VANCE, S.C. — A newly elected Horse Ranch Watershed committee held their first meeting since May of 2017 to address concerns over the continuous flooding and draining issues in the area.
"We've got to do something to let the people know where their tax dollars are going," says George Ashbury, committee member.
The Horse Ranch Watershed runs 25 miles around Orangeburg, Vance and Holly Hill. Residents living in the area say they've been asking for drainage cleanup and basic maintenance for decades, but haven't seen results.
"Any citizen, anybody in the Vance area or in the watershed district down here, they will tell you 'oh nothing's been done!' That's all you're going to get," says Ashbury. "However, the system will work well once it's maintained."
Dana Vogt, elected committee member, says she's most concerned about where taxpayer money is going.
During their last meeting, residents were told that $23,000 in taxes went to upkeep like beaver control, mowing and bridge repair, but she says there's been no visible result.
"Who checks behind whoever is supposed to do the job, I don't know," says Vogt. "So, I can't say if it was clean or not clean. I think that's one of the problems. We need someone to be accountable. It affects the citizens."
Ashbury is asking the Orangeburg County treasurer to freeze the taxes being spent for this year's budget, until they can get a plan in place to address the needs of the watershed.
"The money is going in, but the ditch is not being serviced."
The committee is asking residents to attend their next meeting on February 7 at 6 p.m. at the Vance Community Center.