County Council votes against allowing Syrian refugees into Laurens County via US Refugee Resettlement Program

Laurens County Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday night for a resolution declaring their opposition to refugees arriving and living in Laurens County.

The resolution also opposes the United State Refugee Settlement Program and agrees with the rejection of state funds to assist in the program.

Council members Stewart Jones, David Pitts, Joe Wood and Keith Tollison voted for the resolution. Council members Diane Anderson, Garrett McDaniel and Ted Nash voted against the resolution.

The resolution states that the United States cannot properly screen all Syrian refugees assigned to live in the United States. It places a moratorium on all immigrants that are not properly screened by the U.S. government.

There are currently no plans for refugees to be placed in Laurens County. The closest location is Spartanburg.

Economic development was the other emphasis in the Tuesday night meeting with the council voting unanimously to approve all projects.

Council approved a third and final reading of Project Yak, an amendment for development and enlargement of a multiple county industrial park in Joanna. This expansion will create 13 more jobs in Laurens County.

Council approved third reading of the Brawo fee agreement in lieu of taxes that includes an $8 million expansion.

Second reading approval was given to Project Container, a $20 million investment that will add 60 jobs in Northern Laurens.

A resolution was approved to extend the investment period for Ceramtec. This is a $5 million investment scheduled for Jan. 2016. Ceramtec has invested over $48 million over the last few years.

In other business, a resolution of commendation was approved for Sally Lancaster’s 30-years of service as County Auditor.

Council approval a submission of PC Pharmacy Professor Tommy Johnson to the governor for an appointment to the Laurens County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

Councilman Stewart submitted a proposal to continue meetings to set guidelines and qualifications for assistance for private providers to participate in the County EMS program. An amendment was made and passed in a 6-1 vote.

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