North, South Carolina state line could move

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Joint boundary commission to meet Feb. 14 in Rock Hill
Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson recently received a letter from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources saying the states of North and South Carolina have created the N.C.-S.C. State Boundary Commission to determine the official border between the two states. The letter said the commission is seeking input on how potential changes might affect residents and counties.
Whitson announced the letter during the Polk County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, Feb. 6 and said he was very surprised. Since little to no information is yet known of how the boundaries may change, if at all, commissioners had little discussion. Commissioner Ted Owens said when he was on the board of commissioners in the 1980s the state discussed the same thing.
Commissioners agreed for Whitson to attend a meeting on Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. at the Bowater Room of the Baxter Hood Center at York Technical College in Rock Hill, S.C.
The letter was sent on Jan. 25 by Gary W. Thompson, N.C.-S.C. Boundary Commission co-chair.
The complete letter is as follows:
“Dear Mr. Whitson:
“North Carolina and South Carolina created the N.C.-S.C. Joint Boundary Commission to re-establish the original and official boundary between our two states. As you are aware, there has been much jurisdictional confusion across our common boundary due to the uncertainty of the boundary’s precise location, which was established in sections by a series of surveys between 1735 and 1815, because the boundary surveyors did not permanently mark the boundary with stone or cement monuments, but instead marked the boundary by simply chopping hack marks into trees. Consequently, the boundary became more and more ambiguous as these ‘boundary trees’ disappeared, because neither state maintained the boundary’s location with permanent monuments.
“The commission, which is administered by the N.C. Geodetic Survey (NCGS) and the S.C. Geodetic Survey (SCGS), has been charged with the task of locating the original boundary points. Both states are committed to accurately determining the original location of the boundary; marking it with permanent monuments so that this confusion will not continue into the future; and minimizing impact on the affected residents, property owners, businesses and county governments.
“The commission has approved the technical work re-establishing the following (please peruse the enclosed boundary map):
“• ‘Old North Corner’ to ‘Block House’ boundary section, which was originally surveyed in 1772
“• ‘Old North Corner’ to the Catawba Indian Reservation boundary subsection, which was resurveyed and changed in 1813
“Before the commission will send its boundary survey recommendation to N.C. and S.C. state officials for their review and adoption (N.C. General Statute 141-5), the commission would like to determine how the affected property owners, residents and businesses would be impacted if their property, residence or business were deemed to be across the line (i.e. in North Carolina instead of in South Carolina or vice versa). Thus, the commission sent letters to these people seeking their views and is compiling their responses so that state officials will be able to address those issues in an effort to minimize the impact of the re-established boundary.
“In addition to recognizing that there would be issues at the property level, the commission also recognized that there would be issues at the county government level. Consequently, we are seeking input from county officials and will hold a meeting regarding the re-establishment of the N.C.-S.C. boundary section between ‘Old North Corner’ and ‘Block House’ for county officials of the affected counties at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 at the following location (please refer to the enclosed road map or visit:
“Bowater Room of the Baxter Hood Center, York Technical College, 452 S. Anderson Rd., Rock Hill, S.C. 29730
“We would request each county to send one or two representatives to this meeting. Thank you for your consideration.
Gary W. Thompson
Co-chair, N.C.-S.C. Joint Boundary Commission”

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