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Dorchester Co. Council takes first step in eliminating tax authority

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

The Dorchester County Council passed the first reading Monday night of a plan to get rid of the board that oversees the county's road projects and handles millions of taxpayer dollars.

The council voted 4-2 to eliminate the Dorchester County Tax Authority, which oversees big road projects paid for by the county's one-percent sales tax.

One council member says the board has done a poor job holding contractors to deadlines.

"I've never been able to see why it's taken this long to do this and I've never gotten a good answer," Dorchester County Councilman David Chinnis said.

Both Dorchester Road and Bacons Bridge Road are more than a year behind schedule.

"I understand it needs to expand, it needs to be done, but it could've been done by now," Hayden Stewart, who lives next to Bacons Bridge Road said.

Stewart has lived next to the road for seven years and it has been under construction for about the last two and half.

“I haven't been able to sleep because I hear them out here,” Stewart said. “It is kind of frustrating at two in the morning when they're out here with big loud machines and lights."

"There have been a lot of road projects in Dorchester County that have gone off without a hitch," Chinnis said. “But when we hit the major issues, when we hit Dorchester Road, you can't say anything else but it's failed."

Chinnis said dissolving the DCTA may not be the only option but something has to change.

"Make this committee an advisory committee, but have a county employee or a county contractor specifically overseeing these projects," Chinnis said.

The county council members each appoint a member of the DCTA.

The tax authority still stands pending two more readings of the plan. There is no word, yet, on when those readings will take place.

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