Richland County Council meets April 17
By Mike CoxMWC423@bellsouth.net
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.
Bernice Scott and Damon Jeter presented a resolution honoring Marlin Henderson for 26 years of service with Richland County; all in the department of Solid Waste. Henderson began her career in January of 1981. She thanked Teresa Smith and said her time with the county had been "absolutely wonderful."
Hank Chartos told the folks in attendance about Homeworks of America. This group is an ecumenical, faith- based volunteer group that repairs homes for people in need. The primary work is done by youth church groups, who raise money and help with the actual repairs.
In the last 10 years Homeworks has tallied over a thousand volunteer hours and repaired homes in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Louisiana, in addition to South Carolina. Homeowners who are entirely on assistance qualify.
Lee Lumpkin thanked the council for their support of Columbia Classical Ballet and told the story of a young boy from Elgin who saw his first ballet seven years ago, began dancing seriously, and finished second in the most recent world championships.
Mayor Chris Campbell of Eastover asked the council to approve an item on the night's agenda giving Eastover back a fire truck so they can donate it to Kira, Uganda. On a recent mayor's conference visit there, Campbell learned of a school fire that killed eight students. The closest fire station is thirty miles away.
During the administrator's report, Milton Pope presented Geneta Burroughs , who read a long list of her accomplishments and announced her retirement from Glynn Detention Center. Burroughs has a degree in law enforcement and has spent 25 years in that field. The last 13 have been with Richland County Detention. Burroughs said working at Glynn Detention Center was "such a sweet life" and she "would always be a Richland County employee".
The item drawing the most attention on the night's agenda was an ordinance authorizing Richland County to enter into a loan agreement with Bank of America for $25 million. The ordinance groups three major projects; the Township renovation, the new Farmer's Market, and a recreation facility.
According to Anna Almeida , the county's money borrowing guru, this is a sweet deal for the county, allows them to fund all of the projects, and gives them some flexibility. In the future the county can choose to fund it with budget adjustments or with Hospitality Tax funds. The item was approved unanimously after a couple of questions were expertly answered by Almeida.
Rules and Appointments Committee
Mike Montgomery 's committee announced vacancies on the Central Midlands RTA and Employee Grievance committees. He also asked the council to approve appointments to other committees; Joseph Rosen to the Board of Assessment Appeals, Marlon Walters to the Internal Audit committee, and Chris Johnson and John Whitehead to the Township Auditorium Board. Those requests were approved.
The fire truck requested by Eastover was given back to them by the council. Jeter said he would support the proposal if Bernice Scott would drive the vehicle to Uganda.
After an executive session to discuss secret things like a FEMA legal update, pending litigation, and a personnel matter, the meeting was adjourned.