Are county, city at odds over new Aiken Co. complex?

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Oct. 22, 2012

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- At Aiken City Council Monday night, the City of Aiken's government will be pitted against Aiken County's government. It's all over the new county government complex currently under construction.

"We've got to work through a couple little differences of opinion," said Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian.

In August, Aiken County Council broke ground at the site along University Parkway, outside Aiken city limits. Now, the county is seeking water and sewer utilities from the city, which usually means the land will have to be annexed into the city. It's something the county doesn't want right now.

"We certainly understand that our landscaping ordinance, being out in the county, is not as strict as theirs," Killian said.

Killian says annexing the land into city limits will mean they have to comply with those stricter ordinances. They'll have to meet city inspections and landscaping rules, too.

"They've asked for a 25-foot densely planted buffer, and we've really just tried to work through the details of what that densely planted buffer means," he said, referring to a recent Planning Commission meeting.

Willie Moody lives along Lincoln Avenue. The construction is right behind his house.

"There needs to be some kind of buffer. Needs to be. Now, what they going to decide to put up there, I don't know," he said.

The city may also regulate a road from the new county complex onto Lincoln Avenue, designating it for emergencies only. Signs would have to be 8 feet tall. Lights will have to meet city standards, too.

News 12 asked Killian if the county and city are at odds.

"It's certainly not any kind of a conflict at all. No situation where the relationship's being damaged, in my opinion," he said.

Killian says that they don't think this will delay construction. He says that's why they're figuring it out now. Regardless of whose ordinances they're following, Killian says they're going to be a good neighbor, and they're going to be building a complex the whole county will be proud of.

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