Aiken County's state legislators met Nov. 22.
The Aiken County Legislative Delegation meeting, the first since Jan. 6, gave the lawmakers a chance to get updates on a variety of projects in the county prior to returning to Columbia in the new year. Delegation members also honored former Second Judicial Circuit Solicitor Strom Thurmond Jr. and Dwight Bradham, director of the Aiken County Veterans Affairs Office.
Legislators were given updates on Aiken County Public Schools, SCDOT projects and Aiken Center projects.
Thurmond was honored with a State House and Senate resolution for his commendable three terms of service.
"He prosecuted more cases as a percentage than just about any other circuit in the state. They were highly successful moving cases, largely due to his leadership," S.C. Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, said. "... We just wanted him to know how proud we are of him and how much he has accomplished, and we wanted to let him know how much we appreciate his services as solicitor of the Second Judicial Circuit for three terms."
Thurmond now works in private practice alongside longtime friend Young, at their law firm, Young & Thurmond. The firm handles cases related to workers compensation, auto wrecks, wrongful deaths and criminal defense.
Bradham was recognized with an S.C. Department of Transportation resolution after portions of three Aiken County highways were designated Veterans Highways. He also was honored for his statewide recognition as County Veterans Affairs Officer of the Year for 2021.
"We want to tell you publicly ... how much you have done and how much we appreciate the job that you and your team are doing in that office," Young said.
A community interest meeting about the Wagener-Salley High School rebuild was announced.
"There will be a town-hall meeting to discuss some of the parameters that we have in using the ESSER money," said Dr. Corey Murphy, chief officer of operations and student services. "We have to talk to the community because it is not just, 'Hey we can build a brand new high school on Wagener-Salley's campus.' We have to have the funds depleted or spent by June or July of 2024."
The money to fund part of the rebuild of WSHS comes from ESSER III, a pot of funds to help schools combat COVID-19 by fixing air filtration systems, providing PPE and technology to students.
Murphy said the district will need to fund the rest of the project, but believes a large portion of the project could come out of the ESSER money. A start date for the project is not known at this time.