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Wedding & Event Venue Near Winnsboro, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Winnsboro, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Winnsboro, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Winnsboro native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Winnsboro, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Winnsboro, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Winnsboro, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Winnsboro, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Winnsboro, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Winnsboro, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Winnsboro, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Winnsboro, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Winnsboro's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Winnsboro.

 Wedding Venue Winnsboro, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Winnsboro?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Winnsboro, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Winnsboro, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Winnsboro, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Winnsboro, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Winnsboro, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Winnsboro, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Winnsboro, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Winnsboro, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Winnsboro, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Winnsboro, SC

Latest News in Winnsboro, SC

Winnsboro residents wondering why utility bills increased

WINNSBORO, S.C. — Some Winnsboro residents say they have noticed their utility bill is much higher than normal and can't figure out why."It's outrageous," said Winnsboro resident Clarence Pauling. "It's way too high."Pauling, who has lived in Winnsboro for more than 20 years, says his electric bill is normally between $350 to $400 a month."Nobody is in my house all day long and pretty much half the night. And my electric bill cost $600," Pauling said. "Fairfield County is a retire...

WINNSBORO, S.C. — Some Winnsboro residents say they have noticed their utility bill is much higher than normal and can't figure out why.

"It's outrageous," said Winnsboro resident Clarence Pauling. "It's way too high."

Pauling, who has lived in Winnsboro for more than 20 years, says his electric bill is normally between $350 to $400 a month.

"Nobody is in my house all day long and pretty much half the night. And my electric bill cost $600," Pauling said. "Fairfield County is a retirement county. There’s a lot of elderly people right here, living on a budget, fixed income, whatever you want to call it–they can’t afford to pay it."

Thomas Armstrong is another resident who has noticed a surge in his bill.

"I just last month had a utility bill that was for $900, and that was for a 54-day cycle," Armstrong said. "My issue is, why are we sending out 54-day cycles?"

Town manager Jason Taylor says while it may seem like it, no one is being charged extra. He explained the billing period was extended because of a staffing shortage.

"Some of our meter readers who were out reading those meters saw that they may not have a job in the near future because they were going electronic, and so we started losing meter readers," Taylor said. "They (council) made the decision to invest $4 million in a new system."

Taylor says one reader, out of the six they normally have, was left to record meters for thousands of residents in Winnsboro and Blythewood, causing a delay in sending out monthly bills. With six readers, he said they each would collect data for around 200 meters a day.

"It’s not that the bills have gone up," Taylor said. "We are waiving any and all fees associated with late bills or anything such as that."

With the shortage and delays, Taylor says residents are paying for two month's worth of utilities. He added that communication to residents about the delays should have been made more clear.

"If you pay towards your bill, we are not turning anyone off," Taylor said.

According to Taylor, officials hope to get the new systems for electric and water installed by 2024.

Fairfield County Council says the town owes over $60K

According to the Fairfield County Administrator, the Town of Winnsboro could lose their access to the county trash services for unpaid fees.WINNSBORO, S.C. — Residents in the Town of Winnsboro could lose their trash services, or be paying more for trash pick up."I really don't feel that they should be charging for this service at all," said Winnsboro Resident, Jeneria. She wishes to keep her last name anonymous.Jeneria said she pays the town a monthly fee to pick up her trash."The waste from o...

According to the Fairfield County Administrator, the Town of Winnsboro could lose their access to the county trash services for unpaid fees.

WINNSBORO, S.C. — Residents in the Town of Winnsboro could lose their trash services, or be paying more for trash pick up.

"I really don't feel that they should be charging for this service at all," said Winnsboro Resident, Jeneria. She wishes to keep her last name anonymous.

Jeneria said she pays the town a monthly fee to pick up her trash.

"The waste from our citizens, we send out trash trucks, we collect it, we aggregate it, and then we dump it in their facility," said Jason Taylor, Manger for the Town of Winnsboro."

Taylor said in the past, the town never had to pay to use the county dump.

"The county passed a unilateral fee without giving the town any notice, proper notice that we feel," Taylor said.

Last year, the county send the Town a bill charging $61.83 per ton of trash. Fairfield County's Deputy Administrator, Synithia Williams, confirmed with News 19, Winnsboro has never been charged for trash drop offs in the past.

But with the newly added feel, the town owes more than $61,811.75 According to County Council Chairman, Moses Bell, the fee was included in last years budget.

If the bill isn't paid, the Town will lose services to the county facility. Taylor said if Winnsboro does pay for the usage, residents could see an increase in their trash pick up fees.

Taylor adds, currently town residents pay $7 a month for trash pick up. Town Council has made a resolution, stating they will not pay the bill.

"I just really feel they could be trying to help with other things going on in our communities than to be fighting over trash," Jeneria said.

If services are cut off, Williams said residents are still able to drop off their residential waste to any of the County’s recycling drop off centers for free.

Another Winnsboro resident who wanted to remain anonymous said, without trash services, it could lead to more problems for the town.

"They'll basically let them pile it up in their backyard until something happens. It will be a lot of roaches, a lot of vermin, mice, rats. It just comes with the trash," the resident said.

The town is expected to pay the bill by March 30. Both the county and the town hope to have a mutual resolution before the deadline.

Foodshare Hub opens new location in Fairfield County

In an effort to provide more affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, a new Foodshare Hub opened up in Fairfield County.WINNSBORO, S.C. — FoodShare Hubs are becoming more accessible in different counties throughout South Carolina. On Wednesday, Foodshare South Carolina and Fairfield Forward, two organizations that aim to make healthy communities, opened up a hub in Winnsboro, at the Martin Primary Care Center."When you live on a fixed income...

In an effort to provide more affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, a new Foodshare Hub opened up in Fairfield County.

WINNSBORO, S.C. — FoodShare Hubs are becoming more accessible in different counties throughout South Carolina.

On Wednesday, Foodshare South Carolina and Fairfield Forward, two organizations that aim to make healthy communities, opened up a hub in Winnsboro, at the Martin Primary Care Center.

"When you live on a fixed income, you may not be able to get what you need and this is supplementing your diet, and it’s helping you out a whole lot," said Vonnie Anderson who lives in Winnsboro.

Anderson said she is excited to have access to fresh produce that's affordable.

"It comes in very handy," Anderson said. "It’s great for Fairfield County. I know a lot of families are going to be able to benefit from this.”

According to the USDA, the average price for produce have increased by nearly 1.5% compared to February.

The hub will provide fresh produce including strawberries, lettuce, peppers, potatoes, and more—all from the farmers market in Lexington County.

"It’s a way to have people in the community have a cheaper option to get healthier foods than you could possibly get at the grocery store," said Layla Zarif, Fairfield County FoodShare Coordinator. "Anybody can order food share. We take all walks of life here."

Foodshare South Carolina and Fairfield Forward have partnered together to open up the 19th Foodshare hub in the state. This will help service food insecure communities in Fairfield County with affordable fresh fruits & vegetables. @FoodShareSC @WLTX pic.twitter.com/7lfwrdynpy

— Tai Wong (@TaiWongNews) March 30, 2022

There are no qualifications to purchase and receive a box. Boxes are sold as low as $15. FoodShare does accept EBT and Snap, with prices as low as $5.

"This is a good option no matter where you are," Zarif said. "Everybody needs good healthy foods.”

The Mayor of Winnsboro John McMeekin said the program will be a great asset to the community.

"They will deliver food to the individuals in Fairfield County, to help them and produce a better quality of life," said Mayor McMeekin.

Anderson said she hopes everyone in Fairfield County take advantage of this program.

"I think it will be very-very good for everyone," Anderson said.

Currently, there is one in Richland County, Lee County, Kershaw County, Orangeburg County, York county, and many others.

To see if there is a FoodShare Hub location near you, visit foodshareSC.org.

Fairfield Council members spend while cutting back departments

WINNSBORO – Three Fairfield County Council members traveled to a seaside resort last summer to learn more about county government. They registered for a few classes and stayed extra nights.These expenses and others highlight an apparent pattern of frequent travel, double billing and other fiscal abuses found during a review of council member reimbursements.They tell a story of council member excess at a time when other county departments have been ordered to freeze or cut back their budgets.“Just because you ...

WINNSBORO – Three Fairfield County Council members traveled to a seaside resort last summer to learn more about county government. They registered for a few classes and stayed extra nights.

These expenses and others highlight an apparent pattern of frequent travel, double billing and other fiscal abuses found during a review of council member reimbursements.

They tell a story of council member excess at a time when other county departments have been ordered to freeze or cut back their budgets.

“Just because you are allowed to take reimbursements doesn’t mean you are allowed to rob the taxpayers blind,” said Councilman Doug Pauley, who says he’s not accepted reimbursements in the past six years.

Councilman Clarence Gilbert also didn’t seek reimbursements from taxpayer money. He motioned at the last council meeting for council members to cut their annual base pay from $15,000 to $10,000, but the motion failed 5-2.

“It’s so frustrating,” Gilbert said. “The way things are going now, it’s going to take the next council to get the county back to where it needs to be.”

Free time in Hilton Head

Although County Council pay levels lead other small counties (under 25,000 residents), some Fairfield council members relied on taxpayer money to attend conferences across the state, billing residents for over $13,000, according to documents obtained through the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.

A majority of that sum got spent at a four-star seaside resort in Hilton Head during the 2021 S.C. Association of Counties annual conference.

Chairman Moses Bell and council members Tim Roseborough and Neil Robinson stayed at the Hilton Head Marriott from July 29 to Aug. 3.

Their $8,672.30 bill covered lodging, conference registration, classes and daily per diems, records show.

Though they stayed six nights, none of the council members registered for a class after Aug. 1. It’s unclear how Bell, Roseborough and Robinson spent their time Aug. 2-3.

Roseborough declined to comment when reached by telephone.

Neither Bell nor Robinson could be reached for comment.

Pauley and Gilbert said annual conferences do have value, but neither thought their colleagues should’ve stayed extra nights at the taxpayers’ expense if they weren’t attending educational sessions.

“All the classes offered at the conference were available to us online,” Pauley said. “Considering our cutbacks and how tight Mr. Bell says money is for the county right now, I think they should have considered passing up the vacation last summer and viewing the classes online from Fairfield County.

“That’s a total disrespect of taxpayer money,” Pauley said. “If your classes are up, then it’s time for you to come home. There’s no sense staying another day or two just to have a vacation.”

Gilbert said staying extra nights feeds the public perception that conferences are merely taxpayer supported vacations.

“If they stayed on a couple of days; that tells me they used that as a vacation,” Gilbert said.

Bell signed up for three classes during the Hilton Head conference while Robinson registered for only two, according to county documents. Both appeared to preserve July 29-30 and Aug. 2-3 as open dates, records show.

The conference didn’t hold any events on July 29, according to an official schedule.

On July 30 and July 31, the conference offered its “Institute of Government” class at four different times.

Monday, Aug. 2 included several more classes that included “Councils of Governments Executive Directors,” “Probate Judges,” “Rural Caucus and Urban Caucus Meetings,” another “Institute of Government” session, and an unspecified workshop. A banquet and dance followed.

The conference concluded Aug. 3 with a “General Session” that started at 9:30 a.m.

Roseborough registered for five classes from July 30 to Aug. 1, but still appeared to keep an open schedule Aug. 2-3, records show.

Hilton Head Marriott nightly rates were $275 per night during the conference, so staying overnight Aug. 1 and Aug. 2 cost Fairfield County taxpayers approximately $1,650. Records do not show the county was reimbursed.

Billing records also suggest Bell, Robinson and Roseborough drove separately to the conference, despite staying at the same resort for the same duration.

Each reported driving 390 miles, resulting in individual mileage reimbursements of $218.40 per person (the county pays 56 cents a mile).

It’s unclear why council members didn’t carpool when doing so would’ve saved $436.80.

South Carolina road trip

Council members Shirley Greene and Roseborough spent even more time driving in 2021.

Greene and Roseborough zigzagged across the Palmetto State, attending various economic development conferences in North Augusta, Beaufort, Hartsville and Orangeburg.

Each submitted mileage reimbursement requests for precisely 786 miles, generating $880.32 in combined mileage costs, according to financial records obtained through the FOIA.

Greene and Roseborough also spent a combined $2,846.48 on lodging in their respective road trips, or $3,726.80 in total travel expenses excluding parking fees and per diem allotments.

Their travel costs came as a result of attending the S.C. Economic Development Institute, which offers a series of economic development and business-related courses in various South Carolina cities.

Fairfield financial records don’t state how much the 2021 courses themselves cost, but the institute’s website states this year’s courses cost $1,200 per person, or $300 per course.

Greene declined to comment.

“I just want you to know that I have no comment for your article,” Greene said in a voicemail.

According to its website, the institute provides a “highly interactive curriculum,” which offers a “greater ‘hands-on’ economic development experience.”

The courses didn’t appear to pay dividends back home, however.

The county is now searching for an economic development director. Ty Davenport, the former director, recently resigned to pursue other opportunities.

Pauley thought Davenport’s departure carries serious repercussions for the county’s future economic development prospects.

“Ty did a great job for the county. Our greatest asset pretty much went to our biggest competitor, Richland County,” Pauley said. “Ty knows everything about Fairfield County economic development and now that knowledge is going elsewhere. The county shouldn’t have let that happen.”

Other odds and ends

In addition to travel costs, five of the seven council members – Bell, Greene, Trapp, Roseborough and Robinson – received a total of $14,714.40 in miscellaneous reimbursements.

Greene spent the most, invoicing the county $4,119.16 in expenses. Council Chairman Bell billed the county $3,338.57.

Roseborough ($2,6822.68), Trapp ($2,373.61), and Robinson ($2,200.38) rounded out the top five.

Council members Pauley and Gilbert didn’t seek or accept reimbursements, according to documents obtained by The Voice.

Both told The Voice that they thought that’s what the $15,000 salary [that they receive as council members] is for.

In addition to the $15,000, Bell, as chair of council, receives a supplement of $4,800 over what the other council members receive for a total of almost $20,000 annually. Greene, as council vice chair, receives a supplement of $3,000 over what the other council members receive.

The five council members’ reimbursement payments consisted of a variety of ordinary day-to-day expenses, such as cell phone, internet service and office supplies.

Some of the five were reimbursed for local and regional travel, though some requests seemed hard to justify.

For example, five of the council members sought and received mileage checks to attend council meetings. County staff members are not reimbursed for the cost of commuting to work.

“To me that’s ludicrous,” Gilbert said. “They’re just draining the county, sucking the county dry.”

Some council members also submitted mileage requests for various photo ops or social gatherings.

“They’re claiming everything that they can claim,” Pauley said.

Individual expenses raise more questions.

In May 2021, Councilwoman Greene sought reimbursement for a 322-mile trip to Greensboro for a meeting with the International Civil Rights Museum director. The trip cost taxpayers $180.32, records show.

It’s unclear what direct bearing the Greensboro meeting had on county business.

“That kind of stuff is just crazy. We have to give back too,” Gilbert said. “A little reimbursement is OK, but we’ve got people out there who are hurting financially.”

A month later, Greene sought reimbursement after driving 44 miles to pick up a “review packet” from the county building.

In December 2021, Roseborough drove 52.5 miles to attend the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce’s annual drop-in. He also drove 30 miles for a Midlands Technical College meet and greet.

Records show Roseborough was compensated for both trips.

Bell, the council chair, drove 74 miles to Midlands Technical College as a “county rep” for May 2021 graduation ceremonies. He made the trip again a month later for an unspecified groundbreaking.

Both trips were to Columbia, which is outside Fairfield County, and cost $82.88 in mileage expenses.

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Over $700,000 withheld from Fairfield County after county fails to submit audit to state

South Carolina law requires municipalities and counties to conduct annual audits to ensure the proper reporting, collection and disruption of fines and assessments.WINNSBORO, S.C. — A Midlands county is working overtime to get their audit reports filed after missing the deadline and jeopardizing more than $700,000 in state funding.South Carolina law requires municipalities and counties to conduct annual audits to ensure the proper reporting, collection and disruption of fines and assessments.By December 31 every ye...

South Carolina law requires municipalities and counties to conduct annual audits to ensure the proper reporting, collection and disruption of fines and assessments.

WINNSBORO, S.C. — A Midlands county is working overtime to get their audit reports filed after missing the deadline and jeopardizing more than $700,000 in state funding.

South Carolina law requires municipalities and counties to conduct annual audits to ensure the proper reporting, collection and disruption of fines and assessments.

By December 31 every year, counties have to have their audits approved and sent into the South Carolina Comptroller’s office. Fairfield County didn’t get theirs done in time.

Now, over $700,000 in state funding is being withheld from Fairfield County.

Fairfield County deputy administrator Synithia Williams says the county got an extension until January 21, but they missed that deadline, too.

“The county has six-months from the end of the fiscal year to submit it to the comptroller’s office," Williams said. “The comptroller general was sending information to an inactive email address, a former employee that wasn’t here anymore.”

South Carolina Comptroller Richard Eckstrom is withholding, $730,000 from Fairfield County.

“The law is really there to protect those tax payers," Eckstrom said. "I really don’t understand how a county council could let county full-time employees continue in their employment if those full-time county employees can’t keep up with the county funds.”

According to Williams, Fairfield County’s audits are currently being reviewed by an independent audit firm. Once approved, they then have to be submitted to county council for approval. They are aiming to have the audits on the comptroller's desk by the first week of April.

Eckstrom says counties need to start taking their accounting seriously. "They really ought to have their accountants doing their accounting.”

Fairfield County officials say they have implemented new measures to ensure this doesn't happen again. "Trying to put all the procedures in place to make sure we are not in this situation again,” Williams said.

According to the South Carolina Comptroller General's Office, there are 10 other counties across the state that are late submitting their audits. Here in the Midlands, $3.6 million is being withheld from Orangeburg County and more than $655,000 from Calhoun County, both late in submitting their audit reports.

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