Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Catawba, SC

Home Care Catawba, SC

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Carhartt Mansion Ruins gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Catawba, SC is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Catawba, SC

location Service Areas

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Phil Davidson and his staff provides the best service around in the York County area...Very professional and they truly care about their clients...I highly recommend Always Best Care of Rock Hill”

Will J.

“Looking for a loving and caring place for a parent, grandparent or any loved one? Look no further than Phil and his team at Always Best Care of Rock Hill!”

Tamaya M.

“I have enjoyed working with Always Best. They are informative and helpful. When I need to schedule care, they are very responsive. Definitely a good choice in companion care.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine B.

“I have worked for many agencies as a CNA. Always Best Care of Rock Hill, SC is by far the best! They treat their clients and caregivers with generosity and compassion. They go "above and beyond" in every area. You can't go wrong with them.”

Loretta B.

“They gave my mother the most wonderful, loving care. They were very accommodating when we needed to make changes in the schedule. After dealing with two other agencies I wish I had gone with them from the start. They deserve a 10!”

Bobbie S.

“New Employee & I’m loving it already”

Sonda P.

“Needed care for my mother with dementia, and father with medical issues. The team at Always Best Care were very responsive to our needs for 24/7 care for about 8 weeks. They try hard to have the same caregivers come to the house for continuity of care. The family really appreciated Phil's assistance with placing my parents in Assisted Living. His knowledge of the local York County homes was invaluable to placing my parents in a welcoming environment. I would highly recommend Always Best Care to help with senior care!”

Mary E.

“I have had the best support from a caring and supporting staff over the past year. The AMAZING part is that I live in CA and they're providing these services in Rock Hill. When I have any questions they are quick to get my answer back in a timely manner.”

James G.

“I could probably say that I was a past client of this provider, but because I continue to receive words of encouragement and advise from them, I still claim the current client status. Their help with my mother that was provided while she was at home was fantastic. They also have helped guide us through hospital and rehab stays. I would have to give them a 5 star rating and honestly can not think of one thing that went wrong on their part while we used their care The Caregiver was excellent. I wholeheartedly would recommend Always Best Care to anyone that finds themselves needing a caregiver to come along beside them.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine G.

“We're using Always Best Care for my parents. They're fantastic. The caregivers are professional, courteous, entertaining, and accommodating. They mainly provide medication management and companionship. I feel like they give personal touches, and there's a certain professionalism to them that other agencies I contacted didn't have.”


“Excellent care was given to my mother. Thank you for being there when we needed you.”

Robin J.

“Always Best Care has been providing care givers for my 91 year old father for more than 2 years now. I have been happy with their staff. My father is cared for with love and dignity and with their help I've been able to keep him in my home.”

Laura A.

“Always Best Care service was very helpful in locating an assisted living facility for my Mother. Very professional and I would use them again.”


“It was time to consider alternative living arrangements for my mom. She was living on her own in a single-family home that she loved. She was in need of assistance with daily household chores, driving, and managing daily functions. I was given Phil Davidson's name from a social worker. He explained that Phil (and his company Always Best Care), may be a good resource for me and my mom. We began with some in home care (3-5 days a week). Phil met my mom, established a great working relationship with her, and had one of his staff members become my mom's in home caregiver. Phil took the time to get to know my mom and aligned her needs and personality with the right person to help her. Eventually we needed to look for an Assisted Living community. Phil was there to guide us. He arranged meetings with a variety of communities and toured with them with us. Phil knew the right questions to ask and always kept my mom's wishes on his checklist. I especially liked that Phil does not get paid by us, but rather by the facility that we ended up choosing. Phil and his staff were great to work with. Exceptionally professional and understanding of my mom.”

Rich S.

“I had a wonderful experience using Always Best Care Senior Services! The owner, Phil Davidson, along with our wonderful caregiver, Sarah , came to my house so that I could meet them and get to know them before my parents moved in with my family for several months! As we sat discussing our plan of care, I got the feeling they would treat my parents like part of their family! And they sure did! Sarah was kind, patient and very knowledgeable with my parents and their medical issues. Sarah was so helpful to me and my family! I would not have been able to make it through those months without her! I felt at ease and had no worries when I was at work, or having some ME time! I knew my parents were in caring and trustworthy hands! So, I would highly recommend Always Best Care senior Services!!”

Stephanie C.

“Phil, I just wanted to recount to you what my Mother told me on the phone this morning about your employee, and my parent's caretaker, Vicky Jo. Vicky Jo started with my parents in March of 2012, during a very difficult time. My father had fallen and broken his neck, on top of coping with Parkinson's. My mother took care of him, as well as their home and while we could help some, the day to day chores took a toll on her. We were afraid we were going to lose her health as well. In a huge stroke of luck, we were able to find a two-bedroom apartment at Chandler Place which would provide meals and emergency response services, alleviating a good bit of my mom's responsibilities and stress. In an even bigger stroke of luck, we began using Vicky Jo two hours every morning to help my father with bathing and dressing. In the months that followed, Vicky Jo has not only provided physical support, but significant moral support to both my parents. She is very capable, upbeat and genuine. My mother is absolutely devoted to her and feels she can trust her with anything. We couldn't be more grateful for her, and for you as well for providing her to us. I also want to take a moment to thank you, as you have gone above and beyond in your interaction and care of my parents. I can tell you truly care about my folks and their well being and it is such an amazing thing to see in this day and age when everything seems like it is only about the money. Blessing to you and your business. I know that you will be a God Send to other families as well and I wish you the best. Please know that if you are ever in need of a referral, I would be delighted to provide one for you.”

Barbara S.

“It is a pleasure doing business with a professional and ethical company”

Kristen B.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

Karissa L.

“Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John R.

“Dear Phil, "We would like to thank you and your staff for providing such wonderful live-in care for our Grandfather from June through October 2013. Our family found ourselves in the most unimaginable situation when our Grandmother was unexpectedly hospitalized in late May and ultimately passed away in June. As you know, she was the sole caregiver for our Grandfather who has severe Alzheimer's disease. We are so very fortunate that we discovered your agency! You were able to promptly place qualified caregivers in his home and this gave our family immediate peace of mind. The level of care and compassion that you and your caregivers demonstrated toward our Grandfather is more than we ever anticipated and we will be forever grateful. You all walked with him through the terrible tragedy of losing his wife of 67 years. You and your staff provided extraordinary physical and emotional care for him through his grief and made getting him back to a "normal" life your top priority upon her death. In addition to the care you all provided my Grandfather, you were so kind to help educate us on the progression of Alzheimer's. You were a wonderful resource to us on what to expect in the next phases of this disease and help us plan for long-term care for him. While we are very sad to have to place him in a memory care-assisted living facility, we made the decision knowing that this will be the best place for him as he ages and his disease worsens. Your guidance and expertise in helping us choose the right facility for him helped make this daunting task bearable. Thank you again for all that you have done for our grandfather and for our family! We will be forever grateful!”

Ashley S.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

K L.

“Dear Phil, Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John A.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Catawba, SC?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Catawba, SC

Types of Elderly Care in Catawba, SC

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Catawba, SC
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Catawba, SC
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting David A. Hunsucker Memorial Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Catawba, SC
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Waterside Bar and Grill or visit Murray's Mill Historic Site, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Catawba, SC

Benefits of Home Care in Catawba, SC

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Catawba, SC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Catawba, SC

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your SC's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Catawba, SC

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Catawba, SC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Catawba, SC

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Catawba, SC

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Catawba Valley Living at Rock Barn
  • Springs of Catawba
  • Graceview Homes
  • Alberta House
  • Kingston Residence of Hickory
  • Brookdale Falling Creek
Home Care Catawba, SC

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Catawba, SC

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Catawba, SC 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Catawba, SC

Latest News in Catawba, SC

Identical homes, different tax bills: South Carolina homeowners blame ‘unfair’ state law

INDIAN LAND, S.C. (WBTV) - Two homes in a Lancaster County subdivision sit side by side.Built in 2008, the 3,987 sq. feet floor plans with two-door garages are virtually identical. Click back and forth between the property listings on Lancaster County’s online property records, and almost no text changes.No text, that is, except the tax bills: Ed Dockweiler on Cressingham Drive owes the county $3,560 in property taxes for 2023.His neighbor next door in the identical home? $2,319.“I don’t think it...

INDIAN LAND, S.C. (WBTV) - Two homes in a Lancaster County subdivision sit side by side.

Built in 2008, the 3,987 sq. feet floor plans with two-door garages are virtually identical. Click back and forth between the property listings on Lancaster County’s online property records, and almost no text changes.

No text, that is, except the tax bills: Ed Dockweiler on Cressingham Drive owes the county $3,560 in property taxes for 2023.

His neighbor next door in the identical home? $2,319.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Dockweiler said, standing outside the home this fall that he bought in late 2021. “I don’t want to see my neighbor’s taxes increase. What I do want to see is a more level playing field.”

Just up the road in the same subdivision, realtor Brian McCarron has a slightly larger home than Dockweiler and a tax bill a thousand dollars cheaper.

When another new neighbor in the subdivision approached McCarron to ask why he’d been hit with a property tax bill far higher than he’d been told to expect when buying his new home, McCarron went digging.

A South Carolina law implemented in 2006, as McCarron found out, caps how much the taxable value of a home can increase over a five-year period to just 15% -- unless the home is sold.

In other words, a home’s taxable worth of $300,000 in 2018 can at maximum only have a taxable value of $345,000 when reassessed in 2023 – until someone like Dockweiler comes along in 2021 and purchases the home for $550,000 at the current market rate.

That’s exactly what happened to Dockweiler and dozens of other new homeowners, who responded in frustration when McCarron put out a call on social media asking who was noticing unexpected tax increases after purchasing a home in 2021 or since.

South Carolina’s law protects longtime homeowners in South Carolina from massive swings in the housing market, such as the country has seen since mid-2021. Anyone who bought before the pandemic in the subdivision is paying taxes on an amount that’s close to the one they paid when closing on the home.

Newcomers, however, pay a price. Dockweiler’s home was worth $300,000 when it was built in 2008, but anyone who’s been paying attention to housing costs in the Charlotte metro area - or anywhere else in the country - in the last couple of years won’t be surprised by the 83% increase in value when he bought it in 2021.

“When you look at a house that’s all the sudden contributing a thousand dollars more to the county’s budget? That seems excessive and not really fair to somebody who’s two doors down and still contributing essentially the same amount of money,” McCarron explained. “I understand cost goes up every year, but there’s got to be a way we can balance that.”

When asked about the situation, Lancaster County administrator Dennis Marshall pointed to the state-mandated five-year reassessment schedule that the county adheres to, saying it “evens out” the differences (It’s the reassessment, however, that state law caps at 15% and hasn’t kept up with rapidly rising market values.).

“Those differences get evened out through the state-mandated reassessment process the County must undertake every five years,” Marshall wrote in an email. “Every County in South Carolina experiences these differences in residential tax values, but Lancaster, like the other 45 counties, undertakes the mandated reassessment process to address the temporary disparity in assessed home values.”

A guide from Charleston County in South Carolina makes it explicit, however: “At reassessment, the taxable value can increase no more than 15% over the previous taxable value.”

Laws capping home value increases until sale aren’t uncommon. More than a dozen states have some kind of cap on assessment increases, according to the finance and business media outlet Kiplinger.

North Carolina is not one of those states, something that Charlotte-area realtor April Villines says contributes to a whole different set of issues where longtime homeowners are more subject to the whims of the market.

“Each county can actually come in and assess at any time, so if they feel the need to do an assessment, they’re going to go ahead and do that,” Villines explained. “It has caused some disruption during the market recently because of the heavy increase in property values.”

Mecklenburg County, which re-assesses every four years, partially offset that impact in the last assessment by lowering their tax rates instead, Villines noted. Still, the market impact on homeowners in North Carolina can be severe.

“I think that’s really the question we need to be asking; does the 26% in market value increase, does that really need to reflect tax increases? So I think we need to almost reconsider our adjustment.”

Copyright 2023 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Exhibition honors Catawba Nation’s artistry and culture

Depending on how you want to look at it, the Columbia Museum of Art’s exhibition Resurgence and Renaissance: Art of the Catawba Nation Since 1973 could be thought of as a few years, 50 years or a few millennia in the making.Stroll through the exhibition space for just a few minutes, though, and one thing is clear: The attention that Catawba artists are getting is overdue.A collaboration between USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center and the CMA, the exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, features 82 ...

Depending on how you want to look at it, the Columbia Museum of Art’s exhibition Resurgence and Renaissance: Art of the Catawba Nation Since 1973 could be thought of as a few years, 50 years or a few millennia in the making.

Stroll through the exhibition space for just a few minutes, though, and one thing is clear: The attention that Catawba artists are getting is overdue.

A collaboration between USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center and the CMA, the exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, features 82 items — primarily pottery but also quilts, hats, baskets and photos of some of the Catawba potters.

All of the pieces on view are from the collections of the Native American Studies Center, which was established in 2012 for the study of South Carolina’s Native American peoples, their histories and their cultures. The center features archaeology, language, and folklore and oral history labs; primary and secondary texts on Native Americans in the Southeast; classes and programs for both students and the public; and, perhaps most notably, the largest collection of Catawba pottery in existence.

But to understand today’s exhibition, one must first look back several decades more, at least. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the museum’s first Catawba pottery exhibition, in 1973. It was organized by a USC Columbia graduate student, Steve Baker, who recognized the pottery as a traditional art form.

Stephen Criswell, director of Native American studies, professor of English and folklorist at USC Lancaster, discussed the impact of the 1973 exhibition at a recent lunch and learn conducted by the NASC.

“It was the first time that outsiders began to see Catawba pottery as art, and collectors began to see it as art,” Criswell said. “And the price of the pottery reflected that, and the reverence for the pottery began around this time. Potters had been working for, what, 5,000, 6,000, 7,000 years making this pottery. They’d been doing this for generations and generations, and the pottery was sold for very, very meager prices, and often traded for goods or services.”

Catawba pottery had been exhibited at museums before, but typically at natural history museums, “sort of exoticizing the Catawba instead of seeing this work as art,” Criswell said. But Baker did see it as art.

This marked a monumental shift in attitudes regarding Native American skills and artistry. Presenting the pottery as art changed people’s perceptions, and it opened up a market for the Catawba thanks to newfound demand for their craft.

As a result, at a time when some, including Baker, were beginning to wonder how much longer these ancient techniques would survive, production increased, helping to breathe new life into a time-honored tradition.

As evidenced by the pieces featured at the CMA, today’s Catawba potters still use the techniques passed down from generation to generation for some 5,000 years or more, even while they explore their own creativity. The pottery is made from traditional clay resources, time-honored fire methods are used, and mostly traditional forms are still seen as well.

Their processes also carry some traits that are distinct from modern pottery making. The elements within the clay used affect the final colors of the art, so there is often distinct coloring that is a result of the firing process and different types of clay. Additionally, Catawba pottery is unglazed, which affects both the creation process and the finished product. The results are fascinating and beautiful.

Resurgence and Renaissance, however, is about more than just the pottery, and about more than 1973. “It was important for us to let the experts and the citizens of Catawba Nation take the lead,” says Jackie Adams, director of art and learning at the CMA. “We wanted to center Catawba voices not just through the objects, but with the design of the show.”

So, in addition to the works of art, elements of storytelling, folklore and language were brought into the exhibition. Even the color of the walls — a rich blue — represents water, specifically the Catawba River. There are also graphic elements to the show created by Alex Osborne, a Catawba citizen, designer and featured artist. Osborne’s work includes a large, striking image of a Catawba chief’s head and a genealogy tree of artists and potters that goes back generations.

It all makes for a captivating, entertaining and highly educational experience that must be seen in person to be truly appreciated. “I remember Beckee (Garris, NASC program assistant and Catawba artist) said something: ‘People still think we walk around in leathers and feathers,’ ” Adams says. “There are these really perpetual stereotypes that still exist, and we need to counter those. And the show does that.”

— Images courtesy of the Columbia Museum of Art

If you're going

Resurgence and Renaissance: Art of the Catawba Nation since 1973 is on display at the Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St., through Sept. 3.

How the Catawbas will spend $4.8 million in federal money: ‘Heal our land and river’

Tribal members of South Carolina’s Catawba Indian Nation near Rock Hill are called, “The people of the river.”On Thursday, they were joined by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to unveil plans to conserve and re-establish land and plants near the river that are unique to the heritage of the Catawbas. Haaland and the federal government will give the tribe $4.8 million to do it.The goal is to “respect nature, and restore, balance,” Haaland told a gathering tribal leaders and members, along w...

Tribal members of South Carolina’s Catawba Indian Nation near Rock Hill are called, “The people of the river.”

On Thursday, they were joined by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to unveil plans to conserve and re-establish land and plants near the river that are unique to the heritage of the Catawbas. Haaland and the federal government will give the tribe $4.8 million to do it.

The goal is to “respect nature, and restore, balance,” Haaland told a gathering tribal leaders and members, along with other state and civic leaders at the reservation in York County.

Haaland, from New Mexico, is the first indigenous person to serve as a cabinet secretary in American history. Catawbas welcomed her with a song in their native language Thursday.

Haaland said the Biden-Harris administration is committed to conserving natural places. The grant is a “commitment to honoring tribal sovereignty,” Haaland said.

The money will be used for two culvert replacements that benefit water and land life along the river; to re-establish Rocky Shoals Spider Lillies in the river at the reservation; convert some land back to native prairie with indigenous plants, grasses and flowers; and re-establish cane breaks of indigenous river cane that are vital to Catawba crafts and customs.

The $4.8 million is part of $140 million across the country in a program called “America the Beautiful” the Biden administration is granting for collaborative conservation efforts.

The shared goal in the projects is to protect the natural resources unique to the area, said Keith Bradley, lead botanist for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources

The indigenous Catawbas are the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina. The 144,000 acre reservation in eastern York County is the tribal headquarters.

Catawba pottery and weaving using native grasses is known worldwide for its quality and unique craftsmanship.

The tribe’s people have a relationship with the land and river that is an integral part of the identity of the Catawbas, said Aaron Baumgardner, director of natural resources for the Catawba Indian Nation.

Baumgardner said ecosystems in the area under ecological threat will be protected by the project.

The idea is to “heal our land and river,” Baumgardner said Thursday.

Baumgardner said cane breaks, or groups of river cane, that will be re-established are a native type of bamboo crucial for Catawba basket making and other cultural practices.

The Rocky Shoal Spider Lily is a flowering river plant that is found only in a few places in the world, including the Catawba River currently further south of the reservation. Plans are to re-establish the flowering plant at the reservation, Baumgardner said.

Harris, the tribe’s chief, said the public will be able to enjoy the efforts because the Carolina Thread Trial system goes through the reservation.

“Our commitment is to safeguard the river and its nearby natural resources,” Harris said Thursday.

To learn more about the Catawba Indian Nation, visit the tribe’s Webs site,

This story was originally published November 16, 2023, 5:38 PM.

SC has plans for a new state park to honor Catawba Nation. Here’s where it will be

A land conservation group has an agreement to buy 600 acres for a new state park in South Carolina that would emphasize the culture of the state’s Catawba Nation tribe.The property had at one time been targeted for a 1,000-home development in Lancaster County, but the Open Space Institute says it has secured an option to buy the land for protection.The institute expects to purchase the property and finalize the deal by the end of this year. The organization would then own the land until the property is sold to the state f...

A land conservation group has an agreement to buy 600 acres for a new state park in South Carolina that would emphasize the culture of the state’s Catawba Nation tribe.

The property had at one time been targeted for a 1,000-home development in Lancaster County, but the Open Space Institute says it has secured an option to buy the land for protection.

The institute expects to purchase the property and finalize the deal by the end of this year. The organization would then own the land until the property is sold to the state for the new park. The cost of acquiring the land from a local family has not been disclosed.

Located south of Charlotte, the property is near Van Wyck Road in Lancaster County. It includes a mile of waterfront on the Catawba River across from the Catawba reservation, which is in York County.

Deposits of clay historically used by the Catawbas to make the tribe’s widely recognized pottery are on the land. The property is heavily wooded with mature hardwood forests, a five-acre pond and some trails. An American beech tree on the land is so large, it takes four people to get their arms around the trunk, the institute’s Maria Whitehead said.

Duane Parrish, South Carolina’s parks agency director, said he looks forward to developing a state park on the 600 acres. The property being protected is Catawba ancestral lands.

“With the Catawba Nation’s engagement and support, we envision creating a state park in Lancaster County that weaves together the Park Service values of stewardship and service with the preservation and celebration of the Catawba’s cultural connections to the land and river,’’ Parrish said in a news release announcing the plan Monday.

The Catawba Nation was briefed on the plans over the weekend. The Nisbet family, the land’s owners for more than a century, struck the deal with the Open Space Institute.

The news release did not provide details on how the Catawbas would be involved with the park. Bill Harris, the Catawba tribe’s chief, said in the news release the deal will protect resources long-associated with the tribe.

The Catawba Indians have lived near the river that bears the tribe’s name for 6,000 years. The Catawbas are the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina. The tribe’s reservation is in York County near the river.

The Open Space Institute’s involvement in protecting land follows other high-profile efforts by the national organization in South Carolina. The institute has protected some 50,000 acres in the state. It was instrumental in preserving land to substantially expand the Congaree Creek Heritage Preserve in Cayce and it is working to protect wetlands near Congaree National Park to offset the loss of wetlands for a new electric vehicle plant in Blythewood.

The institute has secured some of the money for purchasing the Nisbet property from the Knobloch Family Foundation and the Arras Foundation, as well as from Duke Energy and Lancaster County. It is now seeking money from the SC Conservation Bank, the news release said.

Neither the state parks department nor the Open Space Institute would provide a map showing the exact location of the proposed state park, saying negotiations were still under way.

But one issue that could surface is the proposed park’s proximity to the New Indy paper plant. The plant, a source of public complaints about odors and pollution, is in York County downstream from the Catawba reservation. The odors have diminished, to some degree, but concerns remain about dioxin and other pollutants on the New Indy property that could affect the Catawba River.

Paul McCormack, who heads PRT’s parks division, said the agency is always concerned about environmental issues. He said the agency has not “been engaged with adjacent property owners at this time’’ about the state park. The Open Space Institute declined comment on the New Indy plant.

Betty Rankin, a critic of New Indy, said a new state park sounds like a good idea, but the state needs to keep an eye on the industrial plant.

“I have no problems with it,’’ she said. “But the problem of New Indy has to be addressed sometime.’’

This story was originally published July 17, 2023, 9:00 AM.


Sammy Fretwell has covered the environment beat for The State since 1995. He writes about an array of issues, including wildlife, climate change, energy, state environmental policy, nuclear waste and coastal development. He has won numerous awards, including Journalist of the Year by the S.C. Press Association in 2017. Fretwell is a University of South Carolina graduate who grew up in Anderson County. Reach him at 803 771 8537.

Town Has Fought Billionaire’s Noxious Paper Mill for 2 Years

One resident says federal regulators have been as “useless as tits on a boar hog.”Wealth and Power ReporterPublished Mar. 06, 2023 3:56AM ESTFor more than two years, their dogs have grown sick, their headaches have persisted, and the same acrid smell has sullied the air. Residents near Catawba, South Carolina, say a paper mill part-owned ...

One resident says federal regulators have been as “useless as tits on a boar hog.”

Wealth and Power Reporter

Published Mar. 06, 2023 3:56AM EST

For more than two years, their dogs have grown sick, their headaches have persisted, and the same acrid smell has sullied the air. Residents near Catawba, South Carolina, say a paper mill part-owned by billionaire Robert Kraft continues to make them miserable, despite a series of lawsuits, media scrutiny, and government intervention.

“I’m just disgusted with everything,” said Kerri Bishop, who has organized social media pushback against the plant. “I know at least probably 20 people that have moved,” the vast majority of whom were at least partially motivated by the emissions. Bishop tried to move herself, but the sale process fell through.

The Daily Beast first wrote about the Catawba plant in July 2021, at which point locals had submitted more than 20,000 complaints to South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control.

“We feel like we’re being poisoned and gassed in our homes,” one former resident, Karen Reilly, said at the time. Reilly has since uprooted her family to escape the stench; the vertigo, vomiting, and headaches have disappeared, but her kids miss their old friends.

Some who remain in the area still worry about their exposure.

“Quite a few people have had pets take a sudden decline in health, to the point that they have had to be put down,” said one resident, speaking on condition of anonymity over concerns about angering New Indy’s business-friendly advocates. “A couple of months ago our dog had a seizure at about the exact same time a neighbor's dog did, on a really stinky [New Indy] day.”

Kraft’s namesake firm co-owns New Indy with Schwarz Partners, a packaging firm based in Indiana. New Indy acquired the Catawba mill for roughly $300 million on Dec. 31, 2018. Soon, it shifted from making bleached paper products to containerboard used to create boxes for e-commerce companies and other buyers.

Residents say the conversion dramatically worsened their quality of life. Last month’s train derailment in Ohio has them further on edge, despite the distance and very different circumstances. In Ohio, “they’re saying the best indicator of exposure is the odor,” Bishop said. “So if we’re smelling something for two years, that’s a problem.”

A spokesperson for the Kraft Group declined to comment.

Federal and state officials have sought to address the concerns. In November, a federal court approved a consent decree filed by the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it resolved allegations that the plant “was causing an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare or the environment.” The decree included $1.1 million in penalties and forced the company to comply with additional stipulations.

EPA Regional Director Daniel Blackman celebrated the decision in a statement, writing, “Thanks to EPA’s swift action, the facility has not had an exceedance of the health-based standard for [hydrogen sulfide] since September 2021.”

Roughly a week later, the Department of Health and Environmental Control announced its own consent order, which also declared that hydrogen sulfide concentrations had “significantly declined due to improvements being made by New Indy.” Officials warned that residents might never be happy, writing that “[f]acilities like paper mills can emit odors even when operating in full compliance with all applicable standards, laws, and regulations.”

The governmental cheerleading has only further incensed locals who insist the issues have not been resolved. They are also upset that New Indy has until June 2025 to install a new steam stripper to filter out contaminants.

The consent decree “lets them keep doing what they’re doing, and lets the EPA say, ‘Yep, we handled it,’” claimed one aggrieved resident, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another angry constituent said the authorities have been as “useless as tits on a boar hog.”

The EPA is, in fact, monitoring the situation. In December, it released a report alleging that New Indy may have committed 19 violations dating back several years. The report asserted that the company “may not be in compliance with the Clean Air Act” and state regulations. Additionally, it said, the plant’s activity may have significantly increased emissions of compounds like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Dissatisfied with the government’s response, multiple residents have filed lawsuits hoping the courts will enforce harsher reforms. The most recent, filed just last month, claims that the mill “discharges millions of gallons of inadequately treated wastewater per day to the Catawba River, affecting potentially over one million citizens, residents, and workers in South Carolina and North Carolina.”

The complaint alleges that New Indy has violated federal law and that the plaintiffs have suffered anxiety about possible adverse health effects and have been forced to stop using the Catawba watershed for recreational activities. (Sampling conducted by the state in 2021 found that water quality had not been affected, though some residents remain skeptical. New Indy has also pushed back on some of the allegations. In October, the company denied “the baseless accusations… that dioxin is seeping into the Catawba River from the mill property.”)

In an effort to improve its reputation, New Indy created an entire tab on its website dedicated to “misconceptions and misinformation.” It blames the hydrogen sulfide emissions on the plant’s previous owners, who it asserts “minimally maintained” the wastewater treatment system. The company also stresses that it has taken corrective actions, costing millions of dollars, to reduce emissions and to improve communication with the local community.

Some aren’t sold. “I personally don’t think they took the issue seriously, said Jim Stover, who recently moved away from the area, in part because of the plant. “They did their best to deflect the issue, saying they did everything they could. In reality very little was done to truly address the concerns of those affected by their negligence.”

Scott Stevens, who previously got nosebleeds he attributed to the mill, said the smell has become less frequent. Other towns, he noted, seem to have it worse.

Bishop, who has lived in the area for more than six years, is appealing directly to Robert Kraft for a solution. “Spend some of your billions and let’s get this going,” she said.


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