After nearly 18 months of discussions and six months with a new policy in place, Greenwood County Council unanimously passed a boundary line agreement on Lake Greenwood during their regular meeting Tuesday night.
The issue first came up in July 2012 when a boundary line agreement would have benefited the county to the tune of about $11,000. At the heart of the issue, however, was the fact that the county paid all of the fees associated with the boundary line agreement.
Council again took up the issue in Feb. 2013 after Mark Allison took over as chairman of county council and Bob Fisher and Steve Brown first took their seats on council. Brown said he took exception to the fact that the county paid fees for an agreement which benefited one person and the fact that the county was charging for the portion of land in dispute.
"We have an issue where people think they have owned a piece of land for a number of years, only to find out the county owns it," Brown said during a meeting in March 2013. "What's even worse is they have been paying taxes on it for all those years."
The source of contention, according to county engineer Larry Smith, was the difference in surveying standards between the 1930s when the county purchased the property around the lake and today's standards. According to state law, ownership of property is determined by the original plat, not by who has been paying taxes on the property.
In Dec. 2013, council unanimously approved a new policy which would essentially make the boundary line the current 440 contour around the lake. Additionally, the property owner requesting the agreement, who has traditionally paid for the surveying of the property, would pay the fee for preparing the deed as well.
The proposed boundary line agreement voted upon Tuesday has been on the table for some time awaiting final preparation of the deed. Council unanimously approved the agreement, ushering in a new era in the way the county does business on Lake Greenwood.