UNION — Cleanup of the Buffalo Mill property and Union County properties going online were among topics discussed at Tuesday night’s Union County Council meeting.
Howard Johnson — owner of the Buffalo Mill property — spoke to council about the cleanup of the site. Following discussion, councilman Tommy Ford made a motion to rescind the appeal granted to Johnson in the past, returning him accountable for the property immediately. The board decided in a vote of 3-1 to rescind the appeal.
The discussion leading to the decision included Johnson telling council that it was embarrassing for him to have to continue to come and report to council every month, always having to say that he does not have money to clean the property.
“I’m sorry I made a mess there and don’t have the money to clean it up,” Johnson said. “I’ve never sit in your place, but you’ve never been in my place.”
Supervisor Tommy Sinclair agreed, telling Johnson it was embarrassing for him as well, to walk around Buffalo and be asked why he isn’t doing something about the situation or to help the Buffalo community.
Johnson began cleaning the property in 2008.
“In my mind, council reached out to you and understood your conditions,” Sinclair said. “Progress was made for two or three months, but it has certainly deteriorated.”
Sinclair explained to Johnson that, after council decided to rescind the appeal, he will no longer be required to report to council. He will now have to show progress to the code enforcement officer as it was before he made the appeal in the first place.
In other business, Sinclair said he met with qPublic — a company that offers a system for distributing public records online. He said he will look at two other proposals, although he could not imagine another company being more functional.
“This does not put us ahead of anybody; it catches us up with most other counties,” Sinclair said.
Clerk of Court Freddie Gault offered that when Congressman Mick Mulvaney was in his office last week, he said that a company from New York looked at opening in either York or Chester County. Because York was online and Chester wasn’t — and the company did not have time to visit Chester — Mulvaney told Gault the company picked York County.
Sinclair added that going online would benefit those locally as well.
A more in-depth look at items discussed at Tuesday’s council meeting will be available in future editions of The Union Daily Times and at www.uniondailytimes.com.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.