CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
January 5, 2005 – 4:00 PM
A.C. Moore Elementary School Auditorium
333 Etiwan Avenue

The City of Columbia City Council met for a Work Session on Wednesday, January 5, 2005, in the A.C. Moore Elementary School Auditorium at 333 Etiwan Avenue, Columbia, South Carolina. Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 4:08 p.m. The following City Council members were present: The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis, The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine and The Honorable Daniel J. Rickenmann. The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II was absent.   Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, City Clerk.

PRESENTATIONS

A. Fast Forward Quarterly Update – Ms. Dee Albritton, Executive Director of Fast Forward

Ms. Dee Albritton, Executive Director of Fast Forward presented photos from the Old Shandon Neighborhood Centennial Celebration.  She welcomed all to come by Fast Forward and view the display of eight (8) picture posters of the Old Shandon Neighborhood.  She told Council that two (2) national articles would highlight Fast Forward in the near future. Ms. Albritton announced that Science Quest would like to write Fast Forward into a major grant that the Education Development Corporation is dong to the National Science Foundation.  She explained that the Hand Middle School site would be closed while the school undergoes renovations.  During this time two (2) labs would be ran from the Fast Forward site.  Ms. Albritton stated that Richland School District One was unable to provide any financial support to Fast Forward this year.  She said that they are currently raising funds to continue the summer camps at Hand Middle School this year, but next year that may change. She announced that five (5) computers would be delivered to Hampton Park and it would be set up similar to the Emily Douglas Park Center with tutoring and computer access.  She explained that an agreement has been reached with the South Carolina Association for Non Profit Organizations to handle all of their technology training beginning in April on a fee basis.  Ms. Albritton noted that their relationship with the Parks and Recreation Department is growing stronger and more exciting.

CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

B.  Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) Funding – Mr. Ike McLeese, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Ike McLeese, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer presented a briefing from the Rhoads Group who are the consultants working on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).  He explained that the efforts in Congress to delay the BRAC process have failed.  He further explained that the stated objective of the Department of Defense is to close down 25% of the base infrastructure in this country. The army has 32% excess real estate and base infrastructure. He said that Fort Jackson could be closed, but they are working hard to tell this story and to make sure this doesn’t happen.  Mr. McLeese reviewed the BRAC timeline of events with the members of Council.  He stated that the Chamber encouraged the Central Midlands Council of Governments to apply for a grant from the Department of Defense to receive funding to engage in a preliminary planning process to determine how they would respond if they are on the list.  He said that $195,000.00 was approved for Central Midlands with a $20,000.00 local match.  He said that the Chamber of Commerce, Forest Acres, Richland County and the City of Columbia are asked to pay ¼ of that match.

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mr. Davis, Council voted unanimously to approve funding in the amount of $4,861.25 for the city’s portion of match funding for a planning grant received by the Central Midlands Council of Governments from the Department of Defense in the amount of $195,000.00.  Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager was directed to determine the funding source.

 C.  Proposed Downtown Pocket Park Adjacent to Tapps – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Office of Economic Development Director

  This item was deferred.

· Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine joined the meeting at 4:25 p.m.

D.  Marketing Campaign for Construction Distressed Areas – Mr. Ryan Hyler, Office of Economic Development Existing Business Coordinator

Mr. Ryan Hyler, Office of Economic Development Existing Business Coordinator, appeared before the members of Council representing the Commerce and Development Group and to request approval to move forward with a Streetscape Marketing Initiative that would address concerns from the business community.  He said that there are over 250 businesses within the Main Street, Lady Street, Five Points and Two Notch areas that are currently voicing concerns due to the on going construction.  Mr. Hyler explained that the campaign would serve as an informational and a persuasion campaign to show support to these areas.  He requested a $150,000.00 budget and asked that all Public Works projects consist of a small percentage of funds to support this on-going initiative.  He stated that forums would be held for the business community to provide their input.

Upon motion by Mr. Davis, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to approve funding in the amount of $150,000.00 from the Economic Development Contingency Fund for the development of a marketing campaign for construction distressed areas as proposed.  This campaign should include a defined means for measuring the effectiveness of such a campaign.

E. Update on Saluda Avenue / Five Points Fountain – Ms. Melissa Gentry, Director of Public Works

Ms. Melissa Gentry, Director of Public Works reminded the members of Council of the request from the Five Points Association (January 5, 2005) to install a fountain that was different from the design of the fountain as part of the Five Points Streetscape Project.  She said that staff has concerns regarding on going maintenance costs and safety issues.  She stated that they met with the Five Points Association and the Consultants involved and the Five Points Association would not commit to paying the on going maintenance costs. She explained that in 2003 the City of Columbia spent over $18,000.00 on maintenance for the current fountain and in 2004 the City of Columbia spent $26,000.00.  Ms. Gentry said that those figures are very comparable with the maintenance of fountains in other cities.  She explained that option one would be not to install a fountain, but to install the infrastructure that would make it possible for the installation of a fountain in the future.  Option two would be to approve funding for the upgraded fountain subject to the Five Points Association entering into a contract to provide maintenance costs.  Option three would be to approve the funding and the City of Columbia would incur the maintenance costs.  Option four would be to proceed with the fountain as proposed as part of the Five Points/Harden Street Streetscape Project.

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to deny the request to upgrade the fountain that is proposed as part of the Five Points/Harden Street Streetscape Project.   Staff was directed to proceed with the fountain that was initially proposed and budgeted.

APPOINTMENTS

F. Board of Zoning Appeals

This item was deferred until January 12, 2005.

OTHER MATTERS

G. **Paint Five Points – Ms. Debbie Parker, Five Points Association Executive Director

Ms. Debbie Parker, Executive Director of the Five Points Association told the members of Council about an exciting event called “Paint Five Points”, which began during the holidays.  She said that local artists were invited to paint Five Points and the paintings will be owned by the association and then auctioned off to create a revolving account that would continue to fund Paint Five Points.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 4:49 p.m. for the discussion of Items H. through K. as amended.

EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

H. Receipt of legal advice which relates to a pending, threatened or potential claim
- Sherlock Holmes Pub
 This item was discussed, but no action was taken.

I. **Receipt of legal advice which relates to a matter covered by attorney-client privilege
- CanalSide Request for Proposals
 This item was discussed, but no action was taken.

J. **Discussion of employment of employee
 This item was discussed, but no action was taken.

K. **Discussion of compensation of employee
 This item was discussed, but no action was taken.

· Council adjourned the Executive Session at 5:51 p.m. to break prior to convening the evening meeting.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Moore
City Clerk