Potential jail expansion, staffing increases, short-term rental regulations: Lexington County discusses priorities for 2024 – WLTX.com

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16 departments present their key focuses for the upcoming year.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — A potential jail expansion was among the 2024 priorities presented to leaders by 16 Lexington County departments on Saturday.

“This morning, our population was 678 inmates,” Major Robert Singleton said. “With a phased approach we were asked about recently, we want to move to 820 beds because, at 678, we’re over our rated capacity.”

The Lexington County Detention Center expansion would include a new kitchen, dorm, and intake facility with a nearly $83 million price tag. 

Another priority Lexington County Emergency Medical Services brought up was filling vacant positions.

According to Lexington County EMS Chief Brian Hood chief’s report, there is a need for paramedics as the state only graduated 130 paramedics in total for 2023. The department also wants to add a new office in western Lexington County to help reduce its emergency response time.

“And that will be a headquarter station for us – a west region headquarter and more than just a single service ambulance,” Hood said.

The Lexington County Community Development Department discussed its short-term rental ordinance and the potential need for increased staff to enforce it.

“With the number of short-term rentals in Lexington County – we anticipate to have about 1,000 short-term rentals in Lexington County – we’re going to have to create a staffing plan through zoning to address implementing these regulations,” said Robbie Derrick, the director of community development in Lexington County.

The county will discuss additional regulations and programs to implement with its ordinance at the next council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 4:30 p.m.

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