On Monday, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources opened the first ever Holly County Customer Service Office in Einer, making hunting, fishing and boating licenses easier for locals.
The office at 640, 9th Avenue, Einer is to the left of the old Einer Fire Department, which DNR rents from Holly County. The supervisor and four customer service representatives work in the office from 8:30 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. However, it is open on Wednesdays at 9:30 am.
In addition to customer service, DNR officers will use the facility as a base for Holly County. The bay that housed the fire trucks now houses equipment used by police, such as vehicles and boats. Captain Michael Paul Thomas of DNR said the sergeant and seven police officers would be based in the facility.
Residents can obtain a boat license and title at the office, as well as the tags needed to hunt turkeys and deer. Previously, residents could obtain these documents by mail or by car to Charleston or Colombia. DNR has a so-called “express” center in Florence, but its office does not handle boats, only fishing and hunting.
Holly County is home to many boaters and fishermen, and DNR authorities want to provide better service to the growing coastal areas of new facilities. Robert Boyle, director of DNR, said more than 29,000 boats live in Holly County alone.
On Monday, a customer service representative stood behind the counter after the state legislature, members of the Horry County Council, and several DNR staff ceremonially cut the green ribbon in front of the office door, the first day of service. It was started.
Jerry Gardner was the second customer. Gardner, who lives in Conway, has a physical office where he can go to handle the boat business instead of repeatedly asking “stand up on the phone” and “welcome the first available operator.” He said he was particularly excited.
Unfortunately, however, Gardner’s boat-titled situation was too complex for Einer’s office to handle, and we need to go trekking to Colombia to sort it out. He took the boat to a ribbon cut. Still, he was pleased that the new office was opened.
“It worked,” he said after leaving the office. “I didn’t have to go to Colombia, but I had to follow my situation. It was one of them and it was sold, sold, sold and got the title. There is no such thing, so we need to investigate now. “
Colombian DNR officers should investigate the history of the boat before giving it the proper title. However, Gardner did not leave empty-handed. He also received the tags needed if he wanted to go turkey hunting. He usually doesn’t hunt, but said tags might be useful anyway.
“I take them, they’re free. If my sister gets frustrated, I’ll go shoot the feeding turkeys,” he said with a laugh.
The new DNR office, headed by South Carolina Parliamentarian Jeff Johnson, who represents Einer and part of Conway, will be opened with funding for at least five years and may be expanded thereafter. Johnson said he began working to open an office after hearing complaints from stakeholders.
“There was a phone call from the members, and they called me and said,” You need to drive to Charleston or Colombia or get the title of the boat. ” Now, let’s try to do something here in Holly County. “
Johnson successfully convinced the state legislature to properly fund the new office, and after being recommended by regional representative Holly County Councilor Al Allen, he and DNR became the location of the office. He said he had settled on Einer. In addition, Johnson and DNR director Boyles said the location would allow DNR to serve not only parts of Marion and Florence counties, but other areas along the Peedy River.
“This isn’t just for Holly County. It happens to be here for this speedy area,” Johnson said. “There is no better place. It will be positive for Einer.”
Boyles added that the office in Einer could also boost the local economy. For example, he said, people who come to work on a boat during lunch may fill up petrol before stopping at an Aynor restaurant for lunch or returning to work or home.
“We believe it will generate spillover traffic for local businesses,” Boyles said.
The DNR Center has a start-up cost and a budget of $ 250,000 to $ 300,000 for one year of operation in the first year of operation, the agency said last year when the move to Einer was first announced. I did. Part of that cost is the leasing of an agency with Holly County, which owns the former fire department, which the office now calls home. The lease allows DNR to use 3,450 square feet of a 9,000-square-foot building for a five-year, $ 4,025 / month rent.
Horry County Fire Rescue will leave the building in mid-2019, New facility Located on Jordanville Road.
As a result of the two-year process, Johnny Gardner, chair of the Horry County Council, said a lot of cooperation was needed between state legislatures and the DNR to complete the project.
“That’s great. It will really help Holly County and the counties around it that don’t want to drive a long way,” he said. “It’s the result of a lot of teamwork.”
On Monday, Brian Kennen of Conway had customer number 3 and the office opened just in time. An Intracoastal Waterway sailor, Kennen is a fisherman who sails on small John boats and frequently visits Sandy Island. He said he was planning to take part in cleaning the waterways this weekend and was looking for a title on his boat before hitting the water to help.
“It was fast and easy, I’m happy,” he said after leaving the office. “Much faster than email.”