well as the possibility that new industry will be recruited the area, raised the likelihood that at some point the department’s current station will be needed to accommodate such development. Austin said the department was looking to acquire land for a new station so it could relocate quickly if its current location is needed for a new industry or the expansion of an existing one. He said the department’s decision to do so also reflects its desire to send a message to industry and county council that it is willing to relocate to support economic development and does not want to impede industrial growth in the area.
Council voted unanimously in December to allow the department to acquire the land and prepare a deed stating that the acquisition was to protect the department’s future interest. In February, council voted unanimously to authorize Supervisor Tommy Sinclair to deliver the deeds required for the sale of the land to the parties involved to complete the required transactions.
In addition to supporting the Bonham Fire Department’s plans for possible relocation to accommodate industrial development, the county has already undertaken some relocations. The county relocated the recycling convenience center serving the Bonham community and a communications tower to accommodate the construction of the railroad spur that will link Gonvauto with the Norfolk & Southern railroad line on the other side of S.C. 18.
A majority of the participants in an online poll conducted by The Union Daily Times favors the county relocating more facilities in the Bonham community if required to facilitate industrial development.
Of the 43 people who took part in the poll, 65 percent said yes while 35 percent said no.
The new online poll asks, “A bill in the State Senate would deprive counties of the authority to regulate the disposal of solid waste within their jurisdiction. Union County Council has approved a resolution opposing this legislation. Should county governments have the authority to regulate solid waste within their counties?”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.
Posted on The Union Daily Times website (www.uniondailytimes.com), the poll asked, “The Bonham Fire Department is willing to relocate if the site of its current station is needed for industrial growth. If the expansion of existing industry and/or the recruitment of new industry requires it, should Union County relocate the county jail, detention center, public works department and other county facilities in the Bonham community to accommodate it?