CITY OF COLUMBIA
CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
February 26, 2003
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, February 26, 2003 in the City Hall Council Chambers, 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:11 a.m.  Council members present were The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Jim D. N. Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis and The Honorable Tameika C. Isaac.  Also present were Ms. Leona K. Plaugh, City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, Deputy City Clerk.
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to amend the Work Session Agenda by adding the following items.  Ms. Sinclair and Mr. Osborne were not present for the vote.

- **Hospitality Tax
- **Proposed City/County Discussion Issues
- **Agreement with SCE&G to Relocate Above Ground Electric Utilities
- **Neighborhood Security RFQ

· Ms. Sinclair joined the meeting at 9:14 a.m.

A. Council is asked to approve a request from the University of South Carolina to close Greene Street from Gadsden Street to the railroad track where it dead ends; restrict access from the corner of Gadsden Street and Greene Street to Wayne Street and Gervais Street one hour prior to the following events as amended from previous request approved on February 19, 2003:    Contact:  Matt Homan

 Wednesday March 05, 2003 Hopeville Tour 7:00p.m  - 10:30 p.m.
 Saturday  March 15, 2003 Comedy Show 7:00p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
 Sunday  March 30, 2003 Disney On Ice 4:30p.m. -   6:30 p.m.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to approve a request from the University of South Carolina to close Greene Street from Gadsden Street to the railroad track where it dead ends; restrict access from the corner of Gadsden Street and Greene Street to Wayne Street and Gervais Street one hour prior to the following events as amended from previous request approved on February 19, 2003.  Mr. Osborne was not present for the vote.

C. Council is asked to approve the bagging of parking meters on three sides of the church as requested by the Washington Street United Methodist Church from Wednesday, March 19 through Saturday, March 22, 2003 (4days) for the Bicentennial Antique & Artisans Show.

Upon motion by Mr. Davis, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to approve staff recommendations to bag meters on Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22, 2003 in the 1300 & 1400 blocks of Bull Street and the 1400 block of Washington Street as requested by the Washington United Methodist Church for the Bicentennial Antique & Artisans Show.  Mr. Osborne was not present for the vote.

· Mr. Osborne joined the meeting at 9:16 a.m.

D. Traffic Issue:  Earlewood Neighborhood Traffic Control
– Mr. David Brewer, Traffic Engineer

Upon motion by Mr. Davis, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to authorize staff to submit the request for multi-way stops in the Earlewood Neighborhood at the following intersections to SCDOT for review:

· Earlewood & Cato
· Park & Northwood
· Park & Union
· Clark & Beaufort
· Clark & Florence

E. Front Yard Parking Update – Mr. Marc Mylott, Zoning Administrator

Mr. Marc Mylott, Zoning Administrator, reported that responses to the Front Yard Parking Ordinance has been staggering.  He said that since the fall of 2001 the Development Services Division has initiated thirty- (30) new investigations per month, but in the same time period for 2002 the investigations have increased to 620%.  Mr. Mylott stated that the underlying goal is compliance.  He informed Council that alleged violators are granted continuances or they move their vehicles to legal locations such as backyards.  He told Council that there are two (2) Zoning Inspectors that handle fifty (50) to eighty (80) citations and it takes months to see these cases through to compliance.  Mr. Mylott said that they are evaluating the effectiveness of the Front Yard Parking Ordinance in conjunction with parking in the Right-of-way.

F. Enhancement Projects Prioritization Recommendations
   – Mr. Nathaniel Land, Planning

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to authorize staff to submit the following five (5) Enhancement Projects grant applications for consideration:

· Two Notch Road
· N. Main Street
· Harden Street
· Historic Signs / Markers
· Gervais Street at Millwood to Trenholm

G3. **SCE&G Contract (Underground Utilities)

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to authorize staff to enter into agreements with SCE&G to relocate above ground electric utilities to underground for Two Notch Road Improvements, Lady Street Streetscape Project and CanalSide Redevelopment Project Phase II.

 G4. **Neighborhood Security – Request for Qualifications

Upon motion by Ms. Isaac, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to authorize staff to proceed with Request for Qualifications from qualified security firms to evaluate certain specifically defined areas of the City of Columbia to determine how the City might provide a safer environment for its citizens.

G. 2003/2004 Budget Schedule – Ms. Leona Plaugh, City Manager

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve the 2003/2004 Budget Schedule as follows:

 DATES    DEPARTMENTS AND FUNDS

April 16 Overview and Major Issues; General Fund General Government
 April 23 Public Safety; Police, Fire and Municipal Court
 April 30 Public Works, Parks & Recreation and remainder of General Fund
 May 07  Water & Sewer Operating & Improvements, Storm Drain & CIP
 May 14  Parking Operations & Parking CIP
 May 21  All Funds Summary; Powerpoint Presentation

**The City Manager informed Council that effective immediately she would like to implement a hiring freeze on all supervisory and higher level position vacancies.  Ms. Plaugh stated this proactive approach might help to curve curb costs and protect the City against what is expected to be a very difficult budget year during these tough economic times.  The members of City Council concurred with this decision.
 
 

 G5. **Municipal Court Quarterly Report – Judge Bates

Judge Lester Bates, appeared before Council to present a quarterly report on the Municipal Court Judges.  He informed Council that all eleven (11) judges serve part time; all Regular Judges have served for more than twelve (12) years as City Judges; Substitute Judges have served from two (2) to twenty (20) years; and Regular Judges oversee all jury trials and special situations.  Judge Bates said that for the past five (5) years the Jury Panel has been polled weekly on the performance of judges.  He told Council that it has been four (4) years since they received a complaint on a Regular Judge from the Jury Panel.  He stated that the Judges and staff meet on a monthly basis to discuss behavior and other issues and the Judges meet in Executive Session afterwards.

B. Council is asked to approve a request from Mashburn Construction for funding in the amount of $97,600.00 for the refurbishment of the Maxcy Gregg Park Arbor to complete the Cancer Survivor Garden.

There was a consensus of Council to authorize staff to consult with Mashburn Construction and the Cultural Council to encourage them to seek private funding for the refurbishment of the Maxcy Gregg Arbor to complete the Cancer Survivor Garden.

 G1. Bombers Expense Update - Ms. Dana Turner, Administrative Advisor

Upon motion by Mr. Papadea, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to authorize staff to use all legal means necessary to collect the funds owed by the Bombers for outstanding water accounts.

CITY COUNCIL UPDATE

M. Corridor and Historic Districts Update – Mr. Nathaniel Land, Planning
 
Mr. Nathaniel B. Land, Planning, told Council that public meetings are being coordinated and he will notify the members of Council of these meetings.  He stated that the Waverly Neighborhood Association is holding a public meeting on Monday, March 3, 2003 at 6:00 p.m. where Ms. Krista Hampton will make a presentation on a possible historic district in the Waverly area.  He said that on the same night they would be presenting concerns about Rosewood Drive and the Millwood Corridor to the Shandon Neighborhood Association.  Mr. Land stated that a historic district has an affect on demolition and extensive renovations, but not land use.

Ms. Krista Hampton, told Council that the Waverly Neighborhood could give input on the boundaries of the historic district.  She stated that the Ordinance allows you to craft the guidelines to meet the needs of the neighborhood.

G2. **Hospitality Tax
 
Ms. Leona K. Plaugh, City Manager, distributed a memo outlining the permissible use of Hospitality Taxes collected per the South Carolina State Code of Laws for Council’s review.

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 10:23 a.m. to discuss Items H., I., J., K., and L. as presented.

EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

 H. Discussion of appointment of employees  –  Municipal Court Judges
  This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

I. Discussion of negotiations incidental to proposed contractual arrangements
- Convention Center Operating Agreement
This item was discussed in Executive Session.

- Commercial Revolving Loan
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.  Mr. Papadea abstained from discussions due to a conflict of interest.
 
J. Discussion of negotiations incidental to property acquisition
- Richland One School District property – Burton & Olympia Schools
   This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

K. Receipt of legal advice  - Capital Senior Center
 This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

Mayor Coble reconvened the Work Session at 12:47 p.m.

I.  Amendment to the Midlands Regional Convention Center Authority Operating Agreement

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to amend the Midlands Regional Convention Center Authority Operating Agreement to include Option B as follows:

1. City and Authority each pay one-half of costs for the construction of the Parking Area.
2. City funds will come from GO Bond for Infrastructure (which are somewhat limited)
3. City will let the Authority have use of the Parking Area at no charge for any uses required.
4. City will operate the parking area but always permit Convention Center to have first priority on parking for its events and uses.
5. City keeps the net revenues after it pays the expenses of operating the Parking Area.  This is estimated at $50,000+ per year but will go down significantly when Convention Center is expanded.

EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

 Mayor Coble called to reconvene the Executive Session discussions.

L. Discussion of an employee / personnel matter
 This item was discussed in Executive Session.
 
RECESS

  Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to recess the Executive Session at 2:26 p.m. and reconvene at 6:00 p.m.

  RECONVENE

  Mayor Coble reconvened the Executive Session at 6:10 p.m. with all members of Council present.

  EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

L. Discussion of an employee / personnel matter

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to initiate a search for a new City Manager by the end of March to succeed Ms. Leona K. Plaugh, the current City Manager when her contract expires on February 16, 2004.

ADJOURNMENT

Mayor Coble adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Moore
Deputy City Clerk