Greenville Co. Council votes to increase fees

FILE: Greenville County Council meeting

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – It’s decided. People living in Greenville County will be paying more for better roads and public safety.

County council voted Tuesday evening to raise the fee on car tags to have money to fix county roads and to create a property fee that would improve public safety communication services.

Council passed seven to five a road maintenance fee that would increase the cost of a car tag by $10. They passed nine to three a $14.95 public safety communication service fee.

“I’m all for buying this system,” said Councilman Joe Dill. “I just don’t agree with the method we’re going to pay for it with.”

Councilman Dill was in the minority of councilmembers who voted against the fee increases.

“It’s not fair and equitable to everybody,” Dill said.

Currently, someone living in a small home would pay the same amount as an owner of a shopping center property.

Dill says he’d rather see the money come from a reserve fund or for council to make a bond. Council did agree Tuesday to consider other options.

“There’s an opportunity before that is implemented that we can be able to come up with a funding method that would be different,” Dill said.

For many people who came to council, the fee increase for public safety was a big win.

“Fire Service moved forward greatly tonight,” said Chief Ken Taylor with the South Greenville Fire District.

Fire, EMS and police will now all be on the same communication system.

“We’ve really experienced the trouble you can have with not a up to date equipment,” Taylor said.

People brought up the Simpsonville tornado that hit at the end of last year. Emergency service personnel said they had a problem with communication trying to rescue an 87-year-old woman from her home.

“We didn’t have signal on our older radios, and we had to use our cell phones,” Taylor said.

With this new system, he says people will be much safer.

“We’re going to be able to pay closer attention to the emergency situation, and hopefully be able to do it in a quicker manner,” Taylor said.

Councilman Dill said the road fee could go into effect as early as the end of the month but the communications fee would be closer to the end of the year or beginning of next year.

Council also voted to implement a used car lot moratorium on major roads in certain parts of the county. And, they voted unanimously during a second reading to close bars and clubs in the county at 2 am. They will have a third and final reading for that ordinance in July.

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