Wednesday, February 13, 2013
“Good things are happening in Berkeley County.”
That was the message Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis delivered in his annual State of the County address to local civic and business leaders. Davis spoke during a Chamber of Commerce breakfast Friday morning at the Redbank Club in Goose Creek.
“I’m really happy to be here again this year,” Davis told the gathering of more than 150. “Our success wouldn’t be possible without the help of everybody in this room. All of you play an integral part of the success of Berkeley County.”
The event was Davis’ sixth State of the County address.
Davis said the county’s success includes the infusion of local industry into the local economy, which has brought much needed jobs to the county. Seven new industries located in Berkeley County brought 495 new jobs in 2012, and 12 new companies will bring 638 jobs in 2013.
“We are seeing movement of new businesses,” Davis said of the county’s economic development efforts. “We are blessed.”
Davis is midway through his second term as supervisor and over the course of his service much attention has been focused on the economy and its recovery.
“In the past it’s been all about the economy and coping with the difficult economic times,” Davis said. “But recently we have seen an uptick in activity.”
Such as a 7.1 percent increase in new housing starts.
“Something like the local hardware store selling out of surveyor stakes is a sign that good things are happening here,” the supervisor said.
“The last audit told us we are in good shape financially,” Davis said of a 22-percent fund balance the county has on the books in 2012. “In 2007 when I took office that balance was just three percent. We went to work to correct that and actually we overachieved.”
Davis praised the penny sales tax program voters approved in 2010 and the subsequent improvement seen on area roads such as Hwy. 17A and Hwy. 6 between Moncks Corner and Cross.
“We collected $16.4 million in 2009-2010 and we project around $19 million in 2013,” Davis said. “That’s a 12-percent increase in sales in Berkeley County.”
Davis added that he expects all planned Penny Sales Tax road improvement projects to be completed, “and then some.”
“The roads were in such deplorable condition,” he said. “The One Cent Sales Tax is the saving grace of Berkeley County roads. We need to keep this sales tax going to maintain the integrity of our county roads.”
On the new field of green energy production Davis said the development of green energy “is one of the most exciting things we’re doing. There are a lot of smart folks at Berkeley County Water and Sanitation that go beyond the next level.”
Davis cited BCWS’s landfill gas to energy methane extraction program as part of Berkeley County’s leading the way into the next generation of energy production.
“We are the only place in the U.S. where all these functions occur on the same property,” Davis said. “We’re proud to be a leader in the field of green energy and we’re going to do it first.”