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Delegation votes in favor of new boat landing cameras

Only 20 Colletonians attend Monday meeting

In an impromptu meeting on Monday night, the Colleton County Legislation Delegation met and voted unanimously to give cash to the county for surveillance systems at two county boat landings.

The delegation voted to spend about $45,000 out of a $150,000 pool of cash in a water and recreation fund, with the $45,000 going toward new surveillance and security measures at the West Bank boat landing and at the public boat landings. The system will be monitored from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s really more capturing the evidence than responding to the crime?” asked delegation member Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg). Hutto, Patsy Knight (D-Dorchester), Kenneth Hodges (D-Beaufort) and newly-elected Justin Bamberg (D-Bamberg) attended the Monday meeting. Other delegation members, including Sen. Clementa Pinckney (D-Jasper), were not present at the meeting.

According to Hodges, who chairs the delegation, he has spoken to other area counties about their security cameras at boat landings. Those counties have “expressed concern,” he said, over people “shooting out” the larger, more visible surveillance systems. Colleton’s new cameras will be smaller, according to Johnny Stieglitz, the county official who presented the plan to the delegation.

While Hodges says he supports the effort, he did express concern over Colleton County’s lack of fishing piers in the county. “There aren’t any at any public properties,” he said. “That is so crucial …we want it to be safe enough for a mother to take her children fishing without having to have a boat to put them in. It’s a critical part of our recreation in a county so large as Colleton.”

Hodges has asked the county to investigate the possibility of building fishing piers at its boat landings, with that information to be presented back to the delegation at its next meeting in 2015. “We need to have broader public access to the county’s waterways,” said Hodges.

According to the delegation, the county will maintain the security cameras and will perform all upkeep.


Heather Walters (406 Posts)