About Richland: Your Guide to Richland County Government

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Richland About

Your Guide to Richland County Government

Richland County Council


Welcome to About Richland — your go-to guide for information regarding Richland County Government and the community we serve. Whether you are a newcomer or considering moving here, this guide will help you learn all about South Carolina’s Capital County. Even longtime residents will find this guide valuable. There’s truly something in these pages for everyone! Richland County Government relies on input from the public to improve the livability of our community, and we hope you’ll find information in this guide to inspire you to get involved. We even offer some suggestions to get you started. There’s so much to love about Richland County. Located at the geographic center of the Palmetto State, Richland County hosts many diverse cultural and community activities. Throughout the year, we welcome sports fans, fair-goers, conventioneers, music lovers, military families and more. We’re home to the capital city of Columbia, as well as several smaller, unique municipalities and communities. Three rivers converge here, making for scenic views and fun-filled activities. With three interstates offering easy access to air travel and ports, we are positioned for greater economic development. Our public and private schools, the University of South Carolina, a top technical school system and several private colleges offer ample opportunities for educational enrichment. With all that we have going on here, it’s no wonder Richland County continues to attract new families and businesses. People in this community are excited about the future — and we welcome you to see for yourself what Richland County is all about!


TABLE OF CONTENTS Frequently Asked Questions



How to Get Involved



Elected Officials

Biennium Budget II and FY19-20 Approved Budget

6 11

Government and Districts


How Your Government Works

Community Profile

7 13

Solid Waste & Recycling Reminders

Department Spotlights: Ombudsman Solid Waste & Recycling

County Spotlight: RCHAP

County Spotlight: GIS

County Spotlight: Comprehensive Plan

Department Spotlights: Corrections Officers EMS


The Places We Call Home

County Spotlight: Flood Recovery

21 26 36


County Spotlight: Economic Development County Departments

23 33

19 25

County Spotlight: Lower Richland Water and Sewer



Richland County’s Mission: The mission of the government of Richland County, South Carolina, is to provide essential services, efficiently and effectively, in order to improve the quality of life for its citizens. Richland County Government shall be accessible to all and shall provide cordial, responsible assistance and information in a prompt, equitable and fair manner. This mission shall be achieved with minimal bureaucracy, with integrity, and within the parameters and power set forth in applicable federal, state and local laws.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What office should I contact for assistance?

How do I pay a tax bill?

Please contact the Richland County Ombudsman at 803-929-6000 or ombudsman@richlandcountysc.gov. The Ombudsman’s Office serves as the County’s “One-Call Response Center,” and its friendly staff help get answers to your questions and responses to your concerns or service requests.

Richland County accepts many types of payments electronically. Visit richlandcountysc.gov and click “Online Payments” on the menu bar to pay bills by credit or debit card or electronic check. A fee of $1 plus 1.7 percent of the payment is collected on electronic payments. Payments may also be mailed to the address on the bill or paid in person during regular business hours at the Richland County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia.

Who is my County Council representative? Visit richlandcountysc.gov, click “County Council,” then “Find your Richland County Council representative.” Enter your address to identify your representative. Or, visit richlandmaps.com and type in your address to identify both your County and State representatives.

How do I contact my Council representative? Each Councilmember is accessible by email or phone. Visit richlandcountysc.gov and click “County Council” for a list of Councilmembers’ phone numbers and email addresses. Or, contact the Clerk of Council’s Office at 803-576-2060 or rccoco@richlandcountysc.gov.

How can I address all of County Council? Richland County Council typically meets the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, located in the County Administration Building at 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. The public is invited to attend these meetings, where residents have the opportunity to sign up to speak to Council. Residents will have up to two minutes to address Council.

How are my taxes spent? Richland County makes its budget available for public viewing online. Residents can view current and past budget books to see where tax dollars come from and how they’re spent. To learn more about taxes and the budget process, visit richlandcountysc.gov.

How do I find out about voting in elections? The Richland County Elections & Voter Registration Office is managed by the State, but Richland County Government is required by law to provide operating space for the office. Therefore, the Elections & Voter Registration Office is located within the County Administration Building at 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. Elections and voter information is available at richlandcountysc.gov or by calling 803-576-2240.

How do I get involved in County Government? Residents interested in serving on one of Richland County’s many boards, committees and commissions may contact the Clerk of Council’s Office at 803-576-2060 or rccoco@richlandcountysc.gov for information. See page 8 for other ways to stay engaged with local government.

How do I stay informed about what’s happening in County Government? Richland County news releases and upcoming events are available at richlandcountysc.gov, as well as information about County departments, programs and projects. County Council meetings are open to the public and can be viewed on RCTV and richlandcountysc.gov. Residents can follow Richland County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@RichlandSC) for social media updates and can receive the County’s weekly newsletter by signing up at the bottom of richlandcountysc.gov. Residents can watch RCTV for informative videos, recordings of meetings, weather updates and more. You can also tune in to Richland County’s local television channel, RCTV, on Spectrum Channel 1302 or AT&T U-verse Channel 99. 3

RICHLAND COUNTY GOVERNMENT AND DISTRICTS Richland County operates under the Council–Administrator form of government. Richland County Councilmembers are elected in November general elections from single-member districts for four-year terms beginning Jan. 1 of the following year. The 11-member Council appoints an Administrator to be the chief administrative officer of Richland County Government and to manage all departments under the jurisdiction of Richland County Council. The Administrator executes the policies, directives and legislative actions of Council, manages and coordinates operations, prepares operating and capital budgets and performs essential duties in overseeing the daily and long-term activities of County government. Richland County Council generally meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, located at the County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. All meetings are open to the public. All regularly scheduled Council meetings can be viewed live and on demand at richlandcountysc.gov.

COUNTY COUNCILMEMBERS BILL MALINOWSKI District 1 2018-2022 803-932-7919 malinowski.bill@richlandcountysc.gov

JOYCE DICKERSON District 2 2016-2020 803-750-0154 dickerson.joyce@richlandcountysc.gov

YVONNE MCBRIDE District 3 2016-2020 803-904-9145 mcbride.yvonne@richlandcountysc.gov

PAUL LIVINGSTON District 4 2018-2022 803-765-1192 livingston.paul@richlandcountysc.gov

ALLISON TERRACIO District 5 2018-2022 803-622-6029 terracio.allison@richlandcountysc.gov

GWENDOLYN KENNEDY District 7 2016-2020 803-530-5227


JIM MANNING District 8 2016-2020 803-787-2896 manning.jim@richlandcountysc.gov

CALVIN “CHIP” JACKSON* District 9 2016-2020 rccoco@richlandcountysc.gov

DALHI MYERS District 10 2016-2020 803-908-3747 myers.dalhi@richlandcountysc.gov

CHAKISSE NEWTON District 11 2018-2022 803-973-9652 newton.chakisse@richlandcountysc.gov *A NOTE TO READERS

JOE WALKER III District 6 2018-2022 803-807-0014 walker.joe@richlandcountysc.gov

This publication includes information on Richland County Councilman Calvin “Chip” Jackson, who died after About Richland went to press. Councilman Jackson was elected to represent District 9 in 2016 and began serving in 2017. To reach the County about issues related to District 9, please email rccoco@richlandcountysc.gov. 5


In addition to County Council, Richland County voters elect officials for seven other public office positions:

PAUL BRAWLEY Auditor Responsible for keeping the County’s record of real and personal property as well as calculating individual property taxes

GARY WATTS Coroner Responsible for investigating deaths that occur for unknown or suspicious reasons in the County

AMY MCCULLOCH Probate Judge Responsible for issuing marriage licenses, appointing guardians to supervise the care of minors and incompetent adults, overseeing the administration of estates and handling the involuntary commitment of residents who suffer from various challenges

BYRON GIPSON Solicitor Responsible for prosecuting criminal offenses in the Fifth Judicial Circuit (Richland and Kershaw counties), protecting the rights of victims and administering diversion programs that serve as alternatives to conviction and sentencing

JEANETTE MCBRIDE Clerk of Court Responsible for circuit and family court operations and for keeping records of the proceedings of both General Sessions and Common Pleas Court

DAVID ADAMS Treasurer Responsible for collecting property taxes and receiving other revenues, such as state aid, and investing those funds until needed by the County

LEON LOTT Sheriff Responsible for maintaining public safety and carrying out law enforcement duties and activities throughout the County

HOW YOUR GOVERNMENT WORKS To borrow from an old saying, behind every great community is a great government. It’s the kind of government that touches the lives of residents each day and lays a foundation for the future. It keeps residents safe during emergencies and responds to calls for help day and night. It supports efforts to improve neighborhoods and enrich lives. Richland County Government does all these things and more. And the process begins with you! • Voters elect people to serve on County Council. • Council hires a County Administrator to execute daily operations. • Council sets policies and approves a budget to fund services and programs. The Administrator carries out Council’s policies through employees who:

Operate the local jail

Provide legal representation to abused children

Provide animal control services

Administer federal housing funds

Maintain roads and infrastructure

Maintain real estate transactions

Provide mosquito control

Offer homeowner assistance programs

Appraise property for the tax rolls

Issue permits and inspect structures


Collect businessrelated taxes and issue business licenses

Promote conservation efforts

Pay vendors and collect fees

Operate a public airport

Provide waste management

Manage stormwater to safeguard the environment

Provide water and wastewater services

Provide emergency medical care

Monitor weather for emergency preparations and response

Administer grants

In addition to work done under the direction of the Administrator, the County budget funds offices headed by elected and appointed officials and supports services mandated by the state. Public safety (law enforcement, fire, 911 communications), election and voter registration, education, issuance of tax bills, death investigations, health services, courts, veterans assistance, recreational facilities and more are funded by tax dollars through Richland County Government. 7

HOW TO GET INVOLVED WITH RICHLAND COUNTY GOVERNMENT COUNTY WEBSITE, SOCIAL MEDIA AND RCTV Richland County is online, on social media and on TV. The County’s website, richlandcountysc.gov, provides services and information to residents, businesses and visitors. Make online payments, locate a lost pet, submit service requests, get news updates, watch County videos and more. Follow Richland County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@RichlandSC) to stay on top of County news and weather updates, and tune in to the County’s local government access channel, RCTV, for a variety of informative programming. WEEKLY NEWSLETTER The County newsletter, the Richland County Weekly Review, is emailed each Friday and features news, coming events, photographs and the Pet of the Week, a special dog or cat available for adoption. The newsletter is a great way to learn about all the things County Government is doing for the community. Sign up at the bottom of richlandcountysc.gov to have the Review sent to your inbox. REVIEW AGENDAS Know what items County Council will discuss and vote on by reviewing the meeting agendas at richlandcountysc. gov. Agendas for regular Council meetings, as well as committee and zoning public hearings, also are distributed by email to the media and members of the public. To join the mailing list, email the Clerk of Council’s Office at rccoco@richlandcountysc.gov or call 803-576-2060. ATTEND COUNTY COUNCIL MEETINGS Richland County Council regularly meets at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of the month in Council Chambers, located in the Richland County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. The meetings are open to the public. Council meetings also are streamed live online on richlandcountysc.gov and aired on RCTV.

ATTEND COMMUNITY MEETINGS Richland County wants to hear from you. The County holds meetings on a variety of issues throughout the year to provide information and give residents the opportunity to share concerns and issues. Meetings and other public events are posted on the County website at richlandcountysc.gov. TAKE PART IN ENGAGE RICHLAND Engage Richland is Richland County’s year-round series of public events that puts residents in direct conversation with County staff through meetings, demonstrations, workshops, facility tours and more. Engage Richland seeks to encourage public input and improve communications between the public and the County. For more details, visit richlandcountysc.gov or contact the Public Information Office at pio@richlandcountysc.gov or 803-576-2050. INVITE A COUNCILMEMBER TO YOUR ORGANIZATION’S MEETING County Council represents you! If you’re interested in having your Council representative speak to your neighborhood association, civic group or community organization, contact the Clerk of Council Office at rccoco@richlandcountysc.gov or 803-576-2060 to check availability. BECOME A COMMUNITY ADVOCATE Serve as a liaison between your community and Richland County Government. Get involved with the Richland County Neighborhood Improvement Program, attend Neighborhood Leadership Trainings, public meetings and community events, get details about County services and more. Share what you’ve learned with your neighbors to ensure they are informed — and share your community’s concerns with us by calling the County Ombudsman at 803-929-6000 or emailing ombudsman@richlandcountysc.gov. APPLY TO SERVE ON A COMMITTEE, COMMISSION OR BOARD Richland County has more than 30 committees, commissions, boards and advisory councils made up of residents who are appointed by County Council. Being a member of one of these panels is a great way to take an active role in local government. Vacancies are posted at richlandcountysc.gov.


District 1

Council Representative: Bill Malinowski Population: 40,156 Median Age: 39.3 Average Household Size: 2.81

Cedar Cove, Chapin



Property & Other Taxes




Transportation Tax

Fees & Fines


Charges for Services


Miscellaneous Revenues



Licenses & Permits

Fees in Lieu of Taxes



Other Financing Sources


Operating Revenue

$8,731,922 Interest

Total Revenues

$1,651,458,956 Total Expenditures





Debt Service

Millage Agencies


Special Revenue Fund

General Fund

$94,390,962 Enterprise Funds

The County budget is the spending authority and single most important document Richland County Council uses to oversee the delivery of services, programs and resources to Richland County residents. It’s important that residents stay engaged in the development of the budget, which is why three public readings and a public hearing are all part of the budget adoption process.

To see the full Biennium Budget, please visit richlandcountysc.gov.


District 2

Council Representative: Joyce Dickerson Population: 37,624 Median Age: 34.4 Average Household Size: 2.36

Harbison State Forest, Columbia

Richland County





Congaree National Park, Harbison State Forest, Sesquicentennial State Park

Broad River, Congaree River, Saluda River, Wateree River, Lake Murray

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Sep Oct Nov Dec

40 F

60 F

80 F

100 F

48.2% Black


call Richland County home

45.1% White

$52,082 Median income

5.2% Hispanic

20 MIN. Average commute

2.9% Asian 2.4% Multiracial*

$154,100 Median home price



Nation’s largest and most active Army base

52,000 Acres 10,000 Stationed soldiers 3,500 Employed civilians 12,000 Military families 36,000 Military veterans in Richland County






South Carolina’s largest gated EDUCATION tourist attraction, drawing more Private schools than 1 million visitors a year 21 8 Higher-learning 70,000 Students in institutions

three public school systems

*Respondents could choose more than one race



District 3

Council Representative: Yvonne McBride Population: 36,604 Median Age: 39.2 Average Household Size: 2.38

Greenview Community, Columbia

SOLID WASTE & RECYCLING REMINDERS Please remember these important guidelines for curbside, yard waste and bulk item collection — all services provided by Richland County Solid Waste & Recycling, a division of Public Works.

CURBSIDE PICKUP The morning of your trash or recycle collection day, your roll cart must be curbside by 7 a.m. to ensure pickup. If your cart is not out when the hauler comes by, the hauler will not return until the next scheduled pickup date. Roll carts should be removed from the curb by 7:30 p.m. on collection day. Failure to remove your cart by 7:30 p.m. is a violation of County ordinance and could result in a citation.

BULK ITEM COLLECTION Bulk, or large, items can be collected curbside. To determine whether an item qualifies for bulk item collection and to schedule an appointment to have the item picked up, call 803-576-2440. Items that qualify include: Appliances (with doors removed) | hot water heaters | dishwashers | metal grills (no gas or propane tanks) | furniture | mattresses Items that do not qualify: Gym equipment | pianos | electronics | toilets | sinks | tires | car parts | exterior structures such as fencing and dog houses

YARD WASTE COLLECTION Yard waste is picked up weekly and should be placed curbside by 7 a.m. on collection day. Yard waste should be placed curbside and should not impede the roadway. Piles placed on a roadway or in a manner that impedes a roadway could result in a significant fine. Yard waste should not be placed in a roll cart. What will be collected: Grass clippings | loose leaves | pine straw | small clippings | limbs | sticks and brush generated from routine landscape maintenance of residential properties | bagged and containerized yard debris

What won’t be collected: Limbs, branches, etc., with a diameter larger than 4 inches | debris from a tree that has been cut with a base larger than 4 inches in diameter | construction debris | tree stumps | mulch | sod


District 4

Council Representative: Paul Livingston Population: 35,297 Median Age: 32.9 Average Household Size: 2.16

Lincoln Tunnel, The Vista



Many service requests are completed within 24 hours. If a 24-hour turnaround period is not enough time, the resident is contacted and provided a progress report and the projected completion date.

Weekend hours at the County’s three drop-off sites make it convenient to dispose of items not accepted at curbside collection. The C&D Landfill, 1070 Caughman Road N. (off Monticello Road), operates 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays. The Lower Richland Drop-off Center, 10531 Garners Ferry Road, operates 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. The Clemson Road Recycling Drop-off Site, 900 Clemson Road, is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. every day except Monday and Wednesday.

Richland County Solid Waste & Recycling makes it easy for residents to keep their homes, yards and The knowledgeable representatives of the Ombudsman’s Office serve as liaisons for residents who neighborhoods clean and green. have a question or concern about a County service. Every email or phone call received by the Ombudsman’s Every Solid Waste & Recycling customer receives two roll carts — a dark green cart for trash and a light green Office is documented, anonymously if the resident cart for recycling. Residents can sign up to receive a chooses, in a computer system. If a service request mobile reminder about collection days. The “Richland needs to be issued, that request is routed to the Solid Waste” free mobile phone app, which is also appropriate department for enforcement of Richland County’s ordinances, and a timeline is set for having the available at richlandcountysc.gov/richlandrecycles, tells users how to dispose of specific items. service request addressed.

Ombudsman employees handle every request — all 600 a day — with respect, understanding and confidentiality. From stray animals and barking dogs to missing street signs and overgrown lots, no question or concern is too big or too small for the well-trained, dedicated staff of the Ombudsman’s Office. Even if a caller has a concern that Richland County is not able to address — say, a pothole on a road not maintained by the County — the Ombudsman’s Office will forward the caller’s concern to the outside party to help ensure resolution.

Department Spotlights

Throughout the year, the County schedules community meetings to provide updates and get residents’ input; Richland Recycles Day, which combines student education with a large drop-off event; and events for residential recycling and paper shredding. For more information, visit richlandcountysc.gov/ richlandrecycles or call the Solid Waste & Recycling office at 803-576-2440. 17

District 5

Council Representative: Allison Terracio Population: 36,189 Median Age: 26.2 Average Household Size: 1.94

Three Rivers Greenway, Columbia

County Spotlight

RCHAP OFFERS HELP FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS The Richland County Office of Community Development works to improve residents’ quality of life through multiple means. One example is the Richland County Homeownership Assistance Program (RCHAP), which aims to help first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs. Those who are accepted into the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), can receive up to $10,000 toward the down payment or closing costs on the purchase of a single-family home. Through RCHAP, the County hopes to make affordable housing a reality for all residents, even those who have never purchased a home before.

To be eligible for the program, applicants (a) must be South Carolina residents, (b) cannot have a contract on a house until after they complete program requirements, and (c) must be qualified as a low- to moderate-income household by HUD. Once their eligibility is established, prospective homeowners must complete an orientation, followed by a series of classes, before applying for RCHAP. Eligible properties must be built after 1978 and located in unincorporated Richland County. They also must pass inspection and cannot exceed a maximum purchase price. For more information or to register for RCHAP orientation, visit richlandcountysc.gov.

RCHAP helps about 30 homebuyers annually.


District 6

Council Representative: Joe Walker III Population: 36,367 Median Age: 29.1 Average Household Size: 2.25

Lake Katherine, Forest Acres

County Spotlight

WEB APPS POINT RESIDENTS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Richland County residents can access publicly available, interactive web applications at www.richlandmaps.com.

classification, land value, tax district, elevation and more.

These apps, using technology provided by geographic information systems (GIS), are intended to make finding information faster and easier. They allow residents to retrieve updated, relevant information about their property, where they vote and what County Council district they live in.

The GIS Data Viewer app provides tax map information. In addition to tax districts, these maps have functions that highlight municipalities, neighborhood improvement areas and subdivisions. The Real Property Comparable Sales Analysis app, used by appraisers and real estate agents, can benefit those looking to buy land in the County.

The GeoInfo Internet Mapping app prompts users to enter their address or parcel number; doing so produces a wealth of data on that property. This information includes the resident’s assigned school district, collection days for garbage and recycling, voting locations, political representatives, zoning

GIS technology isn’t just useful for residents. County staff also uses the apps daily to answer residents’ questions about requests for service, permitting approvals, neighborhood improvement project areas, identification of flood-prone areas and assessment of ongoing programs and projects.


District 7

Council Representative: Gwendolyn Kennedy Population: 37,778 Median Age: 35.3 Average Household Size: 2.64

Crane Creek Park, Columbia

County Spotlight

COUNTY CONTINUALLY SHAPING PRESENT TO MEET THE FUTURE The Richland County Comprehensive Plan serves as the guiding document for determining how and where growth and development occur within unincorporated areas of the County. The Comprehensive Plan highlights the County’s vision for the future, along with goals, objectives and specific strategies for meeting that vision, which residents directly shape through public input. Per state law, jurisdictions such as Richland County must follow a basic planning process in preparing a Comprehensive Plan. They must consider existing conditions, make a statement of needs and goals from those conditions, and develop strategies for meeting those goals and needs. As part of this process, the Comprehensive Plan must address nine specific elements: population, land use, housing, transportation, economic development, natural resources, cultural resources, community facilities and priority investment. The law requires a Comprehensive Plan to be revised periodically to reflect growth and development changes. Plans must be evaluated at least every five

years and completely updated every decade. Richland County adopted its current Comprehensive Plan, PLAN Richland County, in March 2015. The County’s Community Planning and Development department is moving to evaluate PLAN Richland County as it reaches its five-year mark. County staff will likely complete this process around 2020 and begin establishing a new plan for 2025. As one part of this process, Community Planning and Development has sought to revise the County’s Land Development Code and Zoning Ordinance, the regulatory framework that determines rules for land development, including location, type and conditions. This ordinance is a tool for directly implementing the vision and goals of PLAN Richland County. The Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Code and Zoning Ordinance update need County residents’ input to succeed. For more information on the Comprehensive Plan, visit richlandcountysc.gov. For more on the land development code update, visit weplantogether.org or call 803-576-2190.


District 8

Council Representative: Jim Manning Population: 37,109 Median Age: 36.9 Average Household Size: 2.59

Decker Center, Columbia



Corrections officers are often unsung heroes of public safety. While not responding to emergencies or patrolling roadways in the public eye, detention center employees are an essential part of law enforcement. They tirelessly enforce the regulations that keep the populations inside and outside of detention facilities safe and protected.

Richland County’s award-winning Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division is one of the busiest — if not the busiest — in South Carolina. Crews respond to more than 74,000 calls each year and participate in more than 650 public events, providing quality care to residents, tourists, students and anyone in need of emergency service anywhere in the County.

Richland County’s Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center (ASGDC) is one of just two adult local detention facilities in South Carolina to be accredited by the American Correctional Association ­— an impressive status earned when a facility meets 100 percent of mandatory standards. This accreditation is a testament to the dedication of the men and women at ASGDC who rise to the challenge of their demanding jobs, every day, every shift. Although officers’ foremost responsibility is to monitor detainees, they also have the chance to help change lives forever. The interpersonal skills that officers are taught during training are among their most important learned tactics, and officers’ positive influence can help guide some detainees to new life paths. The sense of family and camaraderie that officers say exists among the staff at ASGDC is the foundation of support employees need in what is a demanding and often stressful career. Their mission to protect lives is rooted in a commitment to public safety and sustained through a tight-knit respect for one another.

The men and women of EMS, a division of the Emergency Services Department, are part of an organization that is recognized locally, statewide and nationally for its treatment of heart attack victims, educational efforts, innovative programs and rapid response times. Richland County has received multiple awards from the American Heart Association, the S.C. Emergency Medical Services Network and Palmetto Health (now Prisma Health). And, given the number of patients EMS transports and the geographic size of the County, the EMS response time of eight to 10 minutes has been commended by emergency officials. Richland County EMS has distinguished itself as one of the only EMS divisions in the nation to have a motorcycle paramedic response team that navigates through traffic and other obstacles faster than ambulances. In addition, the division recently initiated South Carolina’s first Mobile Integrated Healthcare Collaborative, which has helped more than 100 patients save more than $300,000 in health care costs.

Department Spotlights


THE PLACES WE CALL HOME Seven municipalities and several major unincorporated areas make up Richland County. The County also has five defined areas outlined by the Planning Department as the Beltway, North Central, Northeast, Northwest and Southeast.

BELTWAY The Beltway is the center of Richland County and generally is not referred to by a name as other parts of the County. The Beltway includes the capital city of Columbia and the municipalities of Arcadia Lakes and Forest Acres. Full of diverse communities, this is the County’s main urban core, even though it has plenty of areas reminiscent of rural landscapes and suburban enclaves. The Beltway is home to the County’s International Corridor along Decker Boulevard in unincorporated Dentsville, called the original Northeast by some residents. The main gate to Fort Jackson is located here, too.

NORTH CENTRAL The North Central area lies north of I-20. It is bordered by the Broad River on the west and heads toward U.S. 321 to the east. The City of Columbia stretches into this part of the County, which is mostly unincorporated and referred to as Upper Richland by some residents. Along with the Southeast, it is one of the more rural areas in the County. Monticello, Winnsboro and Fairfield roads are key travel routes in the area, where rural vistas abound with rolling hills, winding roads and farms. The local community center here overlooks one of the County’s most popular golfing spots; the 257-acre, 18-hole championship quality LinRick Golf Course.

Downtown Columbia



The Northeast area lies mostly north of I-20 and stretches roughly from Fulmer Road to Kelly Mill Road. It also includes busy routes such as Wilson Boulevard and Hardscrabble, Clemson and Killian roads. Along with parts of Columbia, the growing Town of Blythewood is located here, as well as the unincorporated areas of Pontiac and Killian. Two attractions offer unique settings for exploring nature: Sandhill Research and Education Center on Clemson Road and Sesquicentennial State Park on Two Notch Road. The Northeast is known for its mix of planned communities and shopping districts, including The Village at Sandhill.

The Northwest is defined as the area north of I-20 and west of the Broad River. Along with Columbia, the area is home to the Town of Irmo and the well-known unincorporated communities of Dutch Fork, Ballentine and White Rock. The northernmost part of this area is dotted with quiet farms and has access to the Broad River and Lake Murray. The northern section contrasts with the more densely populated neighborhoods closer to I-20 and I-26. One of the County’s biggest shopping malls, Columbiana Centre, is located here, and one of two state parks in Richland County, Harbison State Forest, is nestled along Broad River Road.

SOUTHEAST The Southeast, generally referred to as Lower Richland, runs from the southern end of Fort Jackson to the County line. The area encompasses parts of Columbia, the Town of Eastover and the unincorporated communities of Hopkins and Gadsden. The main gate to Fort Jackson is located in the Beltway, though most of the fort’s property lies within the Southeast. The area is full of scenic vistas, farmland and hunting grounds, and is home to the state’s only national forest — Congaree National Park, which preserves the country’s largest tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. McEntire Joint National Guard Base and several major manufacturers are located here, too.



This community along the north end of Trenholm Road was settled in the early 20th century as suburban development grew from Forest Acres and Columbia. It takes its name from the numerous man-made lakes in the area that provide scenic views and wildlife habitats. Arcadia Lakes was incorporated in 1959 and is home to more than 860 residents.


This town that straddles the Northeast section of Richland County and part of Fairfield County began in the mid-19th century as a rail stop between Columbia and Charlotte, N.C. It was once called Doko, supposedly an Indian or African name for the water tower at the stop. In 1877, it was renamed Blythewood to reflect the area’s peaceful, wooded nature. Incorporated in 1879, the town is home to more than 3,700 residents.


Cayce sits along the Congaree River primarily in Lexington County but also includes a portion of Richland County along Bluff Road and I-77. With more than 14,000 residents, the city is known for its river access and local history.


Created in 1786 by an act of the South Carolina General Assembly, Columbia was named after Christopher Columbus. This new capital city at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda

UNINCORPORATED AREAS BALLENTINE | Once a small community of German farmers along the Saluda River and its tributaries, Ballentine takes its name from the Ballentine family who operated a mill, general store and farm in the area. In 1890, the Columbia, Newberry & Laurens Railroad established a mail stop in the area and named the stop “Ballentine.” The area changed dramatically in 1930 when the Saluda was dammed to create Lake Murray. Ballentine is home to more than 3,500 residents in the area between Lake Murray and I-26. DENTSVILLE | Located near the junction of Decker Boulevard and Two Notch Road, Dentsville was named for the Dent family who settled in the area in the early 1800s. In the late 1800s, a rail station known as Dents was built by the Southern Railway Co. The area surrounding the station took the name Dentsville. More than 14,000 people live in Dentsville.

rivers became a central place for the State House, permitting all residents of the state equal access to its house of government. In 1799, Columbia became the county seat of Richland County. Today, Columbia, which also extends into Lexington County, is the second-largest city in the state, with a population of about 133,000.

antebellum plantations, Eastover was so named because it was on the east bank of the Congaree, although some say the name refers to its location east of Western Place plantation. The town was incorporated in 1907 and has more than 800 residents.


Chartered in 1935 as a suburban development between Columbia and Camp Jackson, Forest Acres was named by the town’s first mayor,

Eastover began in 1880 as a station on the Seaboard Coast Line Railway. Located in the vicinity of several


John Hughes Cooper, for the area’s tall pines. Years earlier, antebellum planters had built summer homes in the area, which was formerly known as Quinine Hill. Forest Acres’ population is more than 10,000.


Irmo is located in both Richland and Lexington counties. Its clusters of suburban neighborhoods are close to Lake Murray and all the water activities it affords. The town has more than 12,000 residents.

DUTCH FORK | The area between the “fork” of the Broad and Saluda rivers from Columbia to Newberry, Dutch Fork was settled by Germans between 1730 and 1770. The name comes from the German word “Deutch” for the German people. A large portion of the original Dutch Fork settlement is now covered by Lake Murray. The hydroelectric power generated by the Saluda dam provides energy to thousands of residents, and the lake provides a place of recreation to many in the wider region. GADSDEN | This community in Lower Richland along Bluff Road was named for James Gadsden, a Charlestonian and former president of the South Carolina Railroad. The Gadsden station was built in 1840 and was the first station in Richland County. For several years, a stagecoach line took passengers from the station to Columbia or Camden. More than 1,700 residents live here. HOPKINS | This community in Lower Richland was named for John Hopkins, who established a plantation here in 1764. It was once known as Hopkins Turnout, as the South Carolina Railroad placed a railway turntable here in 1840 in order to turn its trains around for the return trip to Charleston. The Hopkins community is home to more than 3,000 residents. 29

District 9

Council Representative: Calvin “Chip” Jackson Population: 40,065 Median Age: 36.1 Average Household Size: 2.80

Long Creek Equestrian Centre’, Blythewood

UNINCORPORATED AREAS (CONTINUED) HORRELL HILL | A community along Garners Ferry Road in southeast Richland County, Horrell Hill was the site of the first courthouse in the County until it was relocated to Columbia in 1799. It takes its name from Thomas Horrell, who settled here in the mid-19th century. There are more than 11,000 residents. NORTHEAST RICHLAND | The Northeast portion of the County was once farmland with numerous streams that emerged in the sandhills and emptied into the Wateree River. In the early 20th century, small communities built up along the Southern Railroad stations in the area. However, this part of the County remained rural until the latter portion of the 20th century, when suburban developments along Interstates 20 and 77 brought a population boom to the area. More than 50,000 residents call the Northeast home. ST. ANDREWS | This area in the northwestern edge of Richland County takes its name from the St. Andrews Lutheran Church, which was established in 1835 by German settlers. This church was removed from its original site in 1950; however, the cemetery remains on St. Andrews Road. The St. Andrews area is home to nearly 22,000 residents. UPPER RICHLAND | This section of Richland County north of Columbia along the road to Winnsboro was once home to small farms and plantations. Upper Richland contains the Camp Ground community, named for an early Methodist campground meeting place. The area has more than 5,500 residents. WHITE ROCK | Named for an outcropping of rocks used by Native Americans for tools, White Rock began as a rail station in 1890 on the Columbia, Newberry & Laurens line through Upper Richland County. White Rock is part of the cluster of growing Dutch Fork communities around Lake Murray. 31

South Carolina State Fair

District 10

Council Representative: Dalhi Myers Population: 36,420 Median Age: 29.5 Average Household Size: 2.60

County Spotlight

NEW JOBS, INVESTMENT SHOW COUNTY MAKING ECONOMIC STRIDES BY THE NUMBERS: Since 2015, the Economic Development Office has announced 32 new projects representing $885 million in capital investment and more than 3,100 jobs. Through combined efforts to attract new industry and help existing companies with potential expansion, Richland County’s Economic Development Office aims to benefit residents by generating meaningful job opportunities and new wealth. The County has made major strides in drawing new industry to the area in recent years. In 2016, landing fiberglass manufacturer China Jushi resulted in 400 new jobs and a $300 million investment, the secondlargest capital investment in County history. Other recent successes include the recruitment of Charter NEX Films, which netted 120 jobs and $89 million in capital investment. The Wisconsin-based company manufactures consumer goods packaging. Both projects are a testament to the forward-thinking work of the County’s Economic Development Office to spur economic growth. China Jushi came after the County purchased the Pineview Industrial Park in 2012, while Charter NEX Films followed the purchase

of 103-acre Carolina Pines Industrial Park in 2016. This commitment to land and infrastructure investment makes Richland County a favorable location for major businesses. Such investments have continued, with the Economic Development Office purchasing more than 1,300 acres in Blythewood in 2019 to develop a new business park. The Blythewood Business Park aims to give the County another competitive advantage in drawing major companies to the area. Along with attracting new industry, Richland County’s Economic Development Office strives to foster partnerships with existing businesses to help them grow. Trane unveiled a $100 million expansion of its Northeast Richland facility in 2019, making it one of the largest expansions of manufacturing jobs in County history. The project had been in the works for two years for Trane, a maker of heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. 33

McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Eastover

District 11

Council Representative: Chakisse Newton Population: 36,661 Median Age: 36.3 Average Household Size: 2.49

County Spotlight

COUNTY EXTENDING WATER, SEWER LINES IN LOWER RICHLAND A major water and sewer project to benefit the Lower Richland community is on tap for Richland County’s Utilities Department. The Southeast Richland Water and Sewer Project will extend the County’s water system and connect sewer customers to its wastewater treatment facility. The new sewer system will eliminate several wastewater lagoons that are close to schools and neighborhoods and have struggled to meet S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control regulations. The project will also benefit McEntire Joint National Guard Base, which has operated without being connected to public sewer service since its airfield was established in 1943.

A series of public meetings during the project’s planning process in 2019 aimed to inform residents about the benefits of the new system. These meetings allowed members of the community to hear from County Councilmembers and review maps and plans with engineers, as well as sign up for services. Residents are not required to join the public sewer system. During the design phase, however, those living along its path could sign up to tap into the system without paying a tap fee. Construction on the water and sewer project is set to begin in the first quarter of 2020 and end by late 2021.


County Spotlight

COUNTY WORKS TO RESTORE DAMAGED AREAS, HELP RESIDENTS REBUILD AFTER FLOODING As Richland County residents continue to recover from flooding that devastated the area in October 2015, the County is helping in multiple ways, including administering aid from a federally funded property buyout program. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is responsible for buying and demolishing at-risk properties. It allows the County to acquire properties in a designated floodplain if the properties were substantially damaged during flooding. Once acquired, the properties are demolished and the land is returned to a naturalized state to prevent loss of life and property if flooding happens in the future. Immediately after waters from the flooding started to recede, the County and FEMA inspectors began inspecting properties for significant damage. Originally, 72 properties were identified; the County then

contacted property owners and gave them the option to participate in HMGP. Those who chose to participate were compensated for their damaged commercial or residential property. Because some of the affected property was not in traditional flooding areas and had never flooded before 2015, many of the property owners did not have flood insurance. With the help of HMGP, the County was able to help residents who suffered damages get back on their feet — and move on with their lives. Along with HMGP, the County has administered flooding aid through other efforts, including the Community Development Block Grant program for disaster recovery, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


County Departments

ADMINISTRATOR’S OFFICE 2020 Hampton St., Suite 4069, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2050

ANIMAL SERVICES 400 Powell Road, Columbia, SC 29203 803-929-6000 | animalcare@richlandcountysc.gov

The County Administrator serves as the chief administrative officer of Richland County, directing and coordinating the operation of agencies and administrative activities established by County Council. The Administrator has Assistant County Administrators who help oversee different aspects of Countywide operations and assist departments in fulfilling their missions. Budget and Grants Management, Community and Government Services and the Capital Projects Manager are part of the Administrator’s Office. Additionally, the County Administrator’s Office:

The Department of Animal Services consists of two divisions: Animal Care and Vector Control. Please see the listing for Vector Control for information about that division. Animal Care is responsible for the enforcement of laws that protect people, animals and property. Services include:

• Provides County Council with relevant information to assist in making informed policy decisions • Executes the day-to-day operations of Richland County Government • Oversees and administers the County’s operating and capital budgets

AIRPORT Please see the entry for Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport

ALVIN S. GLENN DETENTION CENTER 201 John Mark Dial Drive, Columbia, SC 29209 803-576-3200 | https://jail.richlandonline.com The Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center is an essential part of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. It serves as the intake center for unsentenced misdemeanor and felony detainees/inmates and as an incarceration facility for sentenced offenders. It provides equal-quality facilities for the detention of both sentenced and unsentenced detainees/inmates in a minimum, medium and maximum security environment. The detention center also: • Provides security to prevent escape, which is maintained by assigning inmates a security level based upon a classification system • Protects the public, staff and inmates in their person and property • Provides equal and constitutional care for inmates


Move to Excellence


• Taking sick, injured and stray animals to designated facilities that can provide proper care • Responding to residents’ requests for service • Patrolling for stray and unwanted animals at large • Investigating reports of animal bites and abandoned, abused or dangerous animals • Licensing pets and keeping rabies vaccination records • Issuing citations and testifying in court • Reuniting lost pets with their owners • Providing shelter for stray, lost or abandoned animals

ASSESSOR’S OFFICE 2020 Hampton St., 2nd Floor, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2640 | assessoroffice@richlandcountysc.gov The County Assessor is part of the Community Planning and Development Department. The Assessor’s Office appraises all property at fair market value and places properties on the tax rolls to generate revenue for Richland County. Additionally, the Assessor’s Office: • • • •

Values all real property for taxation purposes Maintains complete lists of property owners Adds new construction and building projects to tax rolls Conducts Countywide reassessment every five years, according to state law • Accepts appeals on property values and assessments heard by the Board of Assessment Appeals

ATTORNEY Please see the entry for Legal Department




BUSINESS SERVICE CENTER 2020 Hampton St., Suite 1050, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2287 | bsc@richlandcountysc.gov richlandcountysc.gov/bsc

AUDITOR’S OFFICE 2020 Hampton St., Suite 2067, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2600 | rcauditor@richlandcountysc.gov The Auditor’s Office prepares and issues all tax bills in the County, including real estate and motor vehicle tax bills. It also issues manufacturing tax notices, business personal property tax notices, utility tax notices, railroad tax notices and watercraft and aircraft tax notices. Other duties include: • Reviewing applications for Homestead Exemption • Calculating the millage rate for the operations and debt service of various taxpayer-supported agencies, such as School Districts 1 and 2, the Recreation Commission, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Richland Library and others

BUDGET AND GRANTS MANAGEMENT 2020 Hampton St., Suite 4036, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2100 Part of the Administrator’s Office, Budget and Grants Management develops, prepares and monitors the County’s budget and oversees the Accommodations and Hospitality Tax Grant and Discretionary Matching Grant programs. Additionally, Budget and Grants Management: • Assesses the County’s programs and services • Investigates cost-control methods • Researches financial options and opportunities

BUILDING CODES AND INSPECTIONS 2020 Hampton St., First Floor, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2196 | devservices@richlandcountysc.gov richlandcountysc.gov/devserv

The Business Service Center, a division of Community Planning and Development, is the source of business tax and licensing information for the County’s diverse business community. Some of the center’s responsibilities include business licenses, peddler’s licenses, and local accommodations taxes, as well as: • Collecting business-related taxes and fees fairly, equitably and conveniently • Issuing business-related licenses and permits • Educating the business community about the County’s business requirements and enforcing those policies

CLERK OF COUNCIL 2020 Hampton St., Suite 4069, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2060 | rccoco@richlandcountysc.gov The Clerk of Council’s Office provides support and research services to members of County Council and disseminates information to the public and County Departments concerning policies, directives and actions. Additionally, the Office: • Keeps records of County Council proceedings and other permanent records • Maintains the County Council calendar and schedules appointments • Responds in a timely manner to County residents who require assistance or services

This division is part of the Community Planning and Development Department. It issues building permits for new construction and processes applications for building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical renovations for new and existing structures, with the aim of reducing construction of substandard buildings in Richland County. It also: • Reviews construction plans for commercial and residential projects • Inspects structures for compliance with all residential and commercial building codes • Enforces Property Maintenance Codes Elected by Voters

Appointed by County Council

Reports to the County Administrator

Appointed by the State

Local Office of State Agency


CLERK OF COURT Judicial Center, 1701 Main St., Room 205 Columbia, SC 29201 | 803-576-1947

COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT 2020 Hampton St., First Floor, Columbia, SC 29204 803-929-6000 | richlandcountysc.gov

The Clerk of Court is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Richland County Judicial Center and serves as the official record keeper of circuit and family court records. Circuit Court is divided into two areas: civil and general sessions (criminal). Family court proceedings include divorces, child support, juvenile and domestic abuse cases. In addition to maintaining court records, the Clerk of Court’s Office:

Community Planning and Development is one of the County’s largest departments, overseeing all aspects of land development, zoning, long-range planning, building services, conservation, neighborhood enhancement and community resources.

• Stores physical evidence introduced during a trial • Summons jurors for potential jury pools each week court is in session • Summons jurors for potential grand jury pools • Assists judges by maintaining court rosters • Maintains a database of active bail bondsmen • Screens applicants for representation by the public defender • Collects criminal, civil and family court fees and fines • Assists judges in the courtroom by administering oaths and collecting evidence

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 2020 Hampton St., Suite 3063, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2230 The Office of Community Development is part of the larger Community Planning and Development Department. It uses federal funds from Department of Housing and Urban Development to benefit and impact the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents. Its programs include: • First-time Homebuyers Assistance • Owner-occcupied Assistance • Assistance to nonprofits that develop affordable, low-income housing for rental units • Improvement projects related to public service, facilities, infrastructure and more

This department’s divisions include Building Inspections, New Development, Floodplain Management, Conservation, Sustainability, Planning and Development Services, the Assessor’s Office, Community Development and the Register of Deeds. It manages the Development Services Center, which brings together building services, engineering, planning, zoning and permit applications as a one-stop shop for customers.

CONSERVATION 2020 Hampton St., Room 3063 A, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2080 The Conservation division of Community Planning and Development helps achieve the missions of the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District and Richland County Conservation Commission. It also consults with and advises County Council about the protection of natural, cultural and historical resources. The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District: • Promotes agricultural best management practices through conservation planning, demonstrations and educational programs • Supports the development of a strong local food system in the Midlands region • Provides student and teacher education on a variety of conservation and natural resource-related topics The Richland County Conservation Commission: • Provides grants for historical preservation, community conservation and environmental education projects • Protects land through conservation easements • Administers the Bailey Bill, funding historic markers and promoting nature-based and heritage tourism


Move to Excellence





CORONER’S OFFICE 6300 Shakespeare Road, Columbia, SC 29223 803-576-1799 | rccosc.com

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 1201 Main St., Suite 910, Columbia, SC 29201 803-576-2043 | richlandcountysc.com

The Coroner’s Office is responsible for investigating all suspicious, violent, sudden and unexpected deaths that occur in Richland County. The Coroner also investigates all deaths that occur in a hospital within the first 24 hours of admission. After the investigation is concluded, the Coroner determines whether the manner of death is due to natural causes, an accident, a suicide or a homicide. Additionally, the Coroner’s Office:

The Economic Development Office works to expand, diversify and sustain the local economy by assisting companies that provide meaningful job opportunities and generate new wealth for residents. It seeks to attract new industry, assist companies with potential expansions and ensure buildings and industrial sites are available for prospects to consider. It also:

• Assists and counsels families, helping them to cope with their loss by using victim advocates • Collects, stores and preserves evidence vital to the outcome of criminal cases • Prepares death certificates and maintains files on all reported deaths • Works with government agencies and community groups to raise awareness about preventable deaths

COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES (CASA) Judicial Center, 1701 Main St., Suite 409, Columbia, SC 29201 803-576-1735 | casa@richlandcountysc.gov | rccasa.org Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provide victims of child abuse and neglect with volunteers and legal representation to ensure every child has a safe, permanent and nurturing home. A CASA volunteer is appointed for 100 percent of the children whose interests are before the Richland County Family Court for allegations of child maltreatment. CASA’s other responsibilities include: • Recruiting, training and supporting community volunteers to serve as Guardians ad Litem for abused and neglected children • Informing the community about prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect • Providing quality legal and volunteer support services to the volunteer Guardians ad Litem • Providing ongoing training for volunteers

Elected by Voters

Appointed by County Council

• Provides updated demographic and workforce data • Arranges tours of available sites and buildings • Interviews with companies and meets with key community leaders • Negotiates incentive proposals • Serves as a clearinghouse for community data necessary for companies to make site selection decisions

ELECTIONS AND VOTER REGISTRATION OFFICE 2020 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2240 | rcelectionsinfo@richlandcountysc.gov The Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Office is operated by the State; however, law requires county governments to provide operating space for this office. Elections and Voter Registration conducts elections according to federal and state laws, provides every eligible resident with the opportunity to register to vote and participates in fair and impartial elections. Additional responsibilities include: • Ensuring the integrity of the election process • Simplifying the election process and eliminating problems by training and certifying election workers • Involving youth in the election process through educational projects

Reports to the County Administrator

Appointed by the State

Local Office of State Agency


EMERGENCY SERVICES 1410 Laurens St., Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-3400 | esd@richlandcountysc.gov

FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT 2020 Hampton St., First Floor, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2158 | flood@richlandcountysc.gov

The Richland County Emergency Services Department (ESD) provides professional and cost-effective emergency and public safety planning, preparedness programs, prevention, response and recovery to Richland County residents and visitors in order to save lives and property. ESD works with the City of Columbia to provide fire suppression and operate the 911 Communications Center. Some of the services ESD provides include:

The mission of Floodplain Management, which is part of the Community Planning and Development Department, is to protect property owners by regulating uses in flood-prone areas that are dangerous to their health, safety or property in times of flood. Its services include:

• Emergency medical service, including training and dispatch • Emergency planning, response and management • Emergency telephone system (911) • Fire marshal code enforcement and fire cause and origin investigations • Hazardous materials site permitting and inspections • Overseeing RC WINDS (Richland County Weather Information Network Data System)

ENGINEERING Please see the entry for Public Works

FINANCE 2020 Hampton St., Suite 4036, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2100 | ombudsman@richlandcountysc.gov The Finance Department comprises two divisions: Accounting and Procurement. The mission of the Finance Department is to maintain the fiscal integrity of the County’s financial records. The department provides accounting, financial operations and reporting services for other County departments, residents and users of the County’s financial information. Some of the Finance Department’s responsibilities include:

• Reviewing all building and project applications to ensure all requirements of the floodplain ordinance, including state and federal requirements, are satisfied • Determining whether proposed building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding • Providing public information about flood-prone areas • Providing flood zone verifications

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) 2020 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204 gis@richlandcountysc.gov | richlandmaps.com The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) division is part of the Information Technology (IT) department and is responsible for managing mapped data and information that is used by County departments and the public. GIS also: • Provides geospatial technology and training to County departments to improve effectiveness of service delivery • Manages the County’s drone program by providing certified mapping and imagery data • Creates and maintains web-accessible mapping applications that provide information about properties, permitting, precincts, land elevation, zoning and more

• Providing payment for invoices to County vendors • Preparing annual financial statements and reports • Processing and maintaining employee time records and issuing payroll checks • Collecting and processing payments for water, sewer, landfill, retiree insurance and employee parking


Move to Excellence





GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY SERVICES 2020 Hampton St., Suite 4069, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2050 | gcs@richlandcountysc.gov

HUMAN RESOURCES 2020 Hampton St., Suite 3058, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2110

Community and Government Services serves as a conduit between Richland County Government and its customers, constituents and partners. It provides assistance for satisfying unresolved issues and works to improve public involvement in the governmental process, as well as:

The Human Resources Department develops, implements and provides services through policies, guidelines, procedures and programs focused on past, present and future employees of the County. It supports the development of Richland County’s work culture. Some of the responsibilities of Human Resources include:

• Advising the Administrator on County policies, programs and issues related to constituents • Planning and directing activities to promote collaboration between the County and its constituents • Conducting and overseeing studies, projects and evaluations designed to address constituent concerns • Ensuring County activities that affect the community involve community representation at all levels

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 2020 Hampton St., Suite 3030, Columbia, SC 29204 803-929-6000 | ombudsman@richlandcountysc.gov

GRANTS 2020 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-1514 | ombudsman@richlandcountysc.gov Richland County has a variety of grant opportunities available to residents, community groups and qualified organizations. These grant programs are managed by different County offices. Grants offered include: • • • •

Accommodations and Hospitality Tax Grants Discretionary and Neighborhood Matching Grants Home Ownership Assistance Program Conservation Grants and Historic Preservation Grants

HEALTH DEPARTMENT 2000 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204 | 803-576-2980 The Richland County Health Department offers a wide variety of health care services at a low cost or for free. It promotes and protects the health of the public and the environment. The Health Department’s services include: • • • •

Immunizations and dental and health education Environmental and home health resources Family planning and WIC services STD and HIV education

Elected by Voters

Appointed by County Council

• Overseeing classification, compensation, employee relations and benefits programs for County employees • Offering training and career development opportunities for employees through Richland County University • Offering and enhancing the County’s wellness program • Offering employment services to employees

The Richland County Information Technology (IT) Department provides technological vision and leadership to reinvent, re-engineer and streamline government processes wherever technology can align with the County’s strategic goals. Increased efficiencies, increased effectiveness and reduced costs are the department’s aim. Additionally, the IT Department: • Provides effective and proactive technology support to Richland County’s departments and strategic partners • Maintains the County’s day-to-day computer operations • Offers custom application software development and vendor application software support • Provides information about computer tips, computer safety and identity theft • Maintains a secure and reliable network architecture that supports all of the mission-critical County IT systems • Oversees the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) division

JAIL Please see entry for Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

Reports to the County Administrator

Appointed by the State

Local Office of State Agency


JIM HAMILTON-L.B. OWENS AIRPORT (CUB) 1400 Jim Hamilton Blvd., Columbia, SC 29205 803-771-7915 | flykcub.com The Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport provides facilities for general aviation aircraft in support of the transportation needs and economic development of the County. The airport is the site of the historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar, one of only a few remaining nationwide. Some of the services offered at the airport include: • Leasing hangars for the storage of private aircraft • Serving as a base of operations for the Sheriff’s Department’s Aviation Unit • Aircraft refueling and maintenance • Providing office space, flight planning facilities and a lounge area for pilots • Offering public meeting space for airport patrons and civic and neighborhood organizations • Providing the host location for the South Carolina Aviation Association’s Hall of Fame • Providing aviation education opportunities

LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION AND VETERANS AFFAIRS Judicial Center, 1701 Main St., Suite 409 Columbia, SC 29201 | 803-576-1908 rclegdel@richlandcountysc.gov The Legislative Delegation serves as a liaison between the various levels of government and individual residents and those residents and their elected legislators. The Legislative Delegation staff handles the administration of the statefunded County Transportation Committee Funds, Water Recreational Resource Funds and Richland County’s Game and Fish Funds. Its other responsibilities include: • Coordinating appointments to boards and commissions managed by the state • Processing and coordinating certifications of notary applications for Richland County • Managing Veterans Affairs

MAGISTRATE COURT SYSTEM Visit richlandcountysc.gov for Central Court, Bond Court and Magistrate District office telephone numbers, hours of operation and location maps. LEGAL DEPARTMENT 2020 Hampton St., Suite 4018, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2070 The Legal Department reviews and approves all contracts approved and entered into by Richland County Council for Richland County Government operations. Led by the County Attorney, this department represents and defends County Council and its members in their official capacity, the County and its employees, and elected officials. Additionally, the Legal Department: • Advises all client–attorney matters for Richland County • Assists the County in compliance with new regulations and laws on local, state and federal levels • Provides legal services relating to labor law, municipal finance, home rule, land use and planning, procurement, law enforcement and municipal government issues


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The Magistrate Court provides the residents of Richland County with a fair and impartial Summary Court. The Magistrate Court System has 11 district offices, one Central Court and one Bond Court. The 14 full-time and three parttime magistrates issue criminal arrest and search warrants and conduct bail bond hearings, preliminary hearings, jury trials and more. Additional responsibilities of Richland County’s Magistrate Court System include: • Conducting criminal hearings to include offenses such as criminal domestic violence, malicious injury to personal property, trespassing, County ordinance violations, etc. • Conducting traffic hearings to include driving under the influence, driving under suspension, failure to pay property tax, etc. • Conducting civil hearings including landlord/tenant hearings, summons and complaint cases (to claim disputed funds), claim and delivery cases (to reclaim property) and public sales of abandoned vehicles




OMBUDSMAN’S OFFICE 2020 Hampton St., Third Floor, Columbia, SC 29204 803-929-6000 | ombudsman@richlandcountysc.gov

MASTER-IN-EQUITY COURT Judicial Center, 1701 Main St., Room 212 Columbia, SC 29201 | 803-576-1900 The Master-in-Equity Court is a division of Circuit Court. It may handle any civil case. Parties may not initiate action in the Master-in-Equity Court; instead, only cases assigned by a circuit judge may be heard. The Master-in-Equity Court also collects fees in actions for partitions, foreclosures of liens upon property, supplemental proceedings by judgment creditors and deed preparations, and it receives a commission on sales of land. All funds collected by this office are turned over to the County General Fund. Other responsibilities of the Master-in-Equity Court are: • To render impartial, thoroughly researched, legal decisions on complex matters submitted for decision as well as prompt resolution of routine matters • To provide assistance to the Richland County Bar Association and South Carolina Bar Association • To serve as a liaison with other County departments and branches of the judicial systems to ensure all County residents are effectively served

OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY 2000 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-1540 | osbo@richlandcountysc.gov The Office of Small Business Opportunity (OSBO) is an inclusive, race- and gender-neutral program for contractors and vendors that specialize in construction, architectural and engineering services projects, professional services, non-professional services and commodities. The OSBO: • Oversees the Small Local Business Enterprise program that helps local businesses have a reasonable and significant opportunity to participate in County projects and contracts • Offers programming such as business development, certifications and financial training • Helps support, strengthen and advance the local smallbusiness community

Elected by Voters

Appointed by County Council

The Ombudsman’s Office is the County’s centralized contact center for the general public. Responsibilities include: • Serving as a liaison between residents and Richland County Government • Receiving and fielding concerns and requests for service and forwarding them to the appropriate department(s) for investigation and response • Providing general information as well as responding to inquiries/questions from the public regarding Richland County Government • Receiving and processing County employee commendations and concerns • Monitoring and facilitating employee training for the Countywide software • Receiving and processing Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA) on behalf of the County

OPERATIONAL SERVICES 2020 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204 | 803-929-6000 The Operational Services department consists of Facilities and Grounds and Central Services. These divisions provide day-to-day necessities and support to County departments, including: • Twice-daily mail services • Setup and tear-down of tables, chairs, lighting and other equipment for various County events • Landscaping and upkeep at County-owned facilities • Painting, repairs and basic remodeling of offices and facilities as needed • Assisting with special requests and projects • Printing large-scale document projects for County departments

Reports to the County Administrator

Appointed by the State

Local Office of State Agency


PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT 2020 Hampton St., First Floor, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2190 | devservices@richlandcountysc.gov richlandcountysc.gov/devserv

PROCUREMENT AND CONTRACTING 2020 Hampton St., Suite 3064, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2130 | procurement@richlandcountysc.gov

The Planning division seeks to create better communities throughout the County by balancing environmental and economic concerns in County land use regulations, creating incentives for redeveloping site and revitalizing communities. This division of Community Planning and Development also:

Procurement is a division of the Finance Department responsible for soliciting and negotiating fair and reasonable prices on products and services used by Richland County, providing quality and effective support to customers (both internal and external), ensuring dependable sources of supply and maintaining an optimum balance of quality and cost. Other responsibilities of the division include:

• Implements the County’s Comprehensive Plan • Enforces the County’s Land Development Code • Staffs meetings of the Planning Commission, Zoning Public Hearing and Board of Zoning Appeals • Manages the County’s Neighborhood Improvement Program, which aims to: • Protect and revitalize established neighborhood communities • Empower neighborhoods to sustain a healthy community through civic infrastructure • Strengthen communication between the County and neighborhoods • Uses geographic information systems for analysis • Oversees E-911 addressing, road naming and land development plans

• Managing vendor qualification and registration • Ensuring goods or services ordered comply with good business and competitive practices required by applicable laws and regulations • Preparing and advertising solicitations and other methods of procurement that are applicable to the commodity or service requested • Encouraging greater availability and participation by small local business enterprises (SLBEs), emerging SLBEs and joint ventures in Countywide contracts and projects that do not receive federal funding, including Transportation Penny projects • Maximizing the purchasing value of public funds in procurement and providing safeguards for maintaining a procurement system of quality and integrity

PROBATE COURT Judicial Center, 1701 Main St., Suite 207 Columbia, SC 29201 | 803-576-1984 The Probate Court consists of an estate division, guardian and conservatorship division, records division, marriage license division, commitment division and mental health court. Through those various divisions, Probate Court provides the following services: • Issuing marriage licenses to qualified applicants • Ordering emergency and judicial commitments for those suffering from a mental illness or chemical dependency, to include the continued monitoring of cases to ensure that treatment orders meet compliance • Probating and administering decedents’ estates • Digitally storing current probate records and managing older Probate records for property transfer and family history purposes • Appointing guardians for incapacitated adults and conservators for minors or incapacitated adults and overseeing the management of their cases COMMUNITY SERVICES

Move to Excellence


PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE Judicial Center, 1701 Main St., Suite 103 Columbia, SC 29201 | 803-765-2592 The Public Defender’s Office represents adults and minors who cannot afford an attorney in criminal cases. In the case of minors, the Public Defender’s Office works closely with social service agencies to ensure that children in Richland County receive the protection and care they need. Additional services include: • Handling arraignment court and bond court • Acting as negotiator between the defendant and the State Attorney’s Office • Researching case law and witness testimony and conducting investigations




REGISTER OF DEEDS Judicial Center, 1701 Main St., Room 101 Columbia, SC 29201 803-576-1910 | rodcustomerservice@richlandcountysc.gov

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE 2020 Hampton St., Suite 4069, Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2050 | pio@richlandcountysc.gov The Richland County Public Information Office disseminates information about County programs, services, events and initiatives to media and the general public through multiple platforms and community outreach efforts. Responsibilities of the Public Information Office include: • Drafting and distributing news releases, media advisories and other notifications • Working with departments to promote programs, services and events available to residents • Managing the County’s social media and website • Designing newsletters, brochures, posters, flyers, advertisements, graphics and electronic presentations • Creating video content for RCTV, social media and other public platforms • Coordinating special projects and public outreach efforts • Responding to media queries

PUBLIC WORKS 400 Powell Road, Columbia, SC 29203 | 803-576-2400 Public Works maintains the County’s infrastructure, manages County assets and provides technical services. It oversees five divisions: Engineering, Roads and Drainage, Solid Waste & Recycling and Stormwater Management and Special Services, as well as the Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport. The overarching goal of Public Works is to ensure maintenance of the County’s infrastructure. Additionally, Public Works: • Provides engineering services for various transportation, infrastructure and development projects • Maintains County roadways and drainage systems • Ensures stormwater is responsibly and environmentally managed • Executes community outreach campaigns that help keep residents safe and apprised of Public Works projects • Orchestrates curbside trash and recycling collection for residents and businesses • Manages the County landfill and drop-off facilities

Elected by Voters

Appointed by County Council

A division of Community Planning and Development, the Register of Deeds records, organizes and maintains all real estate transactions and other pertinent documents. The division does not perform title searches or supply forms. Documents are public information. The Register of Deeds also: • • • •

Collects all documentary taxes and recording fees Assists with limited public records searches Safeguards the public record on security microfilm Records deeds, mortgages, liens and powers of attorney

RISK MANAGEMENT 2020 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204 | 803-576-2064 Risk Management strives to eliminate, minimize and transfer risk exposure and to finance and mitigate losses in a manner that is in the best interest of the County. This office works to protect County assets and provide a safe and healthy environment for employees and members of the public. Risk Management also: • Insures property and equipment owned by the County • Investigates, evaluates and resolves general liability, auto liability and workers’ compensation claims • Provides loss control services to departments including exposure identification, analysis, compliance monitoring and recommendation development • Develops and implements risk management and safety programs and policies • Provides employee education and training, conducts audits and inspections, investigates accidents and coordinates safety activities and events • Reviews insurance requirements for agreements, contracts, and use of facilities • Manages Richland County’s fleet

Reports to the County Administrator

Appointed by the State

Local Office of State Agency


SOLID WASTE AND RECYCLING 1070 Caughman Road N., Columbia, SC 29203 803-576-2440 | richlandcountysc.gov/richlandrecycles

ROADS AND DRAINAGE Please see listing for Public Works

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT 5623 Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC 29223 803-576-3000 | sheriff@rcsd.net | rcsd.net The mission of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department is to improve the quality of life for all residents and maintain a high standard of professional accountability. By building unity between the Sheriff’s Department and the public and by joining standards of excellence with a vision for safer neighborhoods, the Sheriff’s Department employs effective community policing strategies and problem-solving techniques. The Sheriff’s Department also: • Provides free crime-prevention programs to schools, civic groups and organizations • Works closely with state, federal and other local agencies to conduct investigations • Maintains and enhances a forensics lab to bring closure to victims, aid in investigations and solve crimes • Conducts a “Citizens Academy” to give residents a better understanding of department practices • Employs School Resource Officers at every school in Richland County as well as crossing guards at schools • Provides victim assistance services • Holds self-defense courses and programs for women

SOLICITOR’S OFFICE Judicial Center, 1701 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201 803-576-1800 | scsolicitor5.org The Richland County Solicitor’s Office is responsible for prosecuting criminal offenses in the Fifth Judicial Circuit. In addition to ensuring that criminals are punished for their crimes and protecting the rights of all victims, the Solicitor’s Office administers diversion programs that serve as alternatives to conviction and sentencing and attempt to serve the same underlying policies of traditional criminal justice methods. Some of those programs include: • • • •

Pre-trial intervention Juvenile arbitration Expungement Alcohol education

• Managing curbside garbage and recycling collections in the County, as well as managing drop-off sites • Overseeing the pickup of yard waste and bulk items • Working to reduce illegal dumping by investigating reported dump sites and prosecuting violators • Providing information about the proper disposal of hazardous waste, electronics and other materials

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT 400 Powell Road, Columbia, SC 29203 | 803-576-2400 The Richland County Stormwater Management Division is part of the Public Works Department. It provides stormwater management support in order to improve public safety, enhance public health and increase public service through departmental and divisional coordination and public awareness. Stormwater Management also: • Inspects facilities throughout the County to ensure implementation of stormwater best management practices • Monitors water quality to identify pollutants that contribute to the impairment of local waterways • Helps create and facilitate watershed improvement plans • Coordinates education and public involvement events that help communities become active in efforts to limit contamination of waterways

• Traffic education • Worthless check • Drug Court and Veterans Court


Move to Excellence

Part of the Public Works Department, Richland County Solid Waste & Recycling provides high-quality solid waste management services for the residents and businesses of Richland County. It comprises four units: Collections, C&D Landfill Operations, Recycling and Refuse Control. Some responsibilities of Solid Waste & Recycling include:





TRANSPORTATION 2020 Hampton St., Suite 4069, Columbia, SC 29204 803-766-5605 | richlandpenny.com The Richland County Transportation Department manages all items of the Transportation Penny Program approved by voters in November 2012. This program is broken up into three major categories and is funded by a special sales and use tax for not more than 22 years or until a total of $1.07 billion in sales tax revenue is collected, whichever occurs first. The three categories are: • Improvements to highways, roads (paved and unpaved), streets, intersections and bridges including related drainage system improvements ($656,020,644) • Continued operation of mass transit services provided by Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority including implementation of near-, mid- and long-term service improvements ($300,991,000) • Improvements to pedestrian sidewalks, bike paths, intersections and greenways ($80,888,356)

TREASURER’S OFFICE 2020 Hampton St., Columbia, SC 29204 803-576-2250 | treasurer@richlandcountysc.gov The Treasurer’s Office is responsible for collecting taxes and maintaining the County’s bank accounts. It also oversees the investment of funds and certain disbursements. Other responsibilities of the Treasurer’s Office include: • Collecting real estate property taxes and business personal property taxes • Collecting vehicle and hospitality taxes and other taxes • Conducting annual delinquent real estate tax sales • Creating new payment options for County taxpayers and streamlining tax payment processing

UTILITIES 7525 Broad River Road, Irmo, SC 29063 | 803-401-0050 The Richland County Utilities Department efficiently and effectively provides water and sanitary sewer to residents. It operates and maintains three wastewater treatment facilities and five community water systems. Additionally, the Utilities Department: • Works with developers to expand service areas • Reduces environmental pollution through properly operated treatment facilities • Develops innovative methods of transporting solid waste and wastewater • Provides educational outreach programs for students and adults • Responds to work orders and customer requests

VECTOR CONTROL 400 Powell Road, Columbia, SC 29203 | 803-576-2459 Vector Control is a division of the Animal Services Department. Vector Control provides residents with efficient and effective control of organisms that transmit disease to humans, such as mosquitoes, rats, fleas, ticks and flies. Some of Vector Control’s services include: • Providing technical assistance to residents about control measures for ticks, fleas, flies, roaches and other vectors, as well as helping residents identify the different types • Conducting disease surveillance and providing the lab samples for analysis • Presenting vector educational material to homeowners and students • Assisting and informing residents about rat control • Submitting dead birds to the state lab as part of West Nile Virus investigations • Responding to spray requests, trying to locate the source and treating known breeding grounds • Performing surveillance activities to assess vector populations by collecting traps on a weekly schedule

ZONING Please see listing for Planning and Development

Elected by Voters

Appointed by County Council

Reports to the County Administrator

Appointed by the State

Local Office of State Agency



ABOUT RICHLAND A publication of the Richland County Public Information Office ©2019, All Rights Reserved Richland County Public Information Office 2020 Hampton St. Columbia, SC 29204 Website: richlandcountysc.gov Email: pio@richlandcountysc.gov

Keep in touch with us online! Follow us on social media to stay in the know about Richland County news, events and happenings. You can also tune in to our local television channel, RCTV, on Spectrum Channel 1302 or AT&T U-verse Channel 99. Follow us: RichlandSC RichlandSC richlandonline richlandcountysc

Richland County Public Information Office: Beverly Harris Director Casey White Public Information Coordinator Magnolia Salas Public Information Coordinator Michaela Leung Public Information Coordinator Paul Harris Media Production Specialist

A WEALTH OF SERVICES AND INFORMATION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Richland County’s website provides services and information to residents, businesses and visitors. Make online payments, locate a lost pet, submit service requests, read current news, watch County-produced videos and much more. Visit richlandcountysc.gov today! Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter, the Richland Weekly Review, by visiting our website and entering your email address in the query at the bottom of the page. You’ll receive the Weekly Review each Friday. The newsletter contains news, photos, our Richland County Pet of the Week and our selections for fun upcoming events!

Todd Money Editor and Outreach Coordinator

BE ENGAGED, STAY ENGAGED Photography provided by Richland County GIS, Laura Renwick, Andrew Haworth, McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina State Fair

Engage Richland

Engage Richland is Richland County’s year-round series of public events that aims to initiate direct conversations between residents and County staff through community meetings, hands-on demonstrations, workshops, facility tours, special events and more. Engage Richland seeks to encourage dialogue between residents and their local government. Visit richlandcountysc.gov/ residents/engagerichland regularly to learn about Engage Richland events, or contact the Public Information Office at pio@richlandcountysc.gov or 803-576-2050.

Richland County Government 2020 Hampton Street, Columbia richlandcountysc.gov