MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

OF THE WALHALLA CITY COUNCIL

June 18, 2019

5:30 pm.

 

 

Present:  Mayor Danny Edwards, Councilman David Underwood, Councilman Robbie Burrell, Councilman Dennis Owens, Councilman Tjay Bagwell, Councilman Danny Woodward, Councilman Josh Roberts, and City Administrator Brent Taylor.

 

Absent:

 

Guest:  Amanda Johnson, Gather 205 and Patrick Porter, Seneca Beer Station

 

Mayor Edwards called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. Council led the pledge of allegiance.

 

Public Input:  Ms. Amanda Johnson and Patrick Porter addressed council proposing a special event called Craft-toberfest.  The event would be a craft beer tasting event at the City Parking lot between the West Co. and Club 221.  They would have food trucks and a band.  Patrons would have to purchase a ticket to gain access.  They have scheduled the event for October 5 for 3 hours in the evening.  They are also requesting some city services.

 

Mayor Edwards advised them to complete a special event permit and contact the Administrator to work out the options.

 

Mr. Burrell made a motion and seconded by Mr. Woodward to amend the agenda to include authorization to purchase new water meters in the water department.  The motion was approved unanimously.

 

 

Approval of MinutesOn a motion by Mr. Bagwell, seconded by Mr. Burrell and unanimously carried, the minutes for the regular meeting on May 21, 2019, were approved.

 

Reading of Resolutions and Ordinances:

 

Mr. Bagwell made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-08, A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE KEOWEE COURIER TO THE CITY OF WALHALLA. The motion was seconded by Mr. Burrell and unanimously carried.

 

Hearing no further discussion, Resolution 2019-8 was unanimously adopted.  The Mayor and Council presented it to Ashton Hester, a long-time reporter for the “The Keowee Courier”.

 

 

Mr. Owens made a motion to approve second reading and public review, Ordinance 2019-09, AN ORDINANCE TO REGULATE LITTERING WITHIN THE CITY OF WALHALLA, ESTABLISHING PENALTIES AND OTHER MATTERS RELATED THERETO.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Bagwell.

 

Discussion:  Mr. Bagwell stated this ordinance mirrors the County’s littering ordinance.  This will keep the citations in City court instead of going to General Sessions court, which will make it more efficient for the Walhalla Police Officers.

 

Hearing no further discussion, the motion unanimously carried.

 

Mr. Woodward made a motion to adopt ORDINANCE 2019-10, AN ORDINANCE TO AMMEND ORDIANCE 1976-9 SECTION SIX RESISTING OR INTERFEING WITH POLICE OFFICER The motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood.

 

Discussion:  Mr. Bagwell said, “The main reason for this Ordinance is that it keeps the interfering with an officer in city court along with any other charges as oppose it now being a state charge which would require it to go to General Sessions court.  This makes the process more efficient.”

 

Hearing no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Mr. Bagwell made a motion to adopt ORDINANCE 2019-4, AN ORDINANCE TO RAISE REVENUE AND ADOPT FOR THE CITY OF WALHALLA, SOUTH CAROLINA   A BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2019 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2020.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Owens.

 

Discussion:  Mr. Bagwell stated Revenues are $3,966,533.12.  He stated business license revenue had increased nearly 50% since he and others had been on council during the last eight years.  He stated the revenues includes from sources like C-Funds, transfer from water department $380,036 and use of fund balance of $575,000.  He also stated outside the city sanitation revenue is also up.

 

Mr. Bagwell indicated most departments had some of their line items reduced in small increments.  He stated there was cut from the Grant Match line item in the Police Department.  However, it could be revisited if a significant grant was brought forward that required council to amend the budget.

 

The administration department has funds allocated for demolition now that the Codes and Zoning Administrator is doing a good job of condemning properties.

 

The Park and Recreation Department had a reduction in $27,000 most of which is from the Chicopee Ball-field renovation.  The Mayor stated we have a grant to help with fencing, and Partners for Progress has some money allocated toward that project.

 

Mr. Bagwell stated that there was a reduction of $50,000 for Stumphouse Park.  This is a project that can be funded from the Hospitality Fund.

 

Mr. Bagwell also stated that the budget includes a new fire engine, 2 SUVs for the police department, pickup truck for street department, gator for the parks and recreation department, air packs for fire department, and roll carts among other things.

 

Mr. Burrell stated that the Street Department isn’t ready for a street sweeper and recommended removal from the budget.  We should probably consider purchasing an additional garbage truck in the future.  The Mayor said, “The $135,000 purchase saves the street department $26,000 a year in lease purchases.”

 

Mr. Roberts urged the council to leave it in the budget because he thought it was a more efficient way to maintain the streets.

 

Mr. Burrell made a motion to amend the budget to exclude the street sweeper from the budget.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Bagwell.  The motion passed 6-1.

 

Mr. Underwood asked a question regarding the fire engine the county is purchasing.  Brandon Burton, Fire Chief, responded the County is replacing one of their trucks.  The City uses it when they provide mutual aid in the County.

 

Mr. Woodward confirmed the Tahoe SUV’s were still in the budget.  The Mayor reminded council the police department will be getting six vehicles this year and cautioned them about needing replacement at the same time years from now.

 

Mr. Bagwell stated the employees will be getting a cost of living adjustment of 3% this year.

 

Hearing no further discussion, the Ordinance was unanimously approved.

 

Mr. Underwood made a motion to adopt ORDINANCE 2019-5, AN ORDINANCE TO REGULATE AND LIMIT, IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY, THE USE AND OPERATION OF THE WATER WORKS SYSTEM MAINTAINED AND OWNED BY OR WHICH MAY BECOME PROPERTY OF THE CITY OF WALHALLA AND PROVIDING FOR VIOLATION THEREOF. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bagwell.

 

Mr. Underwood stated there is an increase in the tap fees for 3/4″ and 1″ meters for customers outside the city.  The other change is allowing for payment plans for customers who gets a bill double their six-month average.  It allows them to pay in three installments in addition to their regular water bill.

 

Hearing no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Mr. Bagwell made a motion to adopt ORDINANCE 2019-6, AN ORDINANCE TO RAISE REVENUE AND ADOPT A BUDGET FOR THE CITY OF WALHALLA, SOUTH CAROLINA, WATER AND SEWER DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2019 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2020. The motion was seconded by Mr. Burrell.

 

Discussion: Mr. Bagwell stated as a result of reducing the street sweeper.  The water departments contribution to the general fund will be reduced about $26,000.

 

Hearing no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Mr. Bagwell made a motion to adopt ORDINANCE 2019-7, AN ORDINANCE RAISE REVENUE AND ADOPT FOR THE CTY OF WALHALLA, SOUTH CAROLINA, A LOCAL 2% HOSPITALITY BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINING JULY 1, 2019 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2020.

 

Discussion: Mr. Bagwell reported revenues for Hospitality Fund will be about $222,000.  The fund continues to grow in revenue.  Projected projects include $65,000 for Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park, $30,000 for Performing Arts Center, $26,000 for Ads and Events and $20,000 for City Park Improvements.

 

The Mayor stated he felt like we should study this more and set a budget for revenues and expenses.

 

Hearing no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Mr. Bagwell made a motion to adopt ORDINANCE 2019-7, AN ORDINANCE TO AMMEND ORDINANCE 2019-01 TO ESTABLISH REGULATIONS FOR MOBILE FOOD VEHICILES. The motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood.

 

Discussion: Mr. Bagwell provided and over view of the current ordinance stating the ordinance provides for set backs from brick and mortar restaurants, a $100 permit fee valid for six days with unlimited number of times a permit can be purchased.  The change in this ordinance is to extend the effective date from July 1 to January 1, 2020.

The Mayor asked for comments from Lisa Wessendorf and Faith Cooper, owner of Partners In Wine, regarding their perspective on the ordinance.  They stated that food trucks didn’t want to pay that high of fees for six days, when most want to come in for a day or two at a time.  They also stated that food trucks bring more people into town and provide alternatives when other restaurants are at capacity.

Mr. Burrell stated he thinks food trucks are a great asset, but we need to be fair to the brick and mortar establishments who pay additional taxes, water, sewer and other city services.  He gave an example of the Donut truck which may make $4,000 in one day in Walhalla and only have to pay $100 in fees.  He said, “That is quite the business plan.  He is open to a designated area for them.”

The Mayor said, “Mr. Fletcher gave out information to businesses in the area and they had an opportunity to give feedback and the only one who did was Mr. Pollard. He was in favor of it.  However, I am open to making changes.”

Mrs. Cooper stated her business increases by 40%-60% when they have a food truck present on Sunday.

 

The Mayor stated we will form a committee to study the situation.  Mr. Underwood asked, “If we can make changes.”  The Mayor stated we could.

 

The motion passed unanimously.

 

 

Other Business:

 

Approval for purchase of water meters

 

A motion was made by Mr. Underwood and seconded by Mr. Bagwell to approve the purchase of $118,019.76 for radio read meters.  Mr. Parris said, “They will be installed on the Mill Hill route.”

 

Mr. Parris also reported that there has been improvement on getting water bills mailed to customers.  Our software provider is taking over the actual mailing.  The first couple billing cycles were done in a 15-17 days mailing ahead of the due date.  QS1 did have a couple of people out during a cycle and therefore, they were only 13 days ahead of the due date.

 

He also indicated having a shortage of meter readers makes it difficult to get bills out on time.  It can take 3-4 months to train a reader and sometimes when they do it on their own for 3-4 months they leave. He also stated that online bill pay will help reduce the number of checks they have to handle and will speed up the process.

 

 

Condemnation appeal hearing Mrs. Alexander

 

Daniel Fletcher presented to council a condemnation appeal from Mrs. Nanette Alexander regarding her property on S. Popular St.  Mrs. Nanette Alexander wasn’t present.  Mr. Fletcher stated it is structural unsound and unsafe.  He gave her 90 days to obtain permits or remove the structure.

 

Mr. Bagwell asked, “If Mr. Fletcher is confident in his recommendation.”  He said, “He was.”

Mr. Bagwell made the motion to deny the appeal.  Mr. Burrell seconded.  The appeal was denied.

 

 

Committee Reports:

 

Fire/Codes:

Mr. Owens reported the department ran 85 calls for the month of April.  Forty-Five (45) were fire calls and Forty (40) were medical calls.  Thirty-seven (37) calls were for mutual aid.  The Fire Marshall performed thirteen business inspections and four residential inspections.  He approved 10 fire plans.  The department assisted the DSS department in active shooter training.  The staff participated in 218 hours of training.  They completed fire hydrant training.  The department applied for another grant.

 

General Govt/Finance: 

Mr. Bagwell stated the Short Street summer events and Farmers Market are underway.  He suggested to council they not have a committee meeting in July.

 

Public Works:

Mr. Burrell reported that the department picked up 263 tons of residential garbage for the month, eight-teen tons of commercial garbage, and 17 tons of C&D waste.  The department picked up 10 roll carts and delivered 45 roll carts.  They had a street sweeper demonstration.

 

Recreation:

Mr. Roberts reported Baseball all-star practice has started.  Registration for fall sports will begin June 10-21.  Things are going well at the swimming pool.

 

Police:

Mr. Woodward reported the department had a good community meeting.  They participated in active shooter training with DSS.  They rewarded the caught being good participants with a tour of the jail.  Officer Mize and Hayes participated in Patrol Interview Techniques training.

 

Utilities:

Mr. Underwood reported that the new water plant construction is making good progress.

 

He reported the OJSA is considering a change in how sewer is costs are calculated for the member cities.  He also stated that Walhalla has 17 miles of line they are currently being billed for that belongs to the Authority.

 

He complimented Rick O’Kelley on the work he is doing at the old water plant.

 

Mayor’s Comments: No comments were made.

 

Mr. Bagwell reminded everyone of the Independence Eve celebration on July 3.

 

Council went into executive session to discuss a personnel matter.  No action was taken.

 

 

 

___________________________________

Brent Taylor, City Administrator

 

 

 

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt