MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE WALHALLA CITY COUNCIL
May 19, 2020
Present: Mayor Danny Edwards, Councilman David Underwood, Councilman Dennis Owens, Councilwoman Sarai Melendez, Councilman Danny Woodward, Councilman Keith Pace, Councilman Josh Roberts and Brent Taylor, City Administrator.
Mayor Edwards called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. Councilman Owens led the pledge of allegiance.
County Councilman Wayne McCall addressed the Council. He spoke about helping the fire departments through-out the county, getting the City pool operational, fixing things for the City and refurbishing poles saving the City a lot of money. He said, “The City needs to build the parking lot up at Stumphouse, keep the pool open, but look to do some repairs in the near future.” He thanked Council for having the foresight to build a water plant. He said, “He will continue to support the cities of Walhalla, West Union and Salem even after he is off Council.”
The Mayor thanked Mr. McCall for his service and said, “He has done a lot for our City.” The Council gave him a standing ovation.
Approval of Minutes: On a motion by Mr. Underwood, seconded by Mr. Woodward and unanimously carried, the minutes for the regular meeting on April 21, 2020 meeting were approved.
Ms. Melendez made a motion to amend the minutes to reflect a motion she attempted to make regarding the hazard. Mr. Owens seconded the motion. It carried unanimously.
Mr. Roberts made a motion to change phrase from “has given” to “was given” regarding Council’s allocating money to Oktoberfest. The motion was seconded.
The Mayor acknowledged the thank you card from the Oktoberfest committee recognizing the Walhalla senior’s banners.
Reading of Resolutions and Ordinances:
Mr. Roberts made a motion to approve ORDINANCE 2020-2 AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF AN EQUIPMENT LEASE PURCHASE AGREEMENT IN AN AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING $566,000 RELATING TO THE PURCHASE OF CERTAIN EQUIPMENT BY THE CITY OF WALHALLA, AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF OTHER NECESSARY DOCUMENTS AND PAPERS AND MATTERS RELATING THERETO. The motion was seconded by Mr. Pace and was unanimously approved.
Discussion: Mr. Roberts explained this was for a fire truck, two police vehicles, jet vac trailer, a pick-up truck.
Mr. Roberts made a motion to approve ORDINANCE 2020-3 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE FY 2020 BUDGET (ORDINANCE NUMBER 2019-4) SO AS TO RECOGNIZE VARIOUS REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES IN THE GENERAL FUND. The motion was seconded by Ms. Melendez and was approved unanimously.
Mr. Roberts made a motion to approve ORDINANCE TO RAISE REVENUE AND ADOPT FOR THE CITY OF WALHALLA, SOUTH CAROLINA A BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2020 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2021. (TITLE ONLY)- The motion was seconded by Mr. Pace and was approved unanimously.
Discussion: Mr. Mayor stated there is no road fee as part of this budget. It was presented earlier as information. The Administrator concurred and stated that Council would have to vote to include it in the budget. The Mayor stated a budget workshop will be on Thursday. Mr. Roberts asked if the budget could be presented in an easier to read form.
Mr. Underwood made a motion to approve ORDINANCE TO AMEND ORDINANCE 2019-6, AN ORDINANCE TO REGULATE, RESTRICT AND LIMIT, IN THE INTEREST OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY, THE USE AND OPERATION OF THE WATER WORKS SYSTEM MAINTAINED AND OWNED BY OR WHICH MAY BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE CITY OF WALHALLA AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF. (TITLE ONLY)- Mr. Owens seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Discussion: The Administrator explained this ordinance pertains to how the system is going to be operated.
Mr. Roberts made a motion to approve ORDINANCE 2020-6 AN ORDINANCE TO RAISE REVENUE AND ADOPT A BUDGET FOR THE CITY OF WALHALLA, SOUTH CAROLINA, WATER AND SEWER DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2020 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2021. (TITLE ONLY)- Mr. Owens seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Mr. Roberts made a motion to approve ORDINANCE TO RAISE REVENUE AND ADOPT FOR THE CITY OF WALHALLA, SOUTH CAROLINA, A LOCAL 2% HOSPITALITY BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2020 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2021. (TITLE ONLY). Ms. Melendez seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Mr. Roberts made a motion to approve ORDINANCE 2020-8 AN ORDINANCE TO ANNEX PROPERTY INTO THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OF WALHALLA. Mr. Pace seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Discussion: The Mayor recused himself from the discussion because he owns most of the properties. Mayor Pro-Temp conducted the meeting for this ordinance.
Hospitality Tax Expenditure
The Administrator reported the General Government Committee recommended allocating $5,000 to the Museum of the Cherokee and $7,000 for summer events from the Hospitality Fund. Mr. Owens made the motion to allocate those funds for those purposes. Mr. Woodward seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously.
General Fund Expenditure
The Administrator reported the General Government Committee recommended allocating $10,000 from the General Fund to the Downtown Development Corporation for Business retention grants. Mr. Underwood said, “I’m going to vote in favor of it. However, I will not be applying for it.” Mr. Woodward made the motion to allocate those funds for those purposes. Mr. Pace seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Mr. Pace reported the Department responded to:
115 calls for service
42 calls inside the City and 83 were outside.
37 instances of mutual aid.
Staff trained for 176 hours.
We received an update on the new fire truck.
We discussed issues regarding the Coronavirus.
We were updated on discussion with FEMA regarding reimbursements from the flooding this past winter and Coronavirus.
We were presented a facilities re-opening plan.
We were also presented an exposure control plan.
Mr. Roberts reported:
- We had a presentation from Luther Lyles regarding a Hospitality Funding request for Museum of the Cherokee and the Walls of Walhalla project.
- We recommended approval $5,000 for the Museum of the Cherokee and $7,000 for summer events from Hospitality Funds.
- We recommended approval of $10,000 be allocated to the Downtown Development Corporation for the Business Retention Grant.
- Discussed allocating some space in the City Parking lot for people to eat now that outdoor dining is allowed.
Mr. Owens reported:
Due to the Seneca tornado the Oconee Solid Waste Department didn’t have statistics available for the report.
The Department started it spring grass cutting and weed eating.
Discussed possible sale of old equipment in the department to fund the purchase of new equipment.
Mr. Price reported on the number of staff that assisted with the Seneca Tornado recovery. Mr. Owens added, “There were as many as 15 city staff members attending in one day.”
Ms. Melendez reported the committee:
- Received an update on swimming pool. It is scheduled to open June 1.
- Received an update on the baseball/softball season.
- Received an update on the City Park and Chicopee Field improvements.
- Discussed other amenities for both facilities in the future.
- Approved a proposal from Paul Holcombe to renovate restrooms at Sertoma Park as part of an Eagle Scout Project.
Ms. Melendez asked what the status is on the Eagle Scout project? The Administrator replied, “I think John and Mr. Holcombe are working out the process.”
Mr. Woodward reported the committee received the following information:
- Assistance provided to Seneca during their tornado recovery.
- The status of the Canine vehicle.
- Updated on issued regarding the Coronavirus.
The Department made 7 arrests, answered 1002 calls for service and performed 129 hours of extra patrol.
Mr. Underwood reported the committee:
Got an update on Stribling Shoals pump station.
Discussed enforcement of penalties for non-paid bills.
Update on the Sewer Authorities budget.
Presented three engineering proposals and discussed the Drive-Thru.
Mayor’s Comments: The Mayor thanked everyone for coming together and working together through everything. He also expressed his thanks to Mr. McCall for being a huge help to the City of Walhalla and he is still willing to continue to help the city when he is no longer on Council. He thanked the Oktoberfest committee for recognizing the graduating high school seniors by placing banner throughout town. The mayor stated, “He is ready for the pool to open and life to get back to normal.”
Mr. Owens asked, “When will the state of emergency end and when will government offices open their doors?” The Administrator replied, “The emergency ends June 1. Some of the offices are set to open June 15, but we are looking at opening earlier.”
Brent Taylor, City Administrator