The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors approved $60,000 toward an estimated $150,000 in improvements at Martin's Access over a three year period, with the funds coming from the county betterment fund.
The county betterment fund is set aside from the county's portion of the one-cent local option sales tax.
The estimated cost of improvements does not include the $209,000 acquisition cost of 80 acres to be added to Martin's Access. Ginger Walker, county conservation director, said she wants to raise money other than county government funds for purchase of the land, perhaps all from the competitive Resource Enhancement And Protection (REAP) grants.
Walker noted that there are grant requests totaling about five times the amount of REAP grants available. There are also non-competitive REAP grants distributed to counties on an annual basis.
Cherokee County has about $85,000 set aside for conservation department projects to be included in the estimated $150,000 in Martin's Access improvements. Walker said that the $150,000 is a rough estimate of what will be needed.
One of the projects planned is to increase the horse trails from three miles to 10 miles. Walker noted that there have been many positive comments about the new horse trail but it is generally regarded as necessary to have at least 10 miles of trail to attract the horse riding campers.
The supervisors approved an increase in the fee for a variance hearing from $150 to $175. The fee had already been adjusted just this year, but Larry Clark, county engineer and zoning administrator, said that $175 would be closer to actual costs for a hearing. The costs are different each time since the mileage costs will vary based on the distance traveled for site visits.
The supervisors decided to hold the line on reimbursement for meals that exceed the $25 per day allowed for county employees on trips.
One employee will need to reimburse the county about $3 for exceeding the limit.
The supervisors have also asked for an explanation of a charge for another meal not usually covered since there was no overnight stay, but since the trip was an inmate escort, the meal might not have been for the county employee.