COMMUNITY UPDATE: August 2013

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STATE HOUSE
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Even though no new bills can be filed until January, that doesn’t mean legislators aren’t working over the next several months to improve our quality of life in South Carolina. If you’re a constituent (or someone reading from outside the area), please let me or your local representative know of any suggestions you have that we can consider in the last year of this two-year session.

We report back in January but will need time to research and draft legislation before then. One issue that recently came to my attention deals with taxes on watercraft. I’ve met with local individuals and also the Department of Natural Resources and will work to help individuals from the unexpected “back taxes” sometimes owed by previous owners when title changes hands. Dealers usually help avoid this for buyers but if you purchase a boat directly from an individual, this can happen without you even knowing what is owed. It forces the new owner to basically pay taxes for something he/she hadn’t even used…and often in a different county than where they live. This needs to be addressed.

What are other ideas or areas that you feel we should address for the Lake Murray area, Midlands, and entire South Carolina? Please let me know by contacting me here.

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YOUR MONEY
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Sales Tax Holiday Weekend started yesterday and goes until midnight Sunday. Enjoy the “back-to-school” savings and be sure to check this list to see what is tax exempt and what is not tax exempt.

For months, many in the area have been concerned about a housing development in the works on Bickley Road. I’ve kept Nathan’s News readers informed and recently let everyone know that NO tax credits were awarded to the project. While a developer is certainly within his/her right to continue with the project (because it was already zoned accordingly), it’s my understanding these projects usually do not proceed unless they receive the tax credits. As information, for any zoning issues, our first contact should be our local county councilman. Out here in Northwest Richland County, that’s Bill Malinowski. If you have questions about developments and zoning, be sure to let him know.

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COMMUNITY
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Community Cookout: This year’s COMMUNITY COOKOUT is set for August 13th again at the Quarterdeck/Rusty Anchor from 6pm to 7:30 pm. Ever since I was elected, I’ve worked to bring national, state, and local elected officials together for our community to meet and talk with in a casual setting. Be sure to RSVP for this year’s event. BBQ and drinks will be served and music will be provided by Jim LeBlanc! Bring the whole family; but RSVP with your headcount no later than August 6th! We’ve planned meals for 200 people and we’re almost over the number already!

Chapin Labor Day Festival : Starting August 31st, join your neighbors in several events around town: Run or Walk A Crooked 5K for Meals on Wheels at Crooked Creek Park on Saturday, Aug. 31; a Bluegrass Concert Celebration at Chapin Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Sept. 1; and a full day of events on Labor Day including the famous Chapin Labor Day Parade at 9:30 AM, the Chapin Champion talent contest, rides, arts and crafts, vendors, concessions, Gospel concert at Chapin Christian Counseling and Grace Chapel, Classic Car Cruise-in, Friends of the Library Book Sale and more. Click here for registration and more information.

The Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce No membership meeting this month; but definitely don’t miss the Summer Luau at Pine Island on August 8th from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Tickets are 1 for $10 or 2 for $14. Pay at door or call/visit chamber to reserve yours today!

The Greater Chapin Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon, August 13th. Topic: Future Workforce Development. Sponsored by Midlands Technical College. LOCATION: Center for Advanced Technical Studies (916 Mt. Vernon Church Road) The lunch meeting begins at noon and upon completion of the meeting, the staff at the Center will be offering brief tours of its state-of-the-art campus. If you have not seen this fantastic facility yet, you won’t want to miss our Aug. 13 meeting. Admission is free for Chamber members and $10 for guests. Register online or call 345-1100 to reserve your space.

Ballentine-Dutch Fork Civic Association : has no meetings during the summer. Next meeting will be September 9th at 6:30pm at Ballentine Park.

Meet your Neighbor: Please be sure to email me news of accomplishments of your friends and neighbors in the community! A recent neighbor I’m proud to share with you is Kelly Jones: Richland Library Ballentine Manager. I try to regularly update the website with people around town who are doing great things right here in Ballentine, Irmo, Chapin and White Rock. I’m willing to help promote their work/cause and simply need you to let me know what’s going on!

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OUR SCHOOLS
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The Chapin Eagle Club : Hope you can join Karen and I at the 5th Annual All Sports Benefit/Auction. Saturday, August 10th, 6:30 to 9:30 at the Columbia Conference Center. For more information, click here .

Time for Kickoff! Dutch Fork wants to “finish the job” after falling just short of a State Championship last year. While Chapin fields another strong football team, it’s Chapin’s Cheerleaders who consistently win State Championships. Look for them on the sidelines this season and see why they regularly bring home the title. Bob Hanna’s Irmo squad will be led this season by QB Demetrius Lewis who recently tied for the Top Senior Award at the 3rd annual QB1 Challenge .

District Five Retains “A” Rating Under Federal Accountability System: Lexington-Richland School District Five again has received an overall “A” rating under the current federal accountability system. The formula used for this rating is part of the state’s approved Flexibility Request from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly referred to as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). School districts also receive a state report card rating which is usually announced in November. District Five is the only district in the Midlands with the “A” rating. The new ratings, released August 1 by the South Carolina Department of Education, shows that 14 schools in District Five received a grade of “A” and five received “B” ratings. No schools in the district received below a “B” rating.

School’s back! District Five teachers start August 13th and all students start the following week, August 20th. For the District’s 2013-2014 calendar, click here.

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THANK YOU
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Thanks again for the privilege you give me to represent the Irmo/Chapin/Ballentine/Dutch Fork community! If you have events or people you’d like me to share with our community right here through Nathan’s News, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

I’m always eager to spend time with you at your Homeowners Association Meetings, Churches, and other civic events in the community! Let me know dates and times and I’ll work to be there!

Nathan Ballentine
803-734-2969
www.nathansnews.com
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland-Lexington Counties
320B Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29201