2017-10-06 / Government / Neighborhood

Richland County Council discusses Lake Dogwood Special Tax District proposal

By Mike Cox

The October 3 Richland County Council meeting began with a minor controversy over Citizen’s Input. Several people had signed to speak either for or against the Lake Dogwood Special Tax District proposal.

Those citizens were informed the Public Hearing for that issue had already been held, and no further public discussion would be allowed, per council rules. One gentleman in particular was adamant he be allowed to speak because someone had told him he would be heard at the meeting.

Council Chair Joyce Dickerson explained to him she was sorry he wasn’t granted an opportunity to speak, but it wouldn’t be fair to any other citizen if the council broke their rules for him.

During the actual discussion for that item, Norman Jackson proposed that Lake Dogwood residents be assessed an equal amount for the first year, so the money could be raised immediately for repair of the dam, and subsequent years the assessment would be based on property value.

County Attorney Larry Smith explained to the council this was the agreement negotiated between Richland County and Attorney Lawrence Flynn, who is representing the Lake Dogwood POA.

Bill Malinowski said he was in favor of a percentage assessment and wondered why that couldn’t be done. Malinowski felt some property owners would pay too much, and some would pay too little under the lump sum arrangement.

Dahli Myers asked the county auditor if he could assure her no unnecessary collection costs would be passed on to the property owners involved. Myers asked for an amendment to make sure when the property assessment segment went into affect that property owners with improper lump sum payments would have their tax bills adjusted. The proposal was approved in that form.

Greg Pearce took personal privilege to publicly thank the fire chief for staging a demonstration for city and county officials to help show how the fire department goes about its job. Pearce, along with Norman Jackson and Jim Manning, attended the event and “learned a lot from the demonstration.”

The council voted to have their 2018 Council Retreat in Myrtle Beach, at the Embassy Suites Oceanfront Resort. This was the least expensive of the out of town choices. The retreat is scheduled for January 25- 26, 2018. The public is allowed at the retreat, but one has to pay their own way; including admission to Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

During Michelle Onley’s Clerk of Council Report, Onley reminded the council of the Columbia Urban League’s 50th Anniversary “Equal Opportunity Day Dinner” scheduled for November 7.

Several council members expressed concern with the day, pointing out that both Columbia and Richland County have council meetings on that day and asked Council Chair Dickerson to write the Urban League and ask them to take better care selecting a date in the future.

In other action, Jeff Stallings was added to the Community Relations Council, Roger Sears was voted onto the Employee Grievance Committee, and Richard Brown and Jennifer Paolucci were added to the Transportation Penny Advisory Committee.

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.

Return to top