Kershaw County Economic Development Office | 80 Campus Dr. | P.O. Box 763 Camden, SC 29021 | Tel: 803-425-7685 | Fax: 803-425-7687 |

KershawHealth may be getting neighbor in Elgin

May 24, 2016

The Chronicle-Independent Newspaper
By: Martin L. Cahn

When KershawHealth's Outpatient/Urgent Care Center opened in Elgin seven years ago in October 2009, the county's plan was for it to become the anchor of the Wateree Executive Park. Various factors, including the economy at the time, kept KershawHealth -- now owned by Capella Healthcare of Tennessee -- the only tenant in the park. 

That may be about to change. 

At its meeting this afternoon, Kershaw County Council will consider second reading of an ordinance regarding an option for Ernest Health Holdings (EHH), a Delaware corporation, to purchase an 8.63 acre portion of the business park off Whiting Way near I-20 Exit 87. According to its website, Ernest Health "provides specialized mediacl and rehabilitative services to patients recovering from disabilities caused by injuries or illnesses, or from chronic or complex medical conditions." It delivers those services through its rehabilitation and/or long-term acute care hospitals.

The ordinance indicates Ernest Health plans to invest $17.8 million and create 113 new jobs within its five years of operation in Kershaw County.

First reading of the ordinance took place April 26, but only referred to Ernest Health as "Project Health." 

In addition to facilities in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, Ernest Health maintains two facilities in South Carolina: Greenwood Regional Rehabilitation Hospital and Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute.

The agreement, if approved on a subsequent third and final reading, would grant Ernest Health the option for one year from its effective date to purchase the 8.63 acres for $30,000 per acre, $258,900. During the year-long option, Ernest Health would have the right to inspect, survey and appraise the property, and conduct environmental and other studies to determine if they wish to exercise its option to purchase the property. It can exercise that option any time during the agreement year. 

In addition, the ordinance includes a possible fee in lieu of taxes (FILOT) agreement for Ernest Health should it exercise its option to purchase the property. If it does so, the county will lower its property tax assessment rate to 6 percent and the current millage rate of 317.5 mils will be locked for the agreement term. A Special Source Revenue Credit against Ernest Holder's FILOT payment will be issued at 10 percent for the first five years of operation. The county would also extend an already existing sewer line to the property and reimburse Ernest Health for the costs of extending a gas line up to $90,950.

In other business this afternoon, council will:

  • hear a presentation from Mike Briggs and Melissa Mims of the Central South Carolina Alliance;
  • consider proclaiming May as American Legion Poppy Month;
  • consider a resolution adopting Accommodations Tax Committee guidelines;
  • consider a resolution supporting the Local Government Fund; 
  • consider third and final reading of an ordinance rezoning 25.91 acres -- Phase 5 of the King Haigler subdivision near Pine Tree Hill Elementary School -- from general development to R-15 residential;
  • consider second reading of an ordinance authorizing a FILOT with TEP Real Estate LLC, representing Protective Packaging of Lugoff, in conjunction with its plan to invest $2.5 million into a two-year expansion; and
  • consider second reading of an ordinance adopting the county's proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget. 

Today's meeting begins at 5:30pm in council chambers at the Kershaw County Government Center, 515 Walnut Street in Camden, and is open to the public. 

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"The new Mechatronics Program at Central Carolina Technical College's Kershaw County Campus will help us meet one of the most significant needs of our industries today -- the industrial maintenance technician. Graduates will be well prepared to perform a critical role in the modern, automated workplace found in today's manufacturing plants. This is essential for the continued success of our local industries and broadens the opportunities of our students."
-- Peggy McLean - Kershaw County Economic Development Director