To continue to provide the best possible customer service to the citizens of South Carolina, the Charleston District’s Regulatory Division is expanding.
“The upstate has grown so much over the last few years that we can barely keep up with permit applications in that area now,” said Brice McKoy, Chief, Regulatory Northwest Division, whose office in Columbia manages the midlands and upstate regions of South Carolina. “The expansion isn’t slowing. To manage the enormous workload and improve customer service, it’s necessary that we create a satellite office in Greenville to better-serve this area of the state.”
Over the past five years, there have been a total of 1,705 regulatory actions in six upstate counties alone. That averages 341 actions per year in those counties. With the closest office in Columbia, it is not practical to conduct as many on-site visits and face-to-face meetings as needed due to the distance.
“A project manager is driving weekly from Columbia to Greenville, which is approximately 100 miles one way and three hours roundtrip,” said McKoy. “By relocating two project managers from our Columbia office to the Greenville area, we would be able to reduce 204 hours of travel time per year to the upstate. We can accomplish a lot in 204 hours!”
The Greenville satellite office will start with two project managers from the Northwest office and cover six counties; Greenville, Pickens, Oconee, Anderson, Spartanburg and Cherokee.
“History has shown that, with the establishment of a field office, the public’s awareness of the program spreads because of our presence in the area,” said McKoy. “This will maximize the effectiveness of the Corps’ Regulatory program, and provide improved services to the citizens, businesses and governmental officials in the upstate area of South Carolina. This will ultimately increase the protection of the environment, which is the main mission of the Regulatory program.”
Along with improving access to the people in the upstate area, this office cuts down on travel time and increases the efficiency of the Regulatory program by improving permit processing times.
“We want to be available to the public, but it’s challenging when we are nearly 100 miles away in Columbia,” said McKoy. “With the opening of the Greenville office, District employees will be out and about more which expands our visibility and creates a level of trust with the community.”
The District is evaluating locations with the hopes of having the office up and running by the end of 2017. Stay tuned for more information about the new Greenville satellite office.