CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
April 13, 2005
9:00 AM – City Council Chambers
1737 Main Street

The City of Columbia City Council met for a Work Session on Wednesday, April 13, 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 9:07 a.m.  The following members of City Council were present:  The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr. and 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. Salley, City Clerk.

**Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager, led us in a moment of silent meditation in acknowledgment of the passing of Ms. Susan French, sister of Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development.

PRESENTATIONS

A. **Three Rivers Music Festival Update – Ms. Virginia Bedford, Executive Director

Mr. Fred Monk informed the members of City Council that the 2005 Three Rivers Music Festival would begin on Friday, April 22, 2005 and end on Sunday, April 24, 2005. He reported that residents in twenty-three other states purchased online E-Tix.  Mr. Monk stated that downtown hotels are filling up.

Ms. Virginia Bedford, Executive Director / Three Rivers Music Festival, stated that their cooperative marketing plan with the Congaree Vista Guild has been successful.  She added that advertising has increased in Charleston and Charlotte.

Ms. Kim Asbill, Public Relations Director / Three Rivers Music Festival, explained that press releases have been sent to three hundred media outlets. She added that seven announcements have been released since February with over sixty news stories throughout South Carolina.

Ms. Doree Fields, Artist Hospitality, sated that nineteen hotels are offering festival packages to their guests.  She said that there were 17 vendors, but only a few were local.

Ms. Christina Leventis, announced that ticket sales are up from last year with Wide Spread Panic been the biggest attraction

Councilwoman Devine explained that Mr. Bo Aughtry would like to purchase festival tickets for under privileged youth.  She asked that they contact Mr. Tony Tam to fill the request.

B. Marketing Initiatives for the City of Columbia  – Mr. Steve Camp, President and of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau

Mr. Steve Camp, President / Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, stated that the Hospitality Tax funding provided by the City of Columbia has helped to solidify the marketing process.  He distributed packages including ad samples, a copy of the website’s homepage, a visitors guide, a meeting planners guide, a city guide, an annual report, newspaper wrappers, a DVD and a promotional video.  He announced that the Turner South Network aired a 3-day weekend segment on the Columbia Riverbanks Region.  He stated that the region would also be showcased in a program entitled “Bushwhacked”.  In closing, Mr. Camp announced that the United States Postal Service has developed a stamp featuring the regions new logo.

Councilman Hamilton Osborne, Jr. requested that the Convention and Visitors Bureau prepare a magazine that would introduce tourist to the City of Columbia and Mr. Camp concurred.

C. **Fast Forward Quarterly Update – Ms. Dee Albritton, Director

Ms. Dee Albritton, Director of Fast Forward reported that summer camp registration is 40% full and that a campsite for next year is needed due to the ongoing renovations at Hand Middle School.  She stated that scholarships are still available for summer camp, but that there are no vacancies remaining at Emily Douglas Park.  Ms. Albritton said that Fast Forward’s federal funding is gone and that they are not funded by any other organization besides the City of Columbia.  She reported that no one registered for the programs being offered at Sara Nance.

Councilman E.W. Cromartie, II requested a meeting with Ms. Albritton to discuss the possibility of adding Fast Forward programs to inner city recreational facilities.

Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager advised the members of Council that he has been working with Ms. Albritton to link Fast Forward programs with the KOBAN sites.

ORDINANCES – FIRST READING

Mayor Coble stated that he is not for amortization because it’s more of a hassle and that a ban would not address existing billboards.  He discussed the option of a banking system that would encourage the removal of billboards that are not economically viable.  He stated that there needed to be more stringent rules for derelict billboards.  Mayor Coble further suggested that City Council form a committee to review various proposals, hear from proponents and opponents and then develop a recommendation.

Mr. Marc Mylott, Director of Development Services told the members of Council that any quasi-amortization would need to be enacted soon.

Councilwoman Devine requested more time to review and study the issue if City Council was not considering amortization.  She stated that billboards are more appropriate for the interstate.

Councilman Cromartie stated that he doesn’t support amortization.  He added that unsafe billboards should be removed.  He said that the impact on small businesses should be considered.  He objected to the City of Columbia having to pay to remove billboards.

Councilwoman Sinclair expressed concern for the appearance of the city.  She stated that the Cap and Replace Program didn’t work as planned.  She said that she is willing take a leadership role in exploring other alternatives.

Councilman Davis stated that there should be a balance between working with the industry and reducing the negative imposition on neighborhoods.

Councilman Rickenmann opposed amortization.  He said that he needed to know more and that they need to discuss the option of banning further.  He also agreed that non-compliance billboards needed to come down.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to have a committee of City Council members conduct public meetings to review proposals for a Billboard Ordinance.  Councilwoman Anne M. Sinclair would serve as chair of the committee.  The Small Business Regulatory Review Committee would make a presentation at the first public meeting.  Some meetings will be conducted in the evening.  Notices will also be sent to interested or impacted businesses and groups.

D. Ordinance No.: 2005-031-a – Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 17, Planning, Land Development and Zoning, Article III, Zoning, Division 8, District Descriptions; Use and Dimensional Regulations, Sec. 17-255, -CS collector street (minor thoroughfare) sign overlay district; Sec. 17-256, -AS arterial street (major thoroughfare) sign overlay district; Sec. 17-257, -FS freeway sign overlay district and Division 9, Supplementary District Regulations, to repeal Sec. 17-313, Sec. 17-314 and Sec. 17-315 and renumber subsequent sections; to amend Division 12, Signs, Sec. 14-404, Prohibited signs (e) advertising signs; and to repeal Sec. 17-406 (5) Advertising signs  (Ban) - This item was discussed; however, no action was taken.

E.  Ordinance No.: 2005-031-b – Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 17, Planning, Land Development and Zoning, Article III, Zoning, Division 12, Division 12, Signs, Sec. 14-404, Prohibited signs (e) advertising signs (Amortize) - This item was discussed; however, no action was taken.
 
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION
 
F.  City of Columbia Landscape Ordinance and its Impact on Small Businesses – Mr. Frank Knapp, Small Business Regulatory Review Committee Chair

Ms. April Heyward, Small Business Regulatory Review Committee Member, presented the following recommendations on how the City of Columbia could make the Landscape and Tree Ordinance user friendly for small businesses:

1. Make Ordinance more user friendly;
2. Better inform Developers / Public about Ordinance; and
3. Reduce cost of implementation for small businesses.

Mr. Frank Knapp, Small Business Regulatory Review Committee Chair, stated that it’s a task just trying to read the current Ordinance.  He elaborated on the above recommendations as follows:

  1a.  Utilize charts to organize Ordinance requirements by type of development within each zone;
  b.  Develop other creative ways of conveying Ordinance in a more easier to understand format; and
  c. Quickly implement the “one-stop shop” and Development Coordinator to facilitate convenient collection of Ordinance / other government.
  2a.  Hold and promote regularly scheduled workshops for property owners and developers considering developing on property within the City to discuss Ordinance;
  b.  Hold and promote regularly scheduled workshops for Architects, Engineers, etc. who plan to work with developers on property within the City to discuss Ordinance;
  c.  Offer to make short presentations at trade association meetings; and
  d.  Provide Ordinance information with every building permit application.
  3a.  Investigate the possibility of reducing the initial cost of compliance with the Landscape and Tree Ordinance for small businesses by phasing in the requirements over time. Bonding or other assurance may be required to guarantee scheduled compliance with the Ordinance.

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to direct staff to work with the Small Business Regulatory Review Committee in an attempt to make the Ordinance user friendly for small businesses. Staff was also directed to consider modifying the implementation process.
G.  Approval of Columbia Assisting Neighborhood Development Opportunities (CANDO) Grants – Mr. Rick Semon, Director of Community Development

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to approve the committee’s recommendation to provide CANDO Grants to the following neighborhood organizations as outlined below.

H.  Parking Meters and Parking Enforcement within Five Points – Mr. John Spade, General Services
 
Mr. John Spade of General Services recommended that staff continue to install the parking meters and parking enforcement within Five Points as they have been doing for the past two months.

STREET CLOSINGS

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to approve on a single motion the Consent Agenda Items I. through K. as presented.

I. Council is asked to approve a request from Meadowfield Elementary School to close Galway Lane between Olde Knight Parkway and Macon Road on Friday, April 15, 2005 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. for an Annual Spring Carnival.  Contact:  Ms. Ursula Dryden, Carnival Chair - Approved

ORDINANCES – SECOND READING

J. Ordinance No.: 2005-033 – Closing and transfer of Simkins Lane, Saxon Plaza and a portion of Elmira Street to the Housing Authority of the City of Columbia for development of Upper Saxon – Approved on second reading.

K. Ordinance No.: 2005-036 – Authorizing execution of an Agreement to Sell and Buy between the City of Columbia and Security Technology Services, Inc. for the transfer of 2.06 acres in Columbia Industrial Park, Richland County TMS# 13511-02-02 – Approved on second reading.

RESOLUTIONS

L. Resolution No.: R-2005-015 – Release and abandonment of the City’s existing 10’ water main easement along Richland County TMS# 19916-02-49; Lot 89, Park Ridge at Polo, Phase III; CF# 266-08B

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to approve Resolution No.: R-2005-015 – Release and abandonment of the City’s existing 10’ water main easement along Richland County TMS# 19916-02-49; Lot 89, Park Ridge at Polo, Phase III; CF# 266-08B.

APPOINTMENTS

M. Empowerment Zone Board

Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of the following board members and alternates to the Sumter-Columbia Empowerment Zone:

City Council / Board Members Alternate
E.W. Cromartie, II Katheryn Bellfield
Sam Davis  Leon Franklin
Mildred McDuffie for Tameika Devine Jocelyn Jennings
Russell McCoy for Anne Sinclair To Be Determined

Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of the following board members and alternates to the Empowerment Zone as Neighborhood Cluster Representatives for a two-year term:

Neighborhood Cluster Board Member  Alternate
Inner City  Larry Gates   To Be Determined
MLK, Waverly, Lyon Wilhelmina Hill   To Be Determined
CICC   Myrtle Gordon   To Be Determined
Eau Claire  Henry Hopkins   Edna Harrison

Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of the following individuals to the Advisory Board for a one-year term.  Mr. Osborne and Mayor Coble were not present for the vote.

Advisory Board
Kelvin Washington Margie Gallman  Donna J. Gilbert
Dalton Tresvant Wilbur Tucker   Ruth Gibson
Lasenta Lewis-Ellis Edwin Wall   Regina Williams

APPEARANCE OF PUBLIC HAVING BUSINESS WITH CITY COUNCIL

Ms. Shirley Fields Martin, Greening the Arts Festival 2005, appeared before the members of Council to obtain permission to run 1,000 copies of the program covers for the upcoming Greening the Arts Festival.

There was a consensus of Council to allow Ms. Martin to utilize a copier to run the requested 1,000 copies.

Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager stated that the issue is funding.  He asked Ms. Fields Martin to submit a formal request for funding.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 11:10 a.m. to discuss Items N. through Q. as amended.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

N. Discussion of negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements
- Capitol Places III and IV – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development
- Marketing Campaign for Construction Distressed Areas – Ms. Dana D. Turner, Assistant City Manager for Commerce and Development
- Guignard Associates, LLC – Mr. Allison Baker, Assistant City Manager for Public Services
- **East Central City Consortium
 These items were discussed; however, no action was taken.

- Market Place on Harden Street – Mr. Steven A. Gantt, Senior Assistant City Manager for Operations
- **Wardlaw - Mr. Steven A. Gantt, Senior Assistant City Manager for Operations
 These items were not discussed in Executive Session.

O. Receipt of legal advice, which relates to a matter covered by attorney-client privilege
- Williams Street Closing
 This item was discussed; however, no action was taken.

P. **Discussion regarding development of security personnel
 This item was discussed; however, no action was taken.

Q. **Discussion of employment of an employee
 This item was discussed; however, no action was taken.

· Council adjourned the meeting at 2:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Salley
City Clerk