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Richland County Council moves forward on a new ordinance and battery plant project

For the first time in February, Richland County Council met to address more than 20 topics, here are the highlights.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Tuesday, Richland County Council met for the first time this month with more than 20 items on its agenda.

Kicking off their meeting with a recognition of black history month, then moved into public comment. Thomas K. Stringfellow, the CEO of Riverbanks Zoo, showed up and talked about projected tourism numbers this year, and discounted ticket offerings that will be coming soon.

"We also will now be offering a deeply discounted ticket program that we will be offering all year long to residents of South Carolina that are enrolled in the SNAP benefits program," Stringfellow explained.

A battery plant that is expected to be built on Shop Road, nicknamed 'Project Viper', took another step forward tonight in its second reading.

The county approved mitigation credits to help with the environmental impact of the plant.

Also, a hot topic at the meeting was a new fireworks ordinance that got pushback from council members.

"I would like to see an ordinance that has a little more teeth to it," said Council Chair, Overture Walker. "Something that, has a little more accountability with respect to the penalties. For me, $100 comes across as almost just a slap on the wrist."

The ordinance did pass through its first reading and will come back with amendments in the next council meeting.

This week, the Richland County Jail has been getting more attention after another inmate's death and the arrests of three corrections officers. Although the county jail was not discussed, county leaders say they will be answering questions about the jail in the coming days.

Richland County Council will have a special called meeting next Tuesday at 6 p.m. so the council can meet again before the President's Day holiday. 

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