2017-07-14 / Government / Neighborhood

Richland County Council hears from a large number of citizens

By Mike Cox

On July 11, Richland County Council’s meeting featured a much larger than usual number of speakers at Citizen’s Input. Shaneka Oliver and Mike Quinn were representing the folks at River Station and Blythecreek subdivisions and said they were in favor of the agreement with Cascata Development to complete roads in those subdivisions.

Charles Sharp spoke against green space in Spring Park, saying the space took away places where neighbors gathered and isn’t regularly maintained. Sharp said there are 27 homes in the area, and they need roads to be better maintained rather than green space, mentioning that no one took into consideration the need for watering the green space.

Several citizens from the Lake Dogwood area were on hand to discuss the recent vote deciding whether the area will establish a Special Tax District to repair the dam and revitalize the lake.

J. P. Miller said he was in favor of being taxed to improve Lake Dogwood and fix the dam. Miller said there were once bald eagles around the lake, and he would like to see it restored to that condition.

Bob Nerban thanked the council for allowing the vote to take place and implored the council to make the right decision as far as getting repairs done and improving the current condition of the lake.

Matthew Perkins said he was against the tax district. Perkins said his home is assessed for much more than the homes at the upper end of the lake, and he would have to pay too much compared to others.

Perkins also said his home wouldn’t benefit from an improved lake. Brittani Hochstein said she wished the HOA had offered more information on the proposed project and cost before the vote.

During a discussion about an Administration and Finance Committee proposal to place the Rowing Club property on Broad River, which is owned by Richland County, under the management of the Conservation Commission, Norman Jackson offered a substitute motion to place all groups who operate on county property under the supervision of the county. Jackson’s main reason appeared to be fairness.

Greg Pearce, who chairs the A&F Committee, said the substitute motion didn’t really substitute for the original motion, and he wasn’t sure what Jackson was trying to accomplish with his motion.

After several other council members expressed differing opinions, Dalhi Myers offered a second substitute motion which moved Jackson’s motion to the staff for study and clarification but allowed the original A&F motion to pass as worded. This was approved.

During the second Citizen’s Input, Roger Leakes and Barbara Roach asked the council to repeal guidelines about when a homeowner can be forced to cut his grass. The current statute allows a homeowner to let his grass grow to 24 inches before a complaint can be registered, ten days more before the landowner can be contacted, and another 30 days until enforcement can be completed. Both speakers said this was too long, both in time and in grass height.

In other action, Keith Tolen was added to the Hospitality Tax Advisory Board and Helen B Woods was voted onto the Richland Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees. The county also began work on a proposal to participate in the August eclipse.

Between 600,000 and one million visitors are expected for the three minute event. Area groups are making plans to coordinate activities for the entire weekend. There will also be a viewing party at the museum.

Chair Joyce Dickerson, Vice Chair Bill Malinowski, Calvin “Chip” Jackson, Norman Jackson, Gwendolyn Kennedy, Paul Livingston, Jim Manning, Yvonne McBride, Dalhi Myers, Greg Pearce, and Seth Rose were present. More detailed information as well as complete agendas and minutes from past meetings can be found at the Richland County website: www.rcgov.us.

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