CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
January 26, 2005
9:00 AM - City Council Chambers
3rd Floor City Hall - 1737 Main Street

The City of Columbia City Council met for a Work Session on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 in the City Hall Council Chambers at 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.  The following City Council members were present:  The Honorable E.W. Cromartie, II, 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.  Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, City Clerk.

PRESENTATION

A. Off the Wall Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green – Mr. Marvin Chernoff

Mr. Marvin Chernoff, Co-Chairman of the Off the Wall and Onto the Stage Taskforce and a Lifetime Member of the Board of Directors for the Columbia City Ballet, told the members of Council that he has been involved with Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green for three (3) years and the combination of art, music and dance would be premiering in Columbia on February 4, 2005.  He said that this performance would be one of the most important cultural events in the nation and for our town.  He added that the Columbia City Ballet is possibly the only ballet country in the country that’s truly integrated with the participation of 40% African American dancers.  Mr. Chernoff said that this production would appear in seven (7) other cities including Jacksonville and Tampa.  He stated that he is proud of this event and the fact that kids will come from all over the region to attend.

Mr. William Starrett, Columbia City Ballet Executive and Artistic Director, introduced a portion of the company of dancers that will be performing Off the Wall Onto the Stage. These dancers come from all over the United States and Japan. He said that eight (8) brand new ballets would be performed on February 4, 2005.  He said that the ballet would consist of two (2) parts: Seven (7) vignettes or mini ballets, which brings twenty-two (22) of Jonathan Green’s paintings to life and after the intermission they will present The Silver Slipper Dance Hall.  Mr. Starrett added that the Columbia City Ballet is forty-three (43) years old this season with forty-two (42) dancers. He announced that Time Warner Cable has made it possible for their teaching guide to be in every classroom in the State of South Carolina and Florida and the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum has also created a documentary demonstrating the process of creating the ballet.

B. **Teen 3-1-1 Hotline – The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine

Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to endorse the new Teen 3-1-1 Hotline, which debuts on Monday, January 31, 2005. Teens can call the hotline with a range of questions and concerns. The current 3-1-1 staff has been trained to deal with these calls and will be accepting calls Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.  Any calls received after 8:00 p.m. and on Sundays will go to a voicemail system. The 3-1-1 Call Center serves in a dual capacity now.  You may continue to call 3-1-1 with your basic constituent concerns or needs.

CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

C. Access Leisure Request for Funding – Mrs. Libby Gober, Ombudsman

Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman, presented a Hospitality Tax Application on behalf of Access Leisure in the amount of $30,000.00 to publish the Leisure Fun magazine along with a copy of the magazine and an outline of how the funding would be utilized.

Councilman Hamilton Osborne, Jr. asked if the Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee reviewed the application.

Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman, responded that the application has not gone through the committee process.

Councilman Hamilton Osborne, Jr. requested additional information on sources of income to go with the expenditures.  He stated that he is concerned about the request, although the publication is a good idea.  He said that City Council voted to give $1 million to the Conventions and Visitors Bureau for marketing and the City can’t continue to spend additional money.

Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine stated that spring is approaching and a lot of events need to be advertised.  She said that it’s Council’s prerogative to consider this request.

Councilwoman Anne Sinclair stated that she is a proponent for the committee, but she has heard a lot of frustrations from organizations that are having challenges getting the word out about their events.

Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted six (6) to one (1) to approve a request from Access Leisure for Hospitality Tax Funding in the amount of $30,000.00 to increase the promotion of Columbia-area leisure events and attractions in the Leisure Fun Magazine.  Access Leisure should submit all future requests to the Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee. Voting aye were Mr. Cromartie, Ms. Sinclair, Mr. Davis, Ms. Devine and Mr. Rickenmann. Voting nay was Mr. Osborne.

D. Request from the Town of Irmo to Utilize the City of Columbia Compost Facility – Mrs. Melissa Gentry, Director of Public Works

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve the request from the Town of Irmo to utilize the City of Columbia Compost Facility during two (2) months per year. Staff recommended that the City enter into a contract with the Town of Irmo to cover the cost of this service at a rate of $25 per ton.  There are other issues that must be discussed prior to finalizing this arrangement.

E. Proposed Business Improvement District for the Congaree Vista Guild  – Mrs. Dana D. Turner, Assistant City Manager for Commerce and Development

Mrs. Dana Turner, Assistant City Manager for Commerce and Development reported that on Friday, January 28, 2005, the Columbia Development Corporation would be considering making a loan to the Congaree Vista Guild in the amount of $30,000.00 to further explore the need of a Congaree Vista Business Improvement District.

F.  Commission on City Reform and Restructuring – The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble

The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble proposed that the Columbia City Council establish the Commission on Columbia City Government Reform and Restructuring to examine Columbia’s current form of government and to determine its effectiveness, responsiveness, and accountability to the citizens.  This committee would be composed of fifteen (15) members and they would conduct all of its business in the open.  City Council will consider this proposal on February 9, 2005.

CONSIDERATION OF BIDS, AGREEMENTS AND CHANGE ORDERS

G. Council is asked to approve the Purchase of City of Columbia Promotional Items, as requested by the Solid Waste Division.  Award to Cromers in the amount of $14,277.00. This firm is located in Columbia, SC.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to approve the Purchase of City of Columbia Promotional Items, as requested by the Solid Waste Division.  Award to Cromers in the amount of $14,277.00. This firm is located in Columbia, SC.

PRESENTATION

H. **Special Retirement Presentation – The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble

The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble, the members of City Council, Chief of Police Dean Crisp, Columbia Police Department Command Staff and Mrs. Ava Austin presented Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager with his Police badge and gun in recognition of his past retirement from the Columbia Police Department.

· City Council adjourned the meeting to break at 9:57 a.m.

· City Council reconvened the meeting at 10:01 a.m.

I. **Update on the Criminal Street Gang Legislation – Mr. Larry Marchant, Palmetto Policy Group, Inc.

Mr. Larry Marchant, Palmetto Policy Group provided a brief update on the Criminal Street Gang Legislation.  He reported that there has been good reception from the leadership of the House and Senate on this bill.  He said that two (2) bills have been filed with the Senate and one (1) bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill should move fairly quickly and according to the staff, we should be able to get a timely hearing.  He noted that some Legislators don’t agree with the current definition of a gang and that the definition could cause some people to be picked up for no apparent reason other than the color of their shirt.  Chairman Harris has requested that the Lobbyist work very closely with Law Enforcement Community as opposition to the bill arises.  He noted that they are getting good publicity through the newspapers.  He agreed to provide a comparison of all of the Criminal Street Gang Legislation Bills that have been submitted.

Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manger told the members of Council that each jurisdiction has a different definition of a gang.  He said that they are working to create a uniform definition because they are cognizant of gender and racial profiling concerns.

CONSIDERATION OF BIDS, AGREEMENTS AND CHANGE ORDERS

J Council is asked to approve the Installation of Two (2) Bar Screens at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Award to Kemp Inc., the low bidder, in the amount of $32,100.00.  This vendor is located in Sherrillsford, NC.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to approve the Installation of Two (2) Bar Screens at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Award to Kemp Inc., the low bidder, in the amount of $32,100.00.  This vendor is located in Sherrillsford, NC.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to approve Items K. and L. as presented.

K. Council is asked to approve the Purchase of Twenty Three (23) Seimen’s Controllers, as requested by the Traffic and Engineering Department.  Award to Temple, Inc. in the amount of $52,920.00.  This vendor is located in Decatur, AL. - Approved

L Council is asked to approve the Purchase of a Side Loader Garbage Truck, as requested by the Solid Waste Division.  Award to Heil Environmental Industries, the low bidder meeting specifications, in the amount of $166,083.00.  This vendor is located in Chattanooga, TN. - Approved

ORDINANCES – SECOND READING

M.  Ordinance No.: 2005-002 – Granting encroachment to Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority for installation and maintenance of bus stop signs, concrete slabs, benches and shelters First reading approval was given on January 19, 2005.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Davis, Council voted unanimously to approve on second reading Ordinance No.: 2005-002 - Granting encroachment to Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority for installation and maintenance of bus stop signs, concrete slabs, benches and shelters subject to 1) The Regional Transit Authority should continue to work with staff on site-specific placement of shelters and benches to ensure no conflict with utilities and/or city trees and to ensure adequate room for pads; and 2) The Regional Transit Authority must seek site-specific ways to incorporate bus stop signs onto existing poles in order to minimize the need for separate sign poles.  The Regional Transit Authority was also directed to work with the City of Columbia Sign System Consultant to ensure compatibility with the City’s new sign system.

APPOINTMENTS

  N. Columbia Development Corporation

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve the reappointment of Mr. Gary Cannon, Mr. Tom Jackson, Ms. Shirley Mills and Mr. Ned Pendarvis to the Columbia Development Corporation Board of Directors for a two-year term, which expires on December 31, 2006.  Consideration of the two (2) remaining vacancies was deferred.

O. Columbia Housing Authority

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to approve the reappointment of Mr. Art Bjontegard to the Columbia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners for a third term to expire on April 10, 2009.

P. Richland County Board of Assessment Appeals

Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Mr. Phillip Mims to the Richland County Board of Assessment Appeals for a three-year term to expire on June 30, 2007.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session after the briefing on the City’s Hazardous Materials Response Capability for the discussion of Items R. and S. as presented.

**Councilman Daniel J. Rickenmann told the members of Council about an organization entitled Rails to Trails that turns abandoned rail lines into trails and houses, etc.  Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager was directed to contact the Rails to Trails Organization to find out if they could evaluate the 30 miles of abandoned railways within the City of Columbia.

BRIEFING

Q. Review of the City’s Hazardous Materials Response Capability  – Mr. Howard Lederfind, Emergency Operations Center

Mr. Howard Lederfind, Emergency Operations Coordinator reviewed the many types of hazardous materials, hazardous materials storage containers and the methods by which the materials are transported and how the materials are identified.  He outlined the entities that would be responsible for responding to hazardous situations.  A public hearing will be scheduled to inform constituents on how the City of Columbia would respond to hazardous situations and how and when constituents would be notified if an evacuation was necessary.
 
· Mr. Davis left the meeting at 10:57 a.m.

· City Council convened the Executive Session discussion at 10:58 a.m.

EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

R. Discussion of negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements
- Capitol Places III – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development
 This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

· Mr. Davis returned to the meeting at 11:25 a.m.

· City Council adjourned the Executive Session discussion at 11:44 a.m.

- FA Johnson Consulting – Ms. Dana D. Turner, Assistant City Manager for Commerce and Development

Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to authorize payment to FA Johnson Consulting in the amount of $17,500.00 for services rendered on multiple Eau Claire Development Corporation project activities from August 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004.

· City Council reconvened the Executive Session discussion at 11:46 a.m.

S. Discussion of negotiations incident to the proposed sale of property – Mr. Steven A. Gantt, Senior Assistant City Manager for Operations
 This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

· City Council adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:

Erika D. Moore
City Clerk