Richland County Council meets April 3
By Mike CoxMWC423@bellsouth.netRoll call
Joe McEachern, Joyce Dickerson, Val Hutchinson, Norman Jackson, Damon Jeter, Paul Livingston, Bill Malinowski, Mike Montgomery, Greg Pearce, Bernice Scott, and Kit Smith were present.
Kim Murphy asked the council to make sure it had all necessary information before making a decision about the Broad River Waste Water plan. Murphy said some pertinent information about the project wasn't included in the information pack, and she felt the council needed to make an informed decision.
Greg Pearce asked for the motion approving Broad River sewer rates to be reconsidered before approving the minutes from the last meeting. His request was voted down, 7- 4.
Administrator Milton Pope presented Sherry Wright Moore , of the Richland County Community Development group. Since being formed in 2003, Community Development has been responsible for four sewer projects, one water treatment project, two paving projects, 85 homes repaired, and 143 families becoming first time homebuyers.
The only issue on the agenda to produce any fireworks was a request for approval of a sanitary sewer extension agreement for service to the legendary Rothstein Tract, which includes service to the proposed Irmo Wal- Mart, a couple of proposed developments, and several upgrades to existing sewer systems,
Bill Malinowski raised several issues about how sewer agreements are currently done. He was concerned the agreement allows sewer growth without consideration for growth planning. Malinowski said county planners need to determine sewer growth, not developers. He also wondered why Wal- Mart is included in this plan when they are involved in a lawsuit that might affect their Irmo plans.
Staff representative Andy Metts said there were hundreds of sewer agreements in existence, and the county's best bet was to supercede those with new agreements. Metts also mentioned the mysterious court order with Mungo from a decade ago and how it still determines how sewer agreements are handled. He mentioned that developers agreeing to pay for sewer upgrades saved the county millions of dollars.
Damon Jeter reminded everyone the county benefits from having developers fund these upgrades and the county would be hard-pressed to find the money for everything needing repair work.
Greg Pearce asked why this item had escaped the committee when there were so many unanswered questions. Bernice Scott said she was disappointed this was being discussed now rather than in committee and expressed concern about this issue becoming political. That is unusual for this body.
Norman Jackson said he didn't think anyone was playing politics. Malinowski had questions, said they didn't have the necessary information, but needed to get it now. He said he was willing to stay all night and discuss anything affecting the people.
Scott felt the council was looking like a "bunch of fools" tonight. She said sewage is very offensive and anyone who helps the county should be used. Scott said she would vote yes for a good proposal if it came from the "Devil himself." A proposal by Kit Smith to send this item and two associated items back to committee was approved unanimously.
After an obligatory special session to discuss a contractual matter and pending legislation, the meeting was adjourned.