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People you know. Healthcare you trust.

When you’re healthy, we’re happy. At Aiken Regional Medical Centers, the people we care for are more than our patients. They’re also our friends and neighbors. It’s the reason we work so hard to provide top-rated care in cardiovascular, oncology, orthopedic, radiology and women’s health — with a specialty team of compassionate physicians and nurses who are truly invested in the well-being of our patients and their families. At Aiken Regional, we recognize that by providing quality healthcare to our patients and support to our neighbors, we’re enriching the lives and future of our community. And when the community thrives, we all benefit.

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Get a free brochure with our complete list of services, specialties and wellness programs. Call 803-641-5926 or visit www.aikenregional.com

302 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801 803-641-5000 Physicians are on the medical staff of Aiken Regional Medical Centers, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. 161943

See inside for a full listing of physicians and services.


‘A VISION OF CHANGE’

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YOUR SOURCE FOR

TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION PRODUCTS

2017 Welcome Aiken

ANCHORS ARRESTERS BUSHINGS CABLE ACCESSORIES CONNECTORS CONSTRUCTION ENCLOSURES FIBERGLASS FOUNDATIONS

Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce

FUSING INSULATORS

PHYSICAL ADDRESS

LINEMAN GRADE TOOLS

121 Richland Avenue, East

POLE LINE HARDWARE SWITCHING

Aiken, SC 29801

MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 892 Aiken, SC 29802 hubbellpowersystems.com

Phone: (803) 641-1111 Fax: (803) 641-4174 www.aikenchamber.net

Published by The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce Designed by

www.facebook.com/bobduranddesign

Copyright 2017 by the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce.

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Contents F E AT U R E

Aiken Through

Art

D E PA R T M E N T S 30 Housing

52 Education

34 Quality of Life

58 Retirement

40 Health Care

60 Relocation Information

46 Economy & Employment

65 Business

50 Aiken by the Numbers

17 Corporate Profiles

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Resource Guide

L e a d e r s h i p A i k e n C o u n t y â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Class of 2016 chose to Connect Aiken with the public art initiative Aiken Through Art. The result is eight unique art installations on display in various areas downtown. Photography of the art was done by Shelly Schmidt of Oh Schmidt Productions.


A NEW LOOK

COLLABORATION

The Aiken Chamber of Commerce is in its 99th year of connecting business to the community to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of Aiken.

The Aiken Chamber is part of a bigger collaboration of groups and individuals working to Connect Aiken - The City of Aiken, Aiken Downtown Development, Aiken Corp, USC Aiken and others whose goal is to bring people together. Through thoughtful discussion, creative thinking, and a spirit of cooperation, we are joining young and old, black and white, newcomers and longtimers, students and leaders.

The new Chamber logo reflects the Chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to small and large businesses, honors the synergy among businesses and celebrates the connectivity between business and the entire community. The business climate is the number one factor to a successful community, and the new logo visually represents the connection between business and the community.

We are a city built on a railroad connection. Our city grew around the railroad with stunning parkways set amidst wide boulevards. This layout created unique connections within Aiken that have defined our place and that we continue to cherish. We are proud to build on this history of connections with a new initiative - a bold partnership among many groups to connect people, places and business with a vision for the future. This partnership is not a new group, but rather a reaffirmation of the shared missions of organizations and individuals working hard to make Aiken a better place to live, work and visit. This partnership is called Connect Aiken. Whether it is an event to celebrate our community, a warm welcome to a new resident, or a helping hand for someone in need, the goal of Connect Aiken is to unite our community in a positive dialogue about our future vision.

THROUGH CONNECT AIKEN WE ARE BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER. #

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Numbers correspond to art locations listed on page 16


Aiken Through

Art

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“Interconnected” is an abstract metal sculpture made of 32 interconnected steel squares and rectangles welded into a sculpture nearly 22 feet long and 5 feet tall. It is the creation of artist Mike “Bull” Higby. The various size boxes represent the Chamber’s membership of small and large businesses. The boxes overlay one another showing the synergy in our business community. The colored boxes represent the geographic sections of Aiken and the relationship between business and the community. The entire structure forms one piece of art portraying that the business climate is the #1 factor of a successful community. The Chamber’s refreshed logo is based on the piece.

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Over its long history Aiken has always been and continues to be a sporting town. Recreational facilities abound and two centerpieces of the community are its golf courses and equestrian events. Golf has been a favorite sport in Aiken for more than a century. Aiken’s Palmetto Golf Club, founded in 1892, is one of the oldest golf courses in the United States. Aiken is a close neighbor of one of golf’s most famous venues: the Augusta National Golf Club. With over a dozen equestrian disciplines, world-class training facilities, the oldest polo club in continuous use - Whitney Field, and a 2,100 acre forest preserve inside the city limits - Hitchcock Woods, it is easy to discern the importance of horses to Aiken. Two metal sculptures titled “Aiken Sporting Life” are based on images from Jane Page Thompson’s book of the same name produced as part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series in 2016. The pieces honor the influential events that have made Aiken a social and sporting center for nearly 200 years.

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The Savannah River Site was constructed during the early 1950s to produce the basic materials used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, primarily tritium and plutonium-239, in support of our nation’s defense programs.

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“Nuclear Waste Cleanup,” a metal sculpture made of an unused waste canister, was created by artists Gretchen Hash Heffner and David Cianni to represent the development and deployment of technologies to improve the environment and treat solid and liquid nuclear and hazardous wastes left from the Cold War. “Atoms in Space,” also created by David Cianni, represents SRS’s creation of plutonium-239 which has powered all the deep space missions from the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing in 1969 to the New Horizons near decade-long journey to fly by Pluto in 2015.

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Learn more about past and current missions at the Site at the SRS Heritage Museum.

The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company was established in 1828. William Aiken, president of the Railroad Company and one of South Carolina’s leading cotton merchants, hired Horatio Allen, a distinguished engineer who later built the Brooklyn Bridge, to build a railroad from Charleston to Hamburg, South Carolina, a site on the Savannah River. Work began in 1830 and on October 2, 1833, the first train arrived in the newly established town of Aiken, named in honor of the first railroad president. This railroad became the first designed steam powered commercial railroad in the United States and the longest railroad in the world at the time. In 1834, engineers Alfred Dexter and C. O. Pascalis laid out the town with its wide streets and parkways, and Aiken was chartered in 1835. Aiken attracted many visitors, particularly wealthy Charlestonians who spent their summers at the “place of retreat from the heat and malaria of unhealthier regions.” “1916 Steam Engine” is the title of the mosaic bench in front of the Aiken Visitor’s Center and Train Museum. The mosaic was created by artist Kim Roberts and the metal frame was created by Clark Durant. Dioramas located at the Depot depict the towns along the original South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company right of way as they were in the year 1916.

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After the Civil War, the City of Aiken, originally part of Edgefield County, saw great population increases. Aiken County was formed from the City of Aiken and parts of other neighboring counties in 1871. Among Aiken County’s founding commissioners were three AfricanAmerican legislators: Prince Rivers; Samuel J. Lee, speaker of the State House and the first black man admitted to the South Carolina Bar; and Charles D. Hayne, a free man of color from one of Charleston’s elite families.

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African-Americans have contributed to the history and culture of the Aiken community since its beginning. “Volumes of Culture” is a ceramic relief sculpture above the entrance to the Center for African-American History and Culture. Artist Ashley Gray created ceramic tiles designed to look like books to illustrate the Center’s dedication to the collection, preservation, interpretation and dissemination of the contributions and accomplishments of African-Americans in Aiken County.

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In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Aiken gained fame as a wintering spot for wealthy people from the Northeast. The mild winters and dirt roads provided an ideal playground for America’s rich and famous to enjoy their horses and expansive gardens.

7 “The Summary of Rose Hill” is a collection of six wooden panels created by artist Ron Turner depicting the history of one of the Winter Colony cottages in Aiken, Rose Hill. The home was commissioned by Colonel and Mrs. Sheffield Phelps in 1898 and served as the location for the first meetings of the Garden Club of South Carolina, the site of the first Girl Scouts of America troop in Aiken, a location for the prized West Highland terriers of the Rosstor Kennel, a seminary, and an art center which was the predecessor of The Aiken Center for the Arts. Today, Rose Hill Estate charms guests with overnight accommodations, fine dining, an old-world chapel and is available for private events.

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8 “Farming through Seasons of Time” are a series of murals by artist Betsy Wilson-Mahoney located at the Aiken County Farmers Market. The murals tell the rich history of farming in Aiken County dating back to the 1900’s. The market was once an outlet for ladies to sell flowers and seeds for pin money. It has grown over the years and continues to be a place to shop, visit with friends and reminisce. The large green tables built by the farmers and their families in 1955 are surrounded by shoppers each Saturday morning as the rise in demand for locally grown products has surged in recent years. The Aiken County Farmers Market is the oldest county farmers market in continuous operation at the same location in the state of South Carolina. Agribusiness – which combines agriculture and forestry – is South Carolina’s largest industry with an annual economic impact of nearly $42 billion.

1 Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. E 2 Carriage House Inn, 139 Laurens St. NW 3 AECOM, 106 Newberry St. SW 4 SRS Heritage Museum, 224 Laurens St. SW 5 Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum, 406 Park Ave. SE 6 Center for African-American History and Culture, 120 York St. NE 7 Rose Hill Estate, 221 Greenville St. NW 8 Aiken County Farmers Market, 115 Williamsburg St. NE

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COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

Aiken Regional Medical Centers

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iken Regional Medical Centers is a 245-bed acute care hospital that serves Aiken and the surrounding counties. The year 2017 marks the hospital’s 41st anniversary at 302 University Parkway in Aiken. Aiken Regional offers a comprehensive range of medical services and specialty programs including a cardiovascular imaging center; a cardiovascular institute; a cancer care institute; a 24/7 emergency department with 100% Emergency Medicine boardcertified physicians; a neuroscience center; a women’s center; a wound healing institute; a diabetes and nutrition teaching center; a pediatric center; a behavioral health center; bariatric surgery; joint replacement surgery and physical therapy.

Community outreach is a top priority at Aiken Regional In addition to providing high quality healthcare to our communities, Aiken Regional has a long history of promoting health and wellness, and caring for people in the community by providing them with the education and tools they need to achieve and maintain the healthiest life possible. For the past 25 years, Aiken Regional’s dedicated Community Outreach department has provided free and low-cost health screenings, education and support programs to Aiken-area residents. Classes include CPR, childbirth preparation, babysitting training and grief support. Weight-loss and a variety of educational seminars are held regularly at the hospital and throughout the community.

Aiken Regional offers Senior Wellness, a health program dedicated to the 50plus population. Senior Wellness offers interesting and informative presentations to its nearly 8,000 members at the quarterly event called “The Breakfast Club.” In addition to health and wellness education, members have access to social activities and travel opportunities. Women Enlightened for Better Health (WE) launched in 2012 as a women’s health initiative dedicated to providing women with the tools they need to live a healthy life. WE’s nearly 2,000 members have access to nurse navigators who assist them with making appointments, answer questions about health concerns and provide them with educational materials on health issues. WE

is considered “the premier” women’s health program in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). Aiken Regional Medical Centers is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS), one of the nation’s largest hospital management companies. More than 145 physicians representing 40-plus specialties are on the medical staff at Aiken Regional.

Physicians are on the medical staff of Aiken Regional Medical Centers, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.

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COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

Aiken Technical College

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iken Technical College is a public, open-door, two-year college established to provide Aiken County citizens with opportunities for educational, economic, professional, social and personal development. The college supports economic growth and community development by preparing students for careers that require a highlyskilled workforce and are in high-demand. Students may earn an associate degree, diploma or certificate in a variety of fields including business, computer technology, advanced manufacturing, energy, health sciences, public safety, early childhood education, engineering and STEM-related fields, and university transfer. Two degree programs can be completed fully online: Associate of Arts degree and an Associate in Network Systems Management.

Aiken Technical College 2276 Jefferson Davis Highway Graniteville, SC 29829 (803) 593-9231 www.ATC.edu

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High school students can begin their college education through ATC’s Early Start: Dual Enrollment program. Students may enroll in the general education or pre-engineering pathway to earn high school and college credits simultaneously. ATC serves nearly 200 veterans and military family members and offers a number of initiatives and resources to support its student veterans and military family members. The college has been named a Military Friendly School for six consecutive years for its dedication and support of veterans and military family members. For more than 40 years, ATC has provided citizens of greater Aiken County with the skills needed to reach their educational and career goals. At Aiken Technical College, students can “start here, succeed anywhere.”


COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

ASCO Valve, Inc.

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or ultra-reliable performance and delivery, turn to ASCO: the world leader in solenoid valve technology. Our fluid automation offerings control flows of air, gas, water, oil, and steam across the globe. Recent innovations include miniature designs, low-power solenoid valves, and redundant control systems for functional safety requirements. With tens of thousands of models available, you’ll find just the right solutions for your demanding application. ASCO makes the world’s most reliable flow control solutions — delivered and serviced with exceptional speed and responsiveness. Some last up to 500 million cycles; many are shipped within one day with our ASCO Today program. When you need help, we respond — fast. We can send a skilled technician onsite within 24 hours. As part Emerson, the planet’s largest process automation supplier, our experienced representatives provide the industry’s best technical support and service, around the clock — and around the globe. With our deep applications expertise and global service, ASCO is the fluid automation supplier of choice for customers desiring the lowest cost of ownership, greatest asset availability, and highest productivity.

1-800-972-ASCO (2726) info-valve@asco.com www.asco.com

ASCO NUCLEAR PRODUCTS ASCO, the pioneer and leader in the design and development of solenoid operated valves for the nuclear industry, offers a complete line of qualified nuclear products. Our engineering expertise and stringent quality standards make every ASCO valve a high quality engineered product. ASCO nuclear products are 100% inspected and functionally tested prior to shipment in order to ensure that they meet the rigorous demands and high expectations of the nuclear industry. ASCO’S PRODUCT LINES INCLUDE: RedHat Solenoid Valves: largest selection of 2-, 3-, and 4-way solenoid valves, designed to handle the most demanding fluid control applications

Miniature Valves: highest-quality miniature solenoid valves and accessories for medical equipment, analytical instrumentation, and industrial applications. Process Automation: pilot valves and control accessories for reliable process solutions Fuel Gas and Oil Products: broadest line of solenoid & motorized shutoff valves designed to control the flow of fuel gas, liquid propane and all grades of fuel oil used in combustion applications such as: industrial furnaces, ovens, kilns, incinerators, burners and boilers. Navy & Marine Valves: solenoid and air operated valves designed to meet the exacting standards of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. Pressure/Temperature Switches & Sensors: devices for pressure and temperature monitoring.

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COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC

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ridgestone Americas came to Aiken County in 1997, and was the largest capital investment ever made in South Carolina. Bridgestone has continued to grow, and in 2011, they announced plans for a $1.2 billion investment, which consisted of expanding the existing Passenger Tire Plant and constructing a new Off-Road Radial tire production plant. This is Bridgestoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest single investment in U.S. manufacturing, and it is the largest capital investment ever made in South Carolina. The Off-Road Radial tire plant officially opened in November 2014, bringing the total number of people working for Bridgestone in Aiken County to approximately 2,000. The passenger and light truck plant sits on 585 acres and the Off-Road Radial plant sits on 545 acres, both sites have been certified as Wildlife Habitats by the Wildlife Habitat Council. The passenger and light truck plant is also recognized as an OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star site. The VPP Star is awarded to plants that have excellent safety and health management systems, and injury rates below the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national average.

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COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

CCNB - Coastal Carolina National Bank

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n October 11, 2016 VistaBank joined forces with Coastal Carolina National Bank and became CCNB. Steeped in Southern hospitality, CCNB is a five star community bank serving Aiken, Horry, Georgetown, Richland and Brunswick (NC) counties. As you learn more about us, you’ll find this is not just a merger of two financial institutions. It’s a blending of strengths, banking conveniences, and an expansion of services so together we can help you achieve more.

Coastal Carolina National Bank, CCNB is a focused on providing unparalleled personalized service, and offers a full suite of banking services designed to fit your

www.myccnb.com 128 Laurens Street NW Aiken, South Carolina 29801 (803) 644-9550

VistaBank is now CCNB. A blending of strengths so together, we can help you achieve more.

lifestyle and meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Whether you’re starting or expanding a business, need a home mortgage, or you are seeking a more personal banking relationship, our team is dedicated to helping you and your business prosper and responds to your needs with a genuine “We Can Do That” spirit. We offer free, unlimited nationwide ATM transactions, competitive rates and a variety of accounts to fit your personal and business lifestyle. Our timesaving banking products are supported by state-of-the-art technology which puts banking at your fingertips anytime, anywhere, so you can spend less time banking and more time living. Please visit our Aiken location, or our other branches in Columbia, Conway, Garden City, North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach to see how we can help you succeed.

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COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

Centerra-Savannah River Site

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he Centerra history at the Savannah River Site dates back to 1983 when the Department of Energy determined that a paramilitary security force was needed to protect National security interests at the Site. The threat of terrorism had grown across the globe and the SRS security posture was evolving to ensure continued protection against potential adversaries. Our parent corporation, with vast experience in protecting key Government facilities and assets, was selected to provide security services at SRS. We fulfill a critical National Security mission by protecting nuclear materials and other security interests, people and property in a safe and cost-effective manner. The mission requires dedicated, vigilant and well-trained security professionals with state-of-the-art weaponry and tactics. Our paramilitary organization provides access control, property protection, law enforcement, criminal investigations, traffic control, canine explosives and drug detection, aviation support, river patrol, alarm equipment monitoring, and a Special Response Team. Centerra-SRS maintains a professional training staff to provide specialized security

External Affairs Office 803-952-7582

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training, weapons training, physical fitness, and area-specific field training. Facilities include classrooms, rifle and pistol ranges, computer-based training, and specialized outdoor training sites. The administrative support functions are designed to ensure that the critical mission is conducted effectively, safely, and in the most cost-efficient manner. The Company employs support staff professionals with expertise in performance testing, total quality, safety, environmental management, human resources, compensation and benefits, resource management, logistics, computer systems, accounting, labor relations, and security program planning.

Our Core Functions of People, Safety, Professional Excellence and Customer Focus are the driving forces of the organization. The diversified capabilities and high standards of professionalism are evident in all personnel and in our wide range of responsibilities. We also recognize our responsibility that extends into surrounding communities and with our employees support many organizations that focus on health and human services, child development and welfare, education, law enforcement, emergency services, financial stability, and veterans care and support. We are committed to continuing this tradition of excellence and look forward to even greater success in the coming years.


COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

The Concierge Team at RE/MAX Tattersall

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ew technologies are ever changing the role of a Real Estate Agent. No longer are they standing guard of the market; rather, they have become trusted real estate advisors. They are relied on as experts with deep knowledge of the local market, are experienced negotiators, and above all, are putting their client’s needs before anything else. Cat Deegan has expanded her services into a team approach. We would like to welcome Catherine Stevens to the Concierge Team! Together, we will continue to provide an incredible service to our clients through a full-service, concierge-style approach, where action plans are based around our client’s goals. The Concierge Team works with Re/Max Tattersall Group® off of Laurens Street

120 Laurens Street, NW Aiken, SC 29801 www.catdeegan.com

downtown. Re/Max Tattersall Group® is THE prominent real estate brokerage in Aiken County, led by Broker-In-Charge, Karl McMillan. The Concierge Team works with new and seasoned home buyers, relocating professionals and families, and savvy investors. They value our proactive approach and dedication to their needs. Sellers appreciate our “detailed and prepared” attitude. While we could rattle off a long list of things we do for our clients, it’s actually more of a mindset. It’s who we are. How we approach things. We live and breathe Concierge Service. Our goal is Your goal…to meet or exceed your financial and timeline goals. Give us a call!

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COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

The RE/MAX Tattersall Group

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rom a single office that opened in 1973 in Denver, Colorado, RE/MAX has grown into a global real estate network of franchisee-owned and operated offices with more than 90,000 Sales Associates. Today, RE/MAX agents constitute the world’s most productive real estate force. Through their efforts, they’ve made it possible to say that “Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.” Local experts with a global network, the RE/MAX Tattersall Group is the only international, full-service real estate company in Aiken. Established in the spring of 2013, the RE/MAX Tattersall Group has grown from an office of three agents and a single listing to become the number two listing office in the Aiken Multiple Listing Service. The RE/MAX Tattersall Group is the only RE/MAX office in the country that is branded with both the Collection and Commercial

120 Laurens Street NW Aiken, South Carolina 29801 (803)226-0036 www.tattersallgroup.com

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designations. The Collections designation is granted to provide the best customer experience to owners of high value properties. The Commercial designation requires that the RE/MAX Tattersall Group has a commercial real estate specialist who only handles commercial sales and listings. Having these two distinguished designations provides our clients with a level of expertise that no other Aiken real estate agency can offer. From farms and land to homes, estates and commercial properties, the RE/MAX Tattersall Group provides comprehensive services to buyers and sellers of all types. Combined with decades of experience, the RE/MAX Tattersall Group can masterfully handle any real estate need.


COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC

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avannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) is a Fluor partnership with Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell. Since August 2008, SRNS has been the management and operating contractor for the Savannah River Site (SRS), a 310-square-mile Department of Energy-owned site near Aiken, S.C., including the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). The SRNS corporate and community offices are located in the renovated 1912 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Old Post Officeâ&#x20AC;? building in downtown Aiken. SRNS initiatives include national security, clean energy and environmental stewardship. SRNS provides nuclear materials management to support national defense and U.S. nuclear nonproliferation. SRNS supports National Nuclear Security Administration missions by extracting new tritium and delivering products to the military agencies. SRNS develops and deploys technologies

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to address environmental cleanup work, and technology research and development focused on national energy initiatives. SRNL is the applied research and development laboratory at SRS. Operated by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, SRNL applies state-of-the-art science to provide practical, high-value, cost-effective solutions to complex technical problems. SRNL earns its world-class reputation because of its people and their commitment to safety, security and quality in the delivery of technology solutions that work. SRNL applies this commitment to solving complex problems, such as the detection of weapons of mass destruction, the cleanup of contaminated groundwater and soils, the development of energy sources, the need for a viable national defense, and the safe management of hazardous materials.

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COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

Serotta Maddocks Evans, CPAs

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erotta Maddocks Evans, CPAs has had the same goal for 64 years, to provide individuals businesses and organizations the ability to achieve financial success. SME is dedicated to our community through involvement in charitable and civic organizations. We accomplish this mission by committing our time, resources and personal attention necessary to assist both clients and the community with their particular needs. With offices located in Aiken and Augusta SME CPAs specializes in Tax, Audit, Accounting, Estate Planning and Business Advisory services. Today, we draw upon over a combined 150 years of experience among our seven firm partners: Michelle Bennett, Rick Evans, Jay Sanders, Abram Serotta, Andrea Usry, Paul Wade and Wanda Scott. One of our 50 accountants and auditors will be assigned to each clients based upon which skillset best serves out clients. As of today, SME CPAs is one of the oldest and largest accounting firms in Aiken and the Greater Augusta Region. We continue the tradition of offering solutions focused accounting services. Your growth and success is our goal. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s achieve it together as a team.

Michelle Bennett, CPA

Wanda Scott, CPA

221 Barnwell Ave. NW Aiken, SC 29801â&#x20AC;¨p: 803.648.6047 www.smecpa.com/aiken

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COR POR AT E P ROF I L E

University Health Care System

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niversity Medical Center -- Silver Bluff serves Aiken and the surrounding communities with high-quality, convenient Primary Care and Prompt Care Services. University Primary Care physicians believe the best defense is a good offense. Our expertly trained, board-certified physicians work with patients and their families to develop a game plan to help keep them well. We believe in preventing disease through education and routine screenings, but when you get sick, our physicians are conveniently located and easily accessible. You have the reassurance of knowing they are part of the largest and most experienced Primary Care network in the Aiken-Augusta region, with the support of more than 600 physician specialists on University Hospital’s Medical Staff. Should you experience a cut, sprain, fever or rash and making an appointment with your physician isn’t convenient, University Prompt Care allows

University Prompt Care – Silver Bluff 1021 Silver Bluff Road Aiken, SC 29803 803-648-0587 University Primary Care – Silver Bluff 1023 Silver Bluff Road Aiken, SC 29803 803-502-5515

you to walk in and experience the same great level of care without an appointment -- in, out and on with your life. You can actually go to www.universityhealth.org/prompt-care to check wait times at any of University’s Prompt Care facilities and actually check in online. Another great benefit of being a University Primary Care or Prompt Care patient is the ability to set up a MyChart account online, on which you can manage all your medical information including making appointments, ordering prescription refills and viewing blood work and other test results. You can even email your physician and receive a timely reply. University Medical Center -- Silver Bluff offers these conveniences and personal services, while having the reassurance of being part of a health system that has been named the Consumers Choice for Overall Quality and Image every year since 1999. Insist on the Best. Insist on University.

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When you have the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. What matters most to you in life? It’s a big question. But it’s just one of the many questions I’ll ask to better understand you, your goals and your dreams. All to help you live confidently – both today and well into the future. Kimberly A. Ussery Financial Advisor 803.642.0544 237 Park Ave SW, Ste 210 Aiken, SC 29801 kimberly.a.ussery@ampf.com ameripriseadvisors.com/ kimberly.a.ussery

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2015 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. (10/15)

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FOR MORE INFORMATION about

our church, ministries, youth AND SEED programs

call 803•648•6891 or visit

stjaiken.org

Worship services for every lifestyle 8:30 AM, 9:02 AM, 11 AM

104 Newberry St. NW, Aiken Wel com e - A I K E N

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OUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING OUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING

Photo by Shelly Schmidt

Housing Options

Photo by Shelly Schmidt

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eal estate continues to be a good investment in Aiken, and housing options are diverse â&#x20AC;&#x201C; historic homes and charming cottages, condominiums and townhouses, large equestrian estates, golf communities with nature trails, and retirement communities with endless amenities. As of September 2016, there were 1,315 homes for sale in Aiken, reflecting a 15.3% decrease in available homes over last year. Approximately 1,272 of the homes echo the tastes of various age and lifestyle groups, including singleand multi-story homes that appeal to young professionals, families and retirees. Of the remaining available homes, 43 are condominiums and townhouses. Aiken is also a great place for equine properties with over 239 properties

OUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING OUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING 30

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listed for sale that are equine related, showing a strong equestrian element in the real estate market (Sept. 2016 statistics provided by Aiken Board of Realtors). Prices have seen an increase from last year with the median sales price being $155,000, a 5.1% increase, and the Days on Market decreased 6.7% to 166 days. (Market Overview October 2016) “In general, today’s demand is driven by three factors: millennials are reaching prime home-buying age, growing families are looking for larger homes and empty nesters are downsizing. However, intriguingly low interest rates often prompt refinancing instead of listing, contributing to lower inventory.” says Kristyne Shelton, Association Executive for the Aiken Board of Realtors. “With rental prices and employment opportunities in a consistent climb, year-over-year increases in home buying are probable, although not guaranteed, for the near future.” According to the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, South Carolina rates in the Top 9 States in the U.S. for Jobs. People are moving in record numbers to South Carolina for the reasonable cost of living and low taxes. Aiken has so much to offer and our housing statistics reflect that, with an increase of 23.9% in closed sales from last year,” says Shelton. In addition, the Aiken area enjoys a strong rental market for students attending the local university and temporary contractors with local industries. For a listing of real estate options including apartments and rentals, visit www.aikenchamber.net. Go to the relocation tab and click on real estate on the drop down menu.

Photo by Steve Rich

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Augusta-Aiken GA/SC

MSA 2016 Second Quarter 2016 (100% Composite Index)......89.3

COMPARISON Asheville, NC...........................96.1 Atlanta, GA..............................99.6 Charleston, SC.....................102.5 Greenville, SC........................ 96.2 Hilton Head, SC...................108.2

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he Cost of Living Index in the Aiken-Augusta area was about 11 percent below the national average in 2015 and in the first two quarters of 2016, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. With the average composite index rated at 100, Aiken-Augusta scored 89.3 last year. This is the lowest composite index in the 28 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, also called MSAs, measured in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, and is the 24th lowest of the 273 areas measured across the nation. Aiken is part of the federally designated MSA consisting of Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina and Richmond, Burke, Columbia and McDuffie counties in Georgia. The Aiken Chamber of Commerce is among more than 300 other chambers of commerce and economic development organizations that provide data for the Cost of Living Index. The index is recognized for official use by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CNN Money and the President’s Council of Economic Advisors.


103.5 Grocery

103.4

95.9

74.6

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85.1

71.9

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Cost of Living Index The Aiken Chamber collects the data in order to provide a snapshot of how prices compare at a single point in time in the local area to other areas across the country. The information can then be used by individuals considering relocation, by employees and employers in salary negotiations, and by others who want accurate data about local pricing. The Cost of Living Index consists of six major categories: grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. The composite index is weighted as follows: 13.24 percent for grocery items, 28.04 percent for housing, 10.31 percent for utilities, 11.16 percent for transportation, 4.36 percent for health care and 32.89 percent for miscellaneous goods and services. These figures reflect the typical distribution of spending for professional and managerial level households across the nation. A staff member of the Aiken Chamber gathers prices three times per year from at least five establishments for every item in the index, other than utilities. A personal visit,

phone call or email and the corresponding documentation are required for each. The Chamber prices 26 specific items at Bi-Lo, Fresh Market, Kroger, Publix and Wal-Mart for the grocery section. Examples of these items are ground beef, bread, coffee, eggs and dishwashing powder. The data is then entered into the Council for Community and Economic Research database and is used to compute the Cost of Living Index. The other categories also require research and cooperation with area businesses. A number of builders, real estate professionals and leasing agents supply housing data. The cost of gasoline and automobile maintenance, basic medical care, eye care and dental care (excluding insurance), as well as prices of restaurant food, apparel and entertainment are all factors that go into the development of the index. For comparison to your area visit www.aikenchamber.net. The Cost of Living Calculator is located in the drop-down menu under the relocation tab.

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QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF IFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY O

Photo by Steve Rich

Quality of Life

Photo by AP Gouge

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f you are looking for a place that offers all the amenities you’ll ever need, a place that offers a perfect balance between the charm and grace of yesterday and the promise of tomorrow, you will find it in Aiken, South Carolina. With its rich heritage, impeccable beauty, cosmopolitan flair, and unparalleled quality of life, Aiken is the ideal place to come and spend a day, a week, or a lifetime. Aiken is the perfect place for all ages and for all seasons. It offers distinctiveness often unheard of in today’s world, where affordable housing, award-winning schools, diverse recreational opportunities, and a progressive approach to business go hand-in-hand to offer something for every lifestyle.

QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF IFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY OF LIFE QUALITY 34

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One of Aikenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest assets is its people â&#x20AC;&#x201C; individuals from diverse backgrounds who are dedicated to the economic and overall well-being of the community. This strong commitment from business people, public officials, community leaders, retirees, young professionals, parents and students is the foundation upon which Aiken draws its strength. By working together, public and private entities have successfully implemented numerous programs that have improved infrastructure, attracted business, saved money, supported health care and education, and ultimately, created a thriving, vibrant community. So, whether you plan to come and visit or to live here, you will find that Aiken exceeds your expectations and offers more than you ever imagined. Where else can you find unique combinations that mesh so incredibly well?

â&#x20AC;˘ An exceptional business environment located in a small, but globally cosmopolitan, town â&#x20AC;˘ Cozy cottages and single-family homes nestled among grand, historic estates â&#x20AC;˘ An active, modern lifestyle entrenched in Southern charm and a history that has been meticulously preserved â&#x20AC;˘ A contemporary, progressive university and technical college with a small town appeal â&#x20AC;˘ A beautiful, thriving downtown with small retail shops complemented by national chains and franchises throughout the community â&#x20AC;˘ Technically advanced health care services delivered with a friendly hometown feel â&#x20AC;˘ Modern vehicles sharing unpaved streets with riders on horseback It is these unique combinations that make the Aiken area special and appealing for all age groups. The old and the new blend perfectly to provide a lifestyle that suits almost any taste - from growing families to young singles and retirees.

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One visit to this charming city and you will discover why people who live here celebrate Aiken every day â&#x20AC;&#x201C; because it is the perfect place to operate a business, raise a family, meet young professionals and enjoy retirement.

LOCATION Aiken is ideally located and accessible to major interstates and airports. The beach and the mountains are within driving distance, and in three hours, one can be in Asheville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Charleston or Savannah. Aikenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents have the best of both worlds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they can enjoy big city life without having to live in a large metropolitan area. For those who enjoy history and culture, Aiken sits in the middle of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one of several corridors in the United States. The corridor was designed to encourage people to get off the interstates and onto the back roads of South Carolina, where they can learn about the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s traditions and culture and experience various festivals and foods. The climate is another plus; Aikenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents can enjoy the change of seasons without prolonged severe weather.

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ART & CULTURE The Aiken community is passionate about art â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all kinds of art â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and residents and visitors alike support the arts with an enthusiasm that could rival most any large city. Visual and performing arts thrive year round and touch many cultures and lifestyles, while showcasing local, national and international talent. Participation in the arts is highly encouraged in the area through art education and enrichment classes. Both visual and performing arts classes are available and give all citizens the opportunity to learn a new skill or enhance an existing one. Aiken Center for the Arts features works of local, as well as national and international, artists. Artist shows and receptions flourish throughout the year and offer a unique mix of art media. Classes for children and adults are taught daily. Aiken Choral Society is a community chorus dedicated to providing the best singing experience to interested and talented singers throughout the Aiken area. The groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s repertoire is wide and includes celebrating the best in


composition – Brahms in German, Puccini in Italian or John Williams in English – from early music to last year’s hit movie theme. Aiken Civic Ballet is South Carolina’s longest continuously operating dance company. Founded by the late Carl Crosby, the company has been in existence for over 37 years. Under the artistic direction of Diane Toole Miller, the company produces original ballets and contemporary dance works. Aiken Community Playhouse offers seven main stage productions each season, several Black Box events, Coffeehouse Productions, workshops and a Youth Wing Program. Shows range from drama to comedy and musicals. Aiken Performing Arts Group (APAG) presents quality professional artists live in Aiken – including classical, jazz, brass, chamber, bluegrass, big band, Broadway and ethnic music performed by individual vocalists and instrumentalists, bands and full orchestras – plus dance, comedy, satire and variety programs. APAG also provides educational outreach programs to the student population

of the greater Aiken area and community outreach programs to military personnel and other special groups. The Aiken Symphony Guild’s mission is to operate for the exclusive, nonprofit charitable objective of soliciting funds for, and otherwise promoting the performance of concerts by the Aiken Symphony Orchestra. Annually, the Guild is the presenter of the Youth Concerts for all fifthgrade students in Aiken and Edgefield counties, and the Concerto Competition for students eighteen years of age and younger. The Aiken Symphony Orchestra’s mission is to provide artistic leadership to the greater Aiken community through the presentation of symphonic music that educates, entertains and enriches the human spirit. In addition to a program of classical and pops concerts, and in cooperation with the Aiken Symphony Guild, the Aiken Symphony Orchestra performs for over 2,500 area students each year to enhance and advance their music education.

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The Etherredge Center for the Fine and Performing Arts is located on the campus of the University of South Carolina Aiken. The Center hosts many cultural events open to the community, including the annual Cultural Series featuring traveling theater companies and performers, the University Theater, the Oswald Writers Series, University faculty music recitals and performances of the University Choir.

Aiken County Historical Museum at Banksia, a former Winter Colony estate, once served as the original campus of the University of South Carolina Aiken and as the community’s public library. The museum offers an exciting historical view of Aiken and features ongoing displays and shows that bring history to life. The grounds have been developed into an arboretum and nature trail.

Hopelands Gardens Summer Concert Series features various entertainment including bands, ballet, bluegrass and clogging. Performances are Monday evenings from May through August at the Windam Performing Arts Stage at Hopelands Gardens, an outdoor public park with winding paths through 100 year-old oak trees.

The Center for African-American History, Art & Culture (CAAHAC) is located in the Immanuel Institute Building, one of the county’s most historic landmarks. The goal of the center, scheduled to open in 2017, is to preserve and present the cultural legacy of the African-American Diaspora and chronicle the many contributions of AfricanAmericans to Aiken and neighboring regions.

Joye in Aiken was founded in 2009 under the name Juilliard in Aiken and is dedicated to making the very best in the performing arts available to as many of our citizens as possible, especially students. The Joye in Aiken Festival (held for one week each March) and the Education Outreach Program (conducted during the Festival but also at other times of the year) bring the world’s finest young musicians, actors and dancers to Aiken for public performances, chamber concerts, master classes and outreach programs in area schools. Aiken is the first and only community in the world with which Juilliard has partnered to create a festival of this magnitude and importance. Southern City Institute® is dedicated to the education and promotion of the arts by celebrating film through the Southern City International Film Festival. The Southern City Film Festival, a “Top 100 Film Festival in the World” via FilmFreeway, seeks to create venues in the community to encourage education, artistic expression, and acknowledge emerging filmmakers from around the world and within the community. Southern City® also organizes Southern Nights Outdoor Movie Series, The Southern City Film Society, Southern City Productions, and the Southern City Institute. USCA Convocation Center is one of the region’s premier entertainment facilities and features everything from internationally known music stars to comedians, musicals and even professional bull riding.

HISTORY History and culture play an important role in the community, and various historical sites and museums offer memorable educational experiences.

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The Aiken Train Museum is a replica of Aiken’s historic railroad depot. It houses the City of Aiken’s Visitor’s Center, as well as displays depicting the relationship between the founding of Aiken and the history of the railroad – from the popular legend of a bride whose “hand was given in marriage” in exchange for a railroad stop, to the establishment of the “Winter Colony,” when wealthy northerners traveled by way of personal railway cars to spend their winters in Aiken. The SRS Heritage Museum preserves the history of the Savannah River Site (SRS) and interprets to the public the Site’s role in winning the Cold War. The museum focuses on SRS’s technical and scientific achievements, sociological impacts and ecological accomplishments.

RECREATION Every season in Aiken offers exciting outdoor activities for visitors and residents of all ages. Fun and diverse activities abound year-round in Aiken and surrounding towns. Equestrian activities and events are one of the biggest draws to Aiken and surrounding towns. The area boasts of international polo matches, foxhunting, horse shows, and carriage and pleasure riding. Busy horse farms and stables dot the area, and equestrian activities are so popular that the City of Aiken has unpaved streets made of hard clay to protect the horses’ hooves. Long known as a premier horse training center that has produced such winners as Sea Hero, Kelso, Summer Squall, Good Time and most recently, Palace Malice who


won the 2013 Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown. Aiken is home to the Aiken Training Track, the Aiken Horse Park, Highfields Event Center, Stable View and numerous polo fields. Horse enthusiasts celebrate Aikenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rite of spring every March with the Triple Crown. The popular three-weekend equestrian event, which includes flat races, the nationalcircuit Steeplechase and polo, draws families, friends and businesses together for fun, food and festivities. Golf is another popular activity that thrives in Aiken and is a major draw for many who move to the area. Simply stated, the area is a golferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paradise! With several private and public courses available, golf enthusiasts take to the links year-round. Golf tournaments flourish throughout the year and cater to experienced golfers as well as the novice. Thriving golf communities testify to the sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s popularity, and the area bustles with activity every year during the Masters Golf Tournament in nearby Augusta, Georgia. Athletics such as tennis, softball, baseball, volleyball and soccer play a close rival to golf for many residents and visitors. Municipal and county recreation departments offer numerous competitive sports opportunities for people of all ages. Citizens Field in Aiken plays host to local, regional and national sporting events that attract thousands of people to the area each year.

Festivals offer fun and entertainment for the community. Aiken boasts a variety of festivals, such as the annual St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate Festival, Aiken Bluegrass Festival and the annual Oktoberfest. The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce presents the Aikenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Makinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; juried arts and crafts show every September on the Friday and Saturday after Labor Day. The popular event attracts more than 10,000 people annually to Aikenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic downtown.

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Nature and Walking opportunities are plentiful for those that enjoy the outdoors. The area offers numerous public parks, walking trails and tranquil gardens. Hopelands Gardens, a 14-acre public treasure, features garden paths that wind among 100-year-old magnolia and oak trees. For the more adventurous, Hitchcock Woods, an approximately 2,100 acre woodland preserve nestled in the heart of downtown Aiken, has numerous trails and paths that provide hours of hiking, horseback riding and bird watching activities for many.



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EALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE EALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE

photo courtesy of NEI Images

Health Care

Photo courtesy NIH

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ealth care is a top priority in Aiken and Aiken County. Health care providers and citizens alike recognize the value of a healthy community. With highly trained professionals who are dedicated to the wellness of the entire person - from acute care to behavioral health, preventive medicine and wellness programs - the Aiken area offers superior health care services covering a broad spectrum of specialties. Local residents have access to Aiken Regional Medical Centers (ARMC), which in 2017 marks the hospital’s 41st anniversary at 302 University Parkway in Aiken. ARMC’s culture of being “dedicated to serve” resonates with the Aiken Community. With most physicians and staff living and working in this community, their commitment

EALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE EALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE HEALTH CARE 40

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The foundation of a healthy community is built upon good-paying jobs that strengthen our economy and increase quality of life. Betty Ryberg Community Member

CONSIDER THIS: Aiken Regional employs a highly skilled workforce of more than eleven hundred people with a payroll of over sixty-nine million dollars. Those payroll and tax dollars directly impact our local economy, and that benefits all of us.

For an appointment, call Direct Doctors Plus® at 800-882-7445.

People you know. Healthcare you trust.

302 University Parkway | Aiken, SC 29801 Physicians are on the medical staff of Aiken Regional Medical Centers, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. 161943


to excellence and compassion are evident at every encounter. With more than 120 on-staff physicians covering 38 specialties, the 245-bed hospital is well equipped to care for family health and wellness needs. Southside Imaging Center opened its doors in 2011 and serves residents on Aiken’s south side with convenient access and advanced diagnostic services. ARMC’s newly renovated cath lab, equipped with the latest technology, allows the Cardiovascular Institute to consistently care for patients at a rate below the national and state average “Door to Balloon” times. ARMC’s services range from a 24-hour emergency department to cardiopulmonary and respiratory services, Computerized Tomography Scanning, same-day outpatient surgery, dialysis treatments, pain management and more. The Sleep Evaluation Center, Women’s LifeCare Center, Diabetes and Nutrition Teaching Center, AURORA Behavioral Health Services, Cardiovascular Institute of Carolina and the Cancer Care Institute of Carolina, are among ARMC’s top-notch facilities.

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In addition, Aiken Regional has many educational programs designed to help residents live a healthier life. Their premier program is Women Enlightened for Better Health, or WE for short. The WE health initiative is designed to give women the support, education, and care navigation they need to achieve and maintain optimal health. WE is a free program open to women 18 and older. Also serving the local Aiken area is University Health Care System’s Aiken facility at 1021 Silver Bluff Road offering fast, convenient health care for the community. Brandi Derrick, M.D., offers internal medicine services for preventive care and chronic conditions at University Primary Care - Silver Bluff. For those with an urgent medical need that is non-life threatening, University Prompt Care - Silver Bluff offers walk-in services without an appointment. This 7,000-square-foot facility is part of the growing University Health Care System, which is anchored by University Hospital in Augusta, a 581-bed, not-for-profit community hospital that serves 25 counties in Georgia and South Carolina. University Health Care System continues to expand to meet the health needs of


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The Choice is Yours... At Brandon Wilde we believe a positive outlook and clear sense of purpose influence the choices you make along the way. As a Life Plan Community, we respect those choices and offer a dynamic, active retirement lifestyle focused on wellness, personal enrichment and social engagement. Brandon Wilde nurtures independence by inviting you to live each day fully secure in the knowledge that quality healthcare is available as needed. Come learn why our residents made Brandon Wilde their choice. • Expansive Wellness Center with Indoor pool • Resort Style Salon and Spa • Gourmet Cuisine in a Formal or Casual Setting • Arts & Crafts Studio • 112 Acres of Walking Trails, Gardens & Green Spaces

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our community - offering high-quality, low-cost care that is closer to home. Their mission is simple: to improve the health of those they serve, and the Aiken facility is helping them meet that goal. An additional health care resource for Aiken and the surrounding area is The Surgery Center of Aiken. It is the only locally physician owned and operated same-day multispecialty outpatient surgical facility in Aiken. The Surgery Center of Aiken is a specially designed facility providing patients with personal and professional care outside of the traditional hospital setting. Also serving the area in nearby Augusta, Georgia, is Augusta University Health System, which includes the Augusta University Medical Center, a teaching- and research-based hospital with 478 beds, and the Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital of Georgia, a 154-bed pediatric hospital. The hospitals are the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma centers. The Augusta University Health System also includes a variety of centers and units such as the Sports Medicine Center and the Georgia Cancer Center. In addition to hospital and physician care, a comprehensive range of health care services can be found in Aiken County, including home health, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports medicine, behavioral health and exercise programs to name a few. Special interest programs and support groups are also available, as well as educational programs. Comprehensive care facilities, adult day services and assisted-living communities complement the many medical services available and support the diverse health care needs of area citizens.

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CONOMY & EMPLOYMENT ECONOMY & EMPLOYMENT ECONOMY & EMPLOYMENT ECONOMY & EMLOYMENT ECONOMY & EMPLOYMENT ECONOMY & EMPLOYMENT ECONOMY & EMPLOYMENT ECO

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Economy & Employment

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he economic strength of Aiken and Aiken County lies in the ability to change with the times and to embrace a global marketplace. From everyday products, such as pharmaceutical and consumer health products, to tires, automotive parts, diesel engines, vending machines and materials for nuclear defense and environmental restoration, many advanced businesses and industries call the Aiken area home. The range and diversity of these companies provide a stable working environment and strengthen Aiken County’s economic base. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC, the largest employer in Aiken County and one of the largest in South Carolina, plays a major role in the area’s economy at the

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1005 Broad Street, Suite 200 Augusta, Georgia 30901

706-722-4114 www.wrtoole.com

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PROUDLY SERVING [OL I\ZPULZZULLKZ VM CSRA MVY 30+ years

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Find out more on Facebook

Proud to call Aiken home.

Supporting our local communities and neighbors is the South State Way.

Aiken / 1001 Pine Log Road & 149 Laurens Street NW SouthStateBank.com / (800) 277-2175 / Member FDIC

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Savannah River Site, which includes the Savannah River National Laboratory. SRNL provides intellectual leadership, innovative solutions, and research and technology necessary to address the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most complex nuclear materials processing and environmental challenges. Several other large employers in the area, including Savannah River Remediation, LLC, at the Savannah River Site, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, CB&I AREVA MOX Services, and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations have invested heavily in Aiken County and contribute significantly to economic prosperity. The area also enjoys a strong global presence with several international companies, such as Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (Japan), MTU America Inc. (Germany), Autoneum North America (Switzerland), Valmet Inc. (Finland), Newman Technology SC (Japan), BAE Systems (United Kingdom), BOC Gases (United Kingdom), and Shinsho American Corporation (Japan). Aiken County recognizes the value of its economic base and works closely with existing industries to help ensure their success and longevity. The testament of these efforts shows â&#x20AC;&#x201C; several existing industries have significantly expanded their operations in recent years. With its friendly, progressive business environment, the Aiken area offers a diverse, well trained work force and incentives to potential business and industry. Aiken Technical College and the University of South Carolina Aiken are instrumental in preparing students for the business and technical needs of local employers. In addition, their continuing education programs support new technological needs brought on by an ever changing market. Aikenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s convenient location and accessibility also make it attractive for many different kinds of businesses. With its proximity to I-20 and two commercial airports, Augusta Regional Airport in Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia Metropolitan Airport in Columbia, South Carolina, the Aiken area is blessed with excellent transportation access. In addition, the Aiken Municipal Airport accommodates corporate jet service, and the area offers two railway companies, bus lines, and motor freight lines that provide transportation services. Add to this the fact that the major ports of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia are only 2 ½ hours away, and one can see that business transportation needs are easily met in the Aiken area.


Aiken by the Numbers Population:

165,169 24.8%

Employment:

22%

Black

Education, Health Care, Social Services

11% Retail Trade

11.3%

69.0% 5.2%

White

Other

Hispanic

85.7%

Percent High School Graduate or Higher (Age 25+)

24.8%

10% Professional Services

Percent Bachelor’s Degree or Higher (Age 25+)

18% Manufacturing

Communities: (Incorporated) in Aiken County with populations Aiken.............................35,188

North Augusta......... 21,963

Burnettown................. 3,454

Perry...................................240

Jackson...........................1,737

Salley................................. 427

Monetta............................ 243

Wagener...........................824

New Ellenton.............. 2,056

Windsor...............................82 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Climate: Average High (ºF) Average Low (ºF) Rainfall: 40.91 in. Snowfall: .8 in. Precipitation Days: 63 Elevation:476 ft

Jan July 58 94 33 70


26 Charlotte

NORTH CAROLINA

TOTAL AREA OF COUNTY:

Spartanburg

Greenville

Rock Hill

77 85

SOUTH CAROLINA

Anderson

26

1,080.66 square miles

95

20

Land: 1,071.03 square miles

Florence

Columbia

Water: 8 square miles

25 52

Aiken Augusta

Myrtle Beach

26

DISTANCE TO NEARBY CITIES

78

17

95

GEORGIA

17

an

ce

Charleston

O

n

la

At

tic

Hilton Head

Atlanta, GA..................................... 163 miles Augusta, GA..................................... 16 miles Charleston, SC................................ 126 miles Charlotte, NC.................................. 150 miles Columbia, SC................................... 56 miles Greenville, SC................................. 126 miles Hilton Head, SC............................... 131 miles Myrtle Beach, SC............................ 192 miles Savannah, GA..................................127 miles

AIKEN COUNTY MAJOR EMPLOYERS 5,490

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC

Nuclear Processing

3,500

Aiken County Public School District

Education

2,181

Savannah River Remediation, LLC

Waste Tank Closure

1,938

CB&I AREVA MOX Services, LLC

Nuclear Design

1,875

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations

Tires

1,300

Aiken Regional Medical Centers

Health Care

1,200

Kimberly Clark Corporation

Consumer Paper Products

894

Aiken County

Government

690

Centerra-Savannah River Site

Security

611

Shaw Industries

Carpet Yarns

575

UPS Supply Chain Solutions

Transportation & Logistics

572

AGY

Fiberglass Yarn

539

Parsons

Engineering & Construction

534

University of South Carolina Aiken

Education

426 U.S. Department of Energy

Environmental Stewardship, Clean Engergy, National Security

416

City of Aiken

Government

380

Hubbell Power Systems

High Voltage Insulators and Surge Arresters

367

Tri-Development Center of Aiken County, Inc.

Nonprofit Service Agency

350

ASCO Valve Manufacturing, Inc.

Industrial Solenoid Valves

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DUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION DUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION

Education

Photo by Shelly Schmidt

E

ducation is extremely important to the citizens of Aiken and is a top priority in workforce and economic development initiatives throughout the area. Aiken County’s private citizens and business communities have a long standing commitment to education and embrace the many academic offerings – from pre-kindergarten to college and beyond. With public, private and religion-based schools available, educational opportunities are plentiful for all students, where academic, as well as physical and character, development are stressed.

DUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION DUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION 52

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With an emphasis on reading achievement, a focus on college and career readiness and a culture in which all stakeholders are encouraged to engage in the public education system, the Aiken County Public School District is the choice for public school education in the Central Savannah River Area. Aiken County is proud to be a distinguished public school system. The District’s merit is evidenced by AdvanceEd accreditation, an “Excellent” Report Card rating and many schools listed among U.S. News & World Reports’ Best High Schools, including a silver award-winner, and a National Blue Ribbon Award recipient. Aiken County public schools are high-performing. Eighteen were recognized with Palmetto Gold & Silver Awards. All are staffed with highly-qualified teachers, staff and administrators, including a Presidential Awardwinning Math and Science Teacher, as well as the state Media Specialist and Agriculture Teacher of the Year. This year, community stakeholders, teachers and administrators charted the vision and established plans to project the school system on a path forward to even greater success. The result: a common vision and a commitment to the objectives that each student will: • acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to pursue learning throughout life; • complete high school prepared to thrive in college, career, and life; • be a productive citizen while making meaningful contributions to society; • display strength of character and make decisions with integrity and compassion. Advanced studies curricula and a partnership with The National Math + Science Initiative, made possible by generous support from the local business and nuclear community, as well as those with the University of South Carolina Aiken and Aiken Technical College are raising the level of academic rigor in the schools and removing barriers to students’ post-secondary pursuits. High School Thematic Programs began in the 2016-17 school year, with two schools being designated as Advanced Placement Academies and another established as an Early College site in collaboration with Aiken Tech. All seven Aiken County high schools will have signature, specialized programming, in addition to the traditional curricula, in 2018.

AIKEN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AT A GLANCE: K-12 The Consolidated School District of Aiken County is South Carolina’s sixth largest school district in population. Address: 1000 Brookhaven Drive, Aiken, SC 29803 Phone: (803) 641-2428 www.acpsd.net 4K-12 Student Population: 24,829 (2015-2016) Number of Schools: 42

• • • • •

7 High Schools 11 Middle Schools 20 Elementary Schools 1 Career and Technology Center 3 Charter Schools

Average Teacher Salary: $50,837 Number of Teachers: 1,531 Number of 4-year-olds: 567 Total Number of Employee (full-time): 3,189 Teacher Quality: (measured by highest degree attained) • 44% Master’s Degree • 16% Master’s Degree + 30 • 1% Doctorate NEW STUDENTS All new students entering school for the first time in Aiken County are requested to provide the following documents: • Birth Certificate • Immunization Card/Form • Proof of residency IMMUNIZATION For complete immunization requirements, call 1-800-27-SHOTS or visit www.scdhec.net. AGE REQUIREMENTS: Child Development (4K): 4 years old by September 1 Kindergarten (5K): 5 years old by September 1 First Grade: 6 years old by September 1

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with Savannah River Site (SRS); engineers at SRS ensure cutting-edge educational opportunities for students and are particularly engaged at designated STEM and STEAM schools. Joye in Aiken (formerly known as Juilliard in Aiken) and Aiken Performing Arts partner with the District to inspire and enhance arts education through on-campus residencies, workshops, concerts and outreaches. For parents who wish to explore options outside of traditional public schools, three charter schools are located in Aiken County - Horse Creek Academy (Grades K-8), Lloyd Kennedy Charter School (Grades 3-8) on campus with Aiken Performing Arts Academy (Grades 9-12), and Tall Pines STEM Academy (Grades 5-8). Religion based schools are also an option for families in the Aiken area. Mead Hall Episcopal School (Grades 3K12), Second Baptist Christian Preparatory School (Grades 2K-5), South Aiken Baptist Christian School (Grades 3K-12), and St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Help of Christian Catholic School (Grades K-8) all promote both spiritual and academic development.

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Aiken Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public schools are grounded in a philosophy of â&#x20AC;&#x153;All Means All;â&#x20AC;? all students deserve the opportunity for a high-quality education. An impressive 89% of the Class of 2017 are already certified work-ready, having earned National Career Readiness Certificates. Beginning in elementary school and extending throughout middle and high school, professionalism and character building are incorporated into Aiken County Schoolsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; instruction, and are being complimented by volunteerism, mentorships and apprenticeship programs with business, manufacturing and industry professionals. The Aiken County Career and Technology Center offers a multitude of award-winning programs, from its highly-publicized collaboration with MTU America Inc. to networking/cyber security, welding, emergency/fire management, fashion, health science, electricity and media technology. Artistic talent is also celebrated in Aiken County Schools. The District has an elementary school with magnet designation and the middle schools infuse science, technology, engineering and math, STEM, or STEAM (STEM + art), across all subject areas. Aiken County educators have long benefited from collaboration

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Aiken Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s institutions of higher education, Aiken Technical College (ATC) and the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken), offer outstanding opportunities for area citizens. The University of South Carolina Aiken, (USC Aiken) is a comprehensive four-year institution that offers more than 45 undergraduate majors including a new Bachelor of Science in Industrial Process Engineering, and Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degrees in Business Administration, Education, and Applied Clinical Psychology. USC Aiken ranked #1 in 2017 U.S. News & World Reportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Collegesâ&#x20AC;? guide, for Southern Public Regional Universities. It has held this first place distinction for twelve of the past nineteen years. The University was once recognized as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;2016 Best College to Work For â&#x20AC;&#x153; by The Chronicle of Higher Education, with top honors for collaborative governance and confidence in senior leadership. It is a military friendly university and ranked as a 2017 #1 top public regional college for veterans in the South. In addition, USC Aiken received several military friendly designations including Best for Military Spouses, its second Military Advanced Education (MAE) award as a Top College and University and a 2017 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best for Vetsâ&#x20AC;? designation by the Military Times. The University holds the distinction of being one of only 29 COPLAC institutions nationwide, which serve as model institutions for public liberal arts and sciences universities.


A strong <I? welcoming

JHHPIDOT 125 Pendleton Street, SW Aiken, South Carolina (803) 648-5497 stthaddeus.org

Mead Hall Episcopal School 129 Pendleton Street, SW 619 Barnwell Avenue, NW (803) 648-3223 meadhallschool.org

Founded in 1961 with the generous and enthusiastic support from the local community, USC Aiken has grown to serve more than 3,300 students on its beautiful 453acre campus. USC Aiken’s faculty is committed to active learning through excellence in teaching, undergraduate research, scholarship, and civic engagement. The University was selected as the “College of Choice” by students from 29 states and 20 countries. According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, USC Aiken seniors rank the campus as contributing to their knowledge, skills and personal development at rates significantly higher than other institutions participating in the survey. Aiken Technical College is a public, two-year comprehensive college that supports economic growth and community development in the greater Aiken area by preparing students for gainful employment or further higher education. It is one of 16 colleges in the South Carolina Technical College System and has been serving the community for nearly 45 years. ATC has a variety of academic programs in business, computer technology, health sciences, manufacturing, nuclear, public service and STEM-related areas such

#M<?@NF JI0RJ$DNOJMD> JRIOJRI<HKPN@N as engineering. In addition, the College offers several university transfer programs for those desiring to earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree and continue their education at a four-year institution. The College also has an Early Start: Dual Enrollment Program which provides high school students with opportunities to enroll in college-level coursework and earn credits toward both a high school diploma and college credential. Students learn in state-of-the-art facilities with learning environments that resemble work environments in the related industry. Those enrolled in select technical programs may also participate in the College’s Technical Scholars program which allows students to gain applicable work experience while pursuing their associate’s degree. ATC’s ability to connect what students learn in the classroom to industry needs and expectations is one of the reasons why it was named a 2016 STEM Jobs Approved College. ATC has a long-standing tradition of providing exemplary service to its student veterans, active duty military members, and their families. For six consecutive years, Aiken Technical College has been designated as a Military Friendly College in recognition of the many services it

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offers including a dedicated enrollment advisor for those using Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits; scholarships and cost-of-living grants for eligible students; peer mentoring by Veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ambassadors; career sessions with area employers; and an active Student Veterans Association chapter.

Photo by Shelly Schmidt

Other Educational Opportunities

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The education in Aiken County does not stop with higher education. The McGrath Computer Learning Center serves adults, regardless of experience level, who wish to learn how to use a computer or tablet. The Learning Center is managed by local volunteers, and classes are taught and coached by experienced instructors. The Learning Center offers a low-cost, friendly introduction to using computers. The basic curriculum features courses on a general introduction to computers, word processing, and use of the internet and email. More advanced courses cover genealogy, graphics, digital photography and photograph enhancement, and financial management using a computer. The Learning Center holds open lab time where registered students can use computers to practice their skills or to work on individual projects. Teaching is primarily hands-on, with the student learning from challenging exercises. Coaches, usually 2 or 3 per class, provide one-on-one help for each student at his or her computer. Also located on the campus of USC Aiken is the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center (RPSEC), which offers a hands-on approach to science, technology, engineering, and math. Established in 1987 as a cooperative effort by USC Aiken, local industry and the public school districts in the Central Savannah River Area, its hands-on approach to teaching is designed to help people experience the beauty, the order and the power of science and mathematics, as well as the interest and fun of discovery. A visit to the RPSEC enables students, teachers and the public to experience science and mathematics in a challenging yet exciting way. The center has enriched the educational lives of more than 250,000 students, teachers and citizens since it opened. The many educational successes in Aiken County come down to one thing - an unparalleled commitment to learning from educators, business and community leaders, and area citizens. This powerful commitment has forged strong partnerships between education and the business community â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and spelled success and an enhanced quality of life for all.


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Photo by AP Gouge

Photo by Shelly Schmidt

Photo by AP Gouge


ETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT

Photo by Shelly Schmidt

Retirement

Photo courtesy of Woodside Plantation Country Club

A

iken is the perfect place to spend retirement years. It offers quality health care, a pleasant climate, friendly people, educational and work opportunities, the perfect balance of activities, and a relaxed lifestyle. It also offers a number of housing options at a range of pleasing price points. It is the combination of these items that have earned Aiken the reputation as the “No. 1 place to retire,” by Century 21, “One of 21 Best Towns for Boomers” by Best Boomer Towns™ and “One of 10 terrific, affordable retirement towns,” and “One of 10 places to retire on a budget” by Where to Retire magazine.

ETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT RETIREMENT 58

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Aikenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s accessible location and proximity to everything from historic Charleston to bustling Charlotte make it a perfect destination for seniors. In short, settling in Aiken affords retirees the opportunity to be as active, or equally as relaxed, as they want to be.

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The median home price in September 2016 was $155,000; combined with a low cost of living and a variety of housing options, Aiken is very affordable. Kalmia Landing, a gated community of privately owned homes and condominiums, offers gracious living for active folks 55 years and older. Cumberland Village is also a senior only community offering a variety of housing options in its patio homes, apartments and assisted living facility. While not restricted to those 55 and older, Woodside Plantation and Cedar Creek are neighborhoods that cater to retirees with plentiful activities and club amenities, including golf, tennis, swimming and social clubs.

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Education: Retirees enjoy continuing education programs at USC Aiken and Aiken Technical College. In addition, numerous art classes are available at the Aiken Center for the Arts.

Health Care: The Aiken area is home to several hospitals and health care systems, including Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Georgia Regents Health System, University Health Care System, Doctors Hospital, Trinity Hospital, the VA Medical Center, and Eisenhower Army Medical Center located at Fort Gordon. In addition there are numerous assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and thousands of health care providers. Adult day care, medical and nonmedical, is also available.

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Activities: No matter what one likes to do for fun, Aiken has a little bit of everything: golf, tennis, equestrian activities, tennis, pickleball, walking trails, senior basketball league, theater, art, music, and numerous volunteer opportunities. The list is endless.

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Relocation Information DRIVING Registering your vehicle (You have 45 days to transfer your vehicle title and registration) 1. Start at the Aiken County Government Center with your out of state title or previous car registration form. At the Center you will be directed to the Auditor’s Office to calculate your tax bill. The tax rate for personal vehicles in Aiken County is 6%. This is paid at the Treasurer’s Office. Both offices are located at 1930 University Parkway in Aiken. You will be issued a paid property tax receipt. 2. Next go to a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles office www.scdmvonline.com Aiken DMV Office: 1755 Richland Avenue East, Aiken, SC 29801 Phone: (803) 641-7752 Mon. – Tues., Thurs. – Fri. Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (closed on state holidays) Wed. Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. two weekends a month Road Test Appointments: 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDL testing and International Services are not available at this location. North Augusta DMV Office: 1711 Ascauga Lake Road, North Augusta, SC 29841 Phone: (803) 279-6659 Mon. – Tues., Thurs. – Fri. Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (closed on state holidays) Wed. Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Not open on Saturdays Road Test Appointments 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CDL testing and International Services are available.

You will need the following to complete your registration • The paid property tax receipt you received at the Aiken County Government Center • Your out-of-state vehicle title and/or registration If there is a lien on your vehicle, you must bring the name and address of the company that holds the lien. • Liability Insurance information Provide the name of your automobile liability insurance company, not the name of the agent. If you are a new resident in South Carolina and have an automobile policy with a national insurance company, be sure to change your address with your insurance company before you register your vehicle in South Carolina. DMV will verify your coverage electronically. If the insurance policy cannot be verified, your driver’s license and vehicle registration may be suspended. • Odometer mileage reading This information is used to complete Form 400, Certificate of Title and/or Registration. The form is available at the DMV office or may be downloaded and completed in advance at www.scdmvonline.com. • Personal Identification A valid/unexpired out of state driver’s license or a new South Carolina driver’s license. • Title and Registration Fees • Title - $15 fee • Passenger cars and RV’s - $24 fee • Persons 64 years of age - $22 fee • 65 or older or disabled - $20 fee (If disabled, a statement from a medical doctor as to the permanency of the disability must be submitted.)

Obtaining a South Carolina Driver’s License (You have 90 days to obtain your license) • If your out of state license is valid/unexpired, you do not have to pass the knowledge test or road test. • An eye exam will be given at all SC Department of Motor Vehicles offices or you may submit a statement of visual acuity from an eye specialist. • If your name has changed since birth, you must provide all legal documents (adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from birth to present. • A South Carolina license is valid for ten years and must be renewed by your birthday in the tenth year. • Military personnel (and their dependents) and students temporarily in South Carolina are not required to obtain a South Carolina Driver’s license. However, you must have a driver’s license from your home state to operate in South Carolina. Rules of the Road – Traffic Regulations • South Carolina utilizes a point system to penalize traffic law violators. This system is designed to encourage violators to improve driving habits or risk losing their license. Each traffic violation carries an assigned number of points, and when the total reaches a maximum of 12, the driver’s license is suspended. • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs carry severe penalties, including imprisonment. • In South Carolina, if windshield wipers are being used because of weather conditions, then headlights must be used as well. • Seat belts are required for the driver and front seat and back seat passengers when the vehicle is equipped with a shoulder harness in addition to a lap belt. • State law mandates the use of child safety seats that meet National Safety Commission standards (buses are the only exception). Children under the age of six must be restrained in the front or back seat as provided by South Carolina’s child restraint law. Four out of five children in safety seats are improperly restrained. Parents should have their children’s safety seats inspected for proper installation. The Department of Public Safety, Office of Highway Safety, maintains child passenger safety seat fitting stations. For more information, call (803) 896-9950 or (877) 349-7187. You can also visit their website at www.buckleupsc.com

ELECTRICITY AND GAS Aiken County is served by two electrical utilities. Aiken Electric Cooperative primarily serves the rural areas of Aiken County. The Co-op’s headquarters are located at 2790 Wagener Road (SC 4 east) in Aiken. You may contact them by phone at (803) 649-6245 or (800) 922-1262. More information is available at their website: www.aikenco-op.org. South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) primarily serves the incorporated areas of Aiken County. SCE&G has offices in Aiken and North Augusta. You may contact them by phone at (800) 251-7234. More information is available at their website: www.sceg.com. Natural gas is available in certain areas of Aiken County. South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) provides natural gas in selected areas of Aiken County. SCE&G has offices in Aiken and North Augusta. You may contact them by phone at (800) 251-7234. More information is available at their website: www.sceg.com.

GARBAGE REMOVAL City of Aiken Public Service Department.......................................................... (803) 642-7613 Provides garbage disposal services to homes in the city limits, as well as curbside recycling. Rolling carts are available to all city residents. Dumpster Depot............................................................................................... (803) 644-6004 www.dumpsterdepotllc.com Tyler Sanitation, Inc......................................................................................... (803) 648-1395 www.tylersanitation.com

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GOVERNMENT

TAXES

State Government

State Income Tax

• The capital of South Carolina is Columbia, located approximately 60 miles northeast of Aiken. • South Carolina is governed under a constitution ratified in 1895.

South Carolina has a simplified income tax structure which follows the federal income tax laws. South Carolina accepts the adjustments, exemptions and deductions allowed on your federal tax return with few modifications. Your federal taxable income is the starting point in determining your state income tax liability. • www.sctax.org/Tax+Information • A copy of the brochure “Moving to South Carolina” is available at www.scdor.sc.gov (844) 898-8542

State legislators and members of the state’s executive branch can be contacted by calling the following numbers: Governor................................................................................................................ (803) 734-2100 Lt. Governor........................................................................................................... (803) 734-2080 South Carolina Legislature.................................................................................... (803) 734-2402

Aiken County Phone.............................................................................................................. (803) 642-2012 Location: 1930 University Parkway, W, Aiken, SC 29801 Website: www.aikencountysc.gov Aiken County is governed by the County Council, comprised of an elected-at-large Council Chairman and 8 members elected from single-member districts. A county administrator is appointed by Council to manage daily activities.

City of Aiken Phone.............................................................................................................. (803) 642-7654 Location: 135 Laurens Street, SW, Aiken, SC 29801 Website: www.cityofaikensc.gov The City is governed by the City Council, comprised of an elected at-large Mayor and 7 members elected from single-member districts. A city manager is appointed by Council to manage daily activities. Other Aiken County Cities and Towns: Burnettown....................................................................................................... (803) 593-2676 Jackson............................................................................................................ (803) 471-2228 Monetta/Ridge Spring...................................................................................... (803) 685-5511 New Ellenton.................................................................................................... (803) 652-2214 North Augusta.................................................................................................. (803) 441-4202 Perry................................................................................................................ (803) 564-5756 Salley............................................................................................................... (803) 258-3485 Wagener........................................................................................................... (803) 564-3412 Windsor........................................................................................................... (803) 648-4355

LIBRARIES www.abbe-lib.org Aiken County Public Library............................................................................ (803) 642-2020 Jackson Branch Library.................................................................................... (803) 471-3811 Midland Valley Branch Library......................................................................... (803) 593-7379 Nancy Bonnette (Wagener) Branch Library....................................................... (803) 564-5396 Nancy Carson (North Augusta) Library............................................................ (803) 279-5767 New Ellenton Branch Library............................................................................ (803) 652-7845

NEWSPAPERS

Tax Rates Individual income tax rates range from 0% to a top rate of 7% on taxable income. Tax brackets are adjusted annually for inflation.

Credits Listed are some of the individual income tax credits which may lower your tax liability. • A refundable tuition tax credit of up to 25% for tuition paid to South Carolina public and private colleges may be available for qualifying individuals. The maximum credit is $850 per year for four-year schools and $350 per year for two-year schools. • A two-wage earner credit allows married couples to take a maximum credit of $210 if both spouses work. • A maximum credit of $300 is available for payments made for nursing home care or intermediate nursing care provided in the home for yourself or another individual. • A credit is allowed for income taxes paid to another state on income which is taxable in both states. • A child and dependent care credit allows you to claim 7% of your federal allowable expenses for the care. Other credits include - exceptional needs children educational credit, plug-in hybrid vehicle credit, Angel Investor Credit.

Deductions to Income • You do not pay a tax in this state on property sold in another state. • A deduction of 44% is allowed on net long-term capital gains; the South Carolina holding period is the same as the federal. • Beginning with the first year you receive qualified retirement income and until you reach age 65, you can take a deduction of up to $3,000. You can take this deduction for income received from any qualified retirement plan. If both spouses receive retirement income, each spouse is entitled to a deduction. • At age 65, all residents are eligible for a deduction of up to $15,000 from income, regardless of the source. A surviving spouse may continue to take a retirement deduction on behalf of a deceased spouse. • Reserve pay income received from the National Guard or armed forces for the 39 days of annual training and weekend drills is exempt from tax. • Disability income from a permanent and total disability is deductible. • South Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits or railroad retirement. • Interest you receive from federal obligations is deductible. • A deduction is allowed for each child under 6. The deduction is 100% of the federal personal exemption, which is adjusted each year for inflation. • A deduction is allowed for a special needs adopted child.

The Aiken Standard......................................................................................... (803) 648-2311 www.aikenstandard.com The Augusta Chronicle..................................................................................... (803) 648-1395 www.chronicle.augusta.com

POSTAL SERVICE U.S. Post Office................................................................................................ (803) 649-9211 www.usps.com Main Branch located at 307 Laurens Street, NW, Aiken, SC 29801 Other locations may be found by calling (800) 275-8777

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Additions to Income

City of Aiken

Certain items of income must be added back to your federal taxable income. • If any out-of-state losses were subtracted on your federal income tax return, they must be added back to your taxable income on your state return. • The deduction on your federal return for state income tax paid must be added back to your taxable income on your state income tax return. However, it is offset by your state refund amount if you claimed it as income on your federal return.

To calculate your taxes on Real Property, you must have the appraised value from the Aiken County Assessor’s Office. Real property is taxed at 4% for homeowner occupied and 6% for commercial and non-occupied/rental property. The appraisal amount multiplied by the correct tax rate provides the assessment on the property.

Aiken County The South Carolina Constitution provides for the following ratios to be applied to the market value or use value of property to arrive at the assessed value: Agriculture real property (privately owned) ......................................................................4.0% Commercial real property .................................................................................................6.0% Home (legal residence) ....................................................................................................4.0% Home, second (or any residential property where you do not live) ...................................6.0% Motor vehicles, personal passenger .................................................................................6.0% Personal property ...........................................................................................................10.5%

How do I get the best tax rate for my home? If you own a home, you want to be sure to obtain the 4% assessment rate if you live in the home and claim it as your legal residence. Otherwise, your tax rate will be 6%. To obtain the lower rate, you will need to complete an application with the County Assessor. This should be done as soon as you move into your home, but may be filed anytime before January 15, when taxes are due. Once you have filed this application, you will not need to complete another one, unless there is a deed name change, or use of the property changes. Call (803) 642-1583 for information.

Are there any available tax breaks? For all homeowners - Each homeowner is allowed an exemption up to $100,000 of the home’s fair market value from property taxes for school operating costs based on the 1995 millage (81.8). This exemption applies only to your legal residence, not to second homes, vacation homes or rental homes. No application is needed for this exemption; it will automatically be reflected in your tax bill. Homestead exemption - If as of December 31 preceding the tax year of the exemption you were 65 years of age or older, or if you were totally disabled or legally blind, and lived in South Carolina for at least one year as of December 31, you may qualify for the homestead exemption. The homestead exemption excludes the first $50,000 from the fair market value of your legal residence. Application for the homestead exemption should be made at the County Auditor’s office. Call (803) 642-1514 for information. Senior Tax Work-off Program - This program allows citizens 60 years or older to work for Aiken County Departments to earn an amount equal to the Aiken County portion of their property taxes on their personal residence (school taxes are not included). This program applies only to the taxes on residential properties and does not apply to commercial properties. Please call the County Administrator’s Office at (803) 642-2012 to obtain more information or an application to participate in the program. For certain military veterans - that are 100% disabled service connected, or law enforcement officers and servicemen killed in the line of duty, paraplegics, quadriplegics and hemiplegics - A house and one acre of land on which the house is located is exempt from property tax for veterans or for their surviving spouse. Application should be made through the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Call (803) 898-5482 for information.

Please note the assessment is always rounded to the nearest tenth. The assessment multiplied by the millage rate (62 mills would be multiplied by .062, 120 mills would be multiplied by .120, etc.) provides the annual property tax due. See the following example for a homeowner occupied property assessed at $100,000: Take the assessed amount of $100,000 and multiply it by the Real Property percentage of 4%. This amount of $4,000 is the Equals Assessment amount. Take the Equals Assessment amount and multiply that amount by the millage rate, which is currently at 62 mills. The Equals Taxes due is $248. $100,000 X 4% = $4,000 x .062 = $248 If you do not have the official assessment, you may use this same formula to estimate taxes due based on the data you have access to, such as selling price, other appraisals, etc,.

Sales Tax • The South Carolina state sales tax rate is currently 6%. • There is a 1% Capital Projects Tax and a 1% Education Capital Improvement Tax in Aiken County. • An additional 1% Hospitality Tax applies to prepared food in the City of Aiken. For more information contact: S.C. Department of Revenue............................................................................ (803) 898-5000 301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29214 Aiken County Treasurer’s Office........................................................................ (803) 642-2092 1930 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801 City of Aiken Finance Department.................................................................... (803) 642-7603 135 Laurens Street, SW, Aiken, SC 29801

TELEPHONE, CELLULAR PHONE, INTERNET AND CABLE SERVICE Communication services are provided by multiple carriers in the Aiken area. Please refer to the listings in the directory section of the book for contact information for each service.

TRANSPORTATION Aiken Taxi Transport .................................................................................. (803) 642-9910 SC Express Transportation (private transit service).................................... (803) 648-9977 Best Friend Express (public transit service).................. (803) 648-6493 or (803) 508-7033 www.bestfriendexpress.com Aiken Bus Station........................................................................................ (803) 648-6894 South Carolina Department of Transportation...................................... (855) 467-2368 Augusta Regional Airport (24 miles from Aiken)....................................... (706) 798-3236 • Is served by two airlines: Delta and US Airways. www.flyags.com Aiken Municipal Airport............................................................................. (803) 648-7803 • Private airport located in Aiken. www.aikenaviation.com Highways • The Metro area has access to interstate highways: I-20 and I-520. • The area is serviced by three major U.S. highways and nearly 20 state highways. Rail System • Main line railroads serving the area include the CSX System and Norfolk Southern • Amtrak connects the region with other cities throughout the nation via rail. The two closest Amtrak stations are in Columbia and Denmark, South Carolina. For more information about Amtrak: www.amtrak.com Reservations................................................................................................ (800) 872-7245

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VOTER REGISTRATION

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In order to vote, South Carolina law requires one must first register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election. To be eligible to register in South Carolina you MUST:

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A citizen who wishes to register to vote can complete a voter registration application at their county board of voter registration. Aiken County Voter Registration....................................................................... (803) 642-2028 1930 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801 When voting, you will be asked to show one of the following photo IDs at your polling place: â&#x20AC;˘ SC Driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s License â&#x20AC;˘ ID card issued by SC Department of Motor Vehicles â&#x20AC;˘ SC Voter Registration Card with Photo â&#x20AC;˘ Federal Military ID â&#x20AC;˘ U.S. Passport Further information including district maps and polling locations may be found at www.scvotes.org

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WATER Aiken (City of).................................................................................................. (803) 642-7603



Bath Water & Sewer District............................................................................. (803) 593-3221 Beech Island Rural Community Water District.................................................. (803) 827-1004 Breezy Hill Water & Sewer Company................................................................ (803) 663-6455 Clearwater Water & Sewer District................................................................... (803) 593-3509 College Acres Public Works District................................................................. (803) 649-5619 Edgefield County Water & Sewer Authority...................................................... (803) 637-3011 Jackson Water Department............................................................................... (803) 471-2229 Langley Water & Sewer Department................................................................. (803) 593-3404 Monetta Water Works....................................................................................... (803) 685-5258

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Montmorenci-Couchton Water District............................................................. (803) 648-9920 New Ellenton Public Works Commission......................................................... (803) 652-2862 North Augusta (City of).................................................................................... (803) 441-4219 Perry Town Hall................................................................................................ (803) 564-5756 Talatha Rural Community Water District........................................................... (803) 652-1381 Valley Public Service Authority........................................................................ (803) 593-2053 Wagener Water Department.............................................................................. (803) 564-3412

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Monday - Friday | 8:30am - 5:00pm

Saturday | 9:00am - 5:00pm

1119 Beatty Lane | Aiken, SC 29803

WE MEET YOU WHERE YOU ARE! Dorean Price, RN

Who are we?

Owner/Operator 304-228-7920

With life expectancy rising, more and more of us find we need assistance as we age. Margaret’s Garden is designed for older adults who can no longer manage independently, or who are isolated and lonely.

Lisa Rodriguez, R.N. B.S.N. 803-226-0099

Cynthia Gilliard-Hill Social Worker 803-226-0099

Kay Jones

Office Manager Marketing Director 803-226-0099

We enable seniors to socialize with others while still receiving needed care and services. At the same time, we offer caregivers a break from care-giving duties while knowing that their loved one is in good hands. We offer a ratio of one to five. All staff are certified to ensure your loved one receives the best care possible using the latest trends in Adult Care.

What do we offer? We specialize in offering care that meets the needs of the individual:

Physical • Mental • Social Stimulation

• Arts and Crafts

• Stretching or other general exercises

• Mental Stimulation (Games such as Bingo)

• Discussion Groups (Books, Films, Current Events)

• Musical Entertainment (Such as Sign-A-Longs)

• Local Outings

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• Holiday and Birthday Celebration

1/10/17 4:10 PM


Welcome Aiken back covers.indd 2

1/10/17 4:10 PM

2017 Welcome Aiken  

2017 Community Guide

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