The City of Columbia City Council conducted a Public Hearing on Wednesday, June 8, 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 10:06 a.m. The following City Council members were present: The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Sam Davis, The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine and The Honorable Daniel J. Rickenmann. The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr was absent. Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Salley, City Clerk.
BUDGETARY PUBLIC HEARING
Upon motion by Mr. Rickenmann, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to compose a Budget Committee consisting of City Council members, the City Manager, the Budget Administrator and other staff that would convene in January 2006 to review the budget and establish priorities.
Ms. Melissa Caughman, Budget Administrator, presented a recap of the 2005/2006 General Fund, Water and Sewer, Storm Water and Parking Funds. She explained that Ordinance No.: 2005-056 is to approve the General Fund budget.
Councilwoman Anne M. Sinclair further explained that in order to move forward the budget would be approved as is, but an amendment would be presented in July 2005 that would lessen the transfer amount from the Water and Sewer Fund.
Ms. Melissa Caughman, Budget Administrator, explained that the General
Fund revenue and transfers are at $84 million with the majority of the
revenues coming from property taxes, licenses and permits. The transfer
from the Parking Fund is at $1 million and the increased transfer from
the Hospitality Tax Fund includes $600,000 to cover the Three Rivers Greenway
operational expenses. She added that the total budget expenditures
are at $83 million including partial year funding for the Drew Wellness
Center, a 2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for employees and funding
for the performance merit program. The transfers out are the same
as the current year for Stormwater at $900,000; the Columbia Action Council
at $170,000; Debt Service is at 2.9%; the Council Contingency Fund is $100,000;
and Community Promotions $200,000. Public Safety is 49% of the General
Fund; Public Works is 20%; the Parks and Recreation Department is 9%; General
Government is 12%. Water and Sewer Revenues include a proposed 15% rate
increase with revenue funds totaling $87 million. The Operating budget
expenditures are at $70 million (1% increase) and transfer outs total $18.7
million (90% increase). A 2% COLA for employees operating out of
this fund is also included. Debt Service is at $20 million.
If the 15% increase is approved, the cost of in city water would increase
from $1.29 per 100 cubic feet of water to $1.48 and sewer would be a base
rate of $3.62 to $4.16 and for out of city water it would increase from
$2.23 per 100 cubic feet of water to $2.68 and the base rate would increase
from $3.62 to $4.16. Revenues from Water and Sewer sales make up
the majority of revenues for the Water and Sewer Operating Fund.
Utilities and Engineering make up 40% of the expenditures. Stormwater
Operating and Improvements is at $4.5 million; Revenues are projected at
$3.6 million, which is a decrease of $200,000. This will be the second
year of collecting the stormwater fee at the full rate. There are
two (2) projects allocated for stormwater this year; Read Street Extension
and Rosewood Hills. The Parking Fund consists of a $1 million transfer
to the General Fund; a $90,000 allocation to the Regional Transit Authority;
Debt Service is at $1.5 million; and two 2) Capital Improvement Projects
to include the renovation of parking space and an elevator at the Taylor
· Council opened the Public Hearing at 10:23 a.m.
Mr. Bill Manley, Eau Claire Community Resident, appeared before the members of Council to address the proposed budget as a whole. He stated that he is concerned about the financial condition of the City of Columbia. He said that Council’s decisions are putting the city into financial constraints. He said that the purpose of the rate increase is to balance the budget instead of maintaining, improving or expanding the current system. He noted that there is an outstanding list of non-funded projects. Mr. Manley asked that the source of funding for the anticipated $1.4 million request from the Regional Transit Authority be revealed. He made the following recommendations: All City Development Corporations be co-located into one (1) facility; City Council freeze the hiring of any outside consultants and special groups; and City Council establish an Audit Committee. Mr. Manley requested the fund balances for each account (to exclude bond funds) that the city anticipates to be on hand as of June 30, 2005.
Ms. Terry Lindler, Communities in Schools of the Midlands Executive Director, appeared before the members of Council to encourage them to increase the amount of funding that is allocated through the Community Promotions Advisory Committee. She said that grantors want to fund new programs and only for a short period of time and they don’t like to fund infrastructure. She noted that United Way has even changed their funding policies. Ms. Lindler said that it’s not easy to become self sufficient because they can’t increase their rates. She noted that the economic impact of students dropping out of school impacts the community for the life of that individual. She asked the members of Council to be just and increase the funds available through the Community Promotion Fund.
Ms. Frances McMeekin, Communities in Schools of the Midlands Volunteer, appeared before Council to give a first hand account of what the children they serve go through. She said that it’s hard to explain, but invited the members of Council to come out and see what they do through this statewide effort. She said that their budget was structured to avoid being totally dependent upon any one entity.
Ms. Ann Rayman, Executive Director of Columbia Film Society (Nickelodeon Theatre), appeared before the members of Council to thank them for investing in the cultural arts of Columbia. She stated that Columbians serve as stewards for the State of South Carolina. She thanked the members of Council for recognizing that cultural non-profits are pioneers in serving the community.
Ms. Nancy Ferguson, Constituent, appeared before the members of Council to discuss the proposed fiscal year 2005/2006 budget. She said that the Water and Sewer Fund transfers and the rate increase contradict each other. She urged them to evaluate why there are 25 vacancies in the Columbia Police Department and then determine how many additional officers are needed.
· Council closed the Public Hearing at 10:44 a.m.
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION
1. Columbia Metro Conventions & Visitors Bureau Hospitality Tax Funding Application for fiscal year 2005/2006 – Mr. Steve Camp, President of the Columbia Metro Conventions and Visitors Bureau
Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to fund the Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau $1 million from the Hospitality Tax Fund of which $125,000-$150,000 will be designated to collaboratively market the five (5) major attractions (Riverbanks Zoo, State Museum, Columbia Museum of Art, EdVenture and the Historic Columbia Foundation) based upon an agreed plan. Council will fund $100,000 from the Hospitality Tax Fund to the Regional Sports Council. Mr. Davis abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest.
2. **Fiscal Year 2005 / 2006 Proposed Budget Amendments – The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair
Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to accept the following Amendments to the fiscal year 2005/2006 Budget. Staff was directed to revise the Accommodations Tax, Hospitality Tax and Community Promotions funding list according to the amendments presented. The respective committee may reallocate any remaining funds to another qualified organization.
Water and Sewer Fund
· Maintain the transfer from water and sewer to the General Fund to $4.5 million. A budget amendment will be made after the public hearing/approval process.
· Fund KOBAN at $70,000 to position this program to be the city’s signature gang prevention program.
· Fund the Columbia Urban League’s jobs program at $75,000. The Urban League has other program requests to be funded through the Community Promotions Advisory Committee process.
· Fund the Two Notch Development Corporation at $150,000 for operations.
· Set aside $200,000 for the following Development Corporations: TN Development Corporation, South Columbia Development Corporation, and the Columbia Housing Development Corporation. These funds are one time use for capital projects, contracts, development, construction, etc. in the total amount of $600,000. If additional funds are needed, the corporations can request additional one-time funds.
· Fund Fast Forward at $125,000.
· Additional funds may be added to the Economic Development Contingency Fund as the year progresses.
· Several organizations were formed through regional cooperation and count on equal amounts of funding from all partners. Based on this commitment: 1) Keep America Beautiful should be allocated 420,000; 2) River Alliance $51,000; 3) Capital Senior Center $40,000; and 4) Greater Columbia Community Relations Council $100,000. Local governments created all four (4) organizations and we have an obligation to adequately fund them. The total amount that should be allocated to fulfill our commitment is $211,000 from the Retreat Contingency funds.
· Double Dutch is a key program offered through our Parks and Recreation Department programs. Through the Retreat Contingency it will receive $15,000. For fiscal year 2006/2007 it will become a line item in the Parks and Recreation Department budget.
· Staff will develop a contract with Keep the Midlands Beautiful similar to the contracts between this organization and Richland and Lexington Counties by January 2006. This contract will become a line item in the Public Works budget.
Hospitality Tax Fund
1) Because the City of Columbia has a unique relationship with the Columbia Museum of Art, EdVenture and the Historic Columbia Foundation, these organizations should be funded from the Hospitality Tax Fund at the following levels:
· Columbia Museum of Art $250,000
· EdVenture $295,000
· Historic Columbia Foundation $391,500
· Each organization will be allocated an additional 2% each year based upon their total funding and the availability of funds. (See Hospitality Tax Carry Forward)
· In return for this commitment, these organizations will not apply for Accommodations Tax, any additional Hospitality Tax, or Community Promotions Funds for the three-year period.
· The total for these three organizations from the fiscal year 2005/2006 Hospitality Tax Fund is $936,500.
2) The Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee will allocate $1.9 million of the Hospitality Tax Fund.
3) $1.5 million will be set aside for debt service.
4) $800,000 will be utilized for Park Rangers.
Hospitality Tax Fund Carry Forward
· Approximately $1.7 million will be carried forward to the next fiscal year. From the carry forward, fund the Columbia Museum of Art ($425,000); EdVenture ($200,000). This is the amount currently funded through Water and Sewer. Next year, these two and the Historic Columbia Foundation will be factored into the Hospitality Tax Fund prior to determining the amount allocated to the committee.
· Fund $500,000 for new Police Officers.
· Fund $100,000 for the Collaborative for Community Trust in addition to the funds allocated by the Hospitality Tax Committee.
Accommodations Tax Fund Carry Forward
· Approximately $200,000 will remain in this fund at the end of this year. Carry forward funds will be allocated to the Three Rivers Music Festival.
Liquor Permit Rebate Fund Carry Forward and Revenue for Fiscal Year
· Fund capital improvements for the Mann Simons Cottage in the amount of $51,950 and for the Robert Mills House $42,000.
· Fund renovations to the Monteith School $200,000.
· Fund Three Rivers Music Festival $165,000.
General Fund / Community Promotions
· To eliminate the impact of city-based programs on the Community Promotions Fund, funding for the Operation Paint Brush Program and the Columbia Council of Neighborhoods will be included within the Community Development Department budget.
· No city related programs would be eligible for Community Promotions funding. These funds are for “outside” organizations.
3. Accommodations Tax, Hospitality Tax and Community Promotions Funds for Fiscal Year 2005/2006 – Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman
Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve the Accommodations Tax, Hospitality Tax and Community Promotions Funds for fiscal year 2005/2006 as recommended, with the exception of the organizations that were addressed through the budget amendments (See Item 2.).
ORDINANCES – FIRST READING
4. Ordinance No.: 2005-056 – To Raise Revenue and Adopt the Budget for the City of Columbia, South Carolina, for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2006 – Approved on first reading.
Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve on fist reading Ordinance No.: 2005-056 – To Raise Revenue and Adopt the Budget for the City of Columbia, South Carolina, for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2006.
5. Ordinance No.: 2005-057 – Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 23, Utilities and Engineering, Article V, Water and Sewer Rates and Sec. 23-143 Water service rates and Sec. 23-149 Sewer service rates – Approved on first reading.
Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted five (5) to one (1) to approve on first reading Ordinance No.: 2005-057 – Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 23, Utilities and Engineering, Article V, Water and Sewer Rates and Sec. 23-143 Water service rates and Sec. 23-149 Sewer service rates. Voting aye were Ms. Devine, Mr. Davis, Ms. Sinclair, Mr. Cromartie and Mayor Coble. Voting nay was Mr. Daniel Rickenmann.
6. **Millage Rate Discussion – Columbia City Council
This item was withdrawn from the agenda.
ORDINANCES – FIRST READING
7. **Ordinance No.: 2005-059 – Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 2, Administration, Article II, Mayor and Council, Division I, Generally, Sec. 2-31, Salaries of mayor and council members – Approved on first reading.
Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to approve on first reading Ordinance No.: 2005-059 – Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 2, Administration, Article II, Mayor and Council, Division I, Generally, Sec. 2-31, Salaries of mayor and council members.
8. Ordinance No.: 2005-060 – Authorizing execution of a First Lease Amendment between the City of Columbia and Revenstone Commons-Durham, LLC – Approved on first reading.
Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve on first reading Ordinance No.: 2005-060 – Authorizing execution of a First Lease Amendment between the City of Columbia and Revenstone Commons-Durham, LLC.
9. Ordinance No.: 2005-062 –Annexing Parcel 1 (4.87 acres) and Parcel 2 (0.53 acres), Broad River Road at Kennerly Road; 1.23 acres, Kennerly Road near Broad River Road and 4.53 acres (Parcel A, Parcel D and Parcel X), Broad River Road near Kennerly Road, Richland County TMS# 05004-01-04; 05004-01-05; 05004-01-07; 05004-01-12; 05004-01-13; a 0.53 acre portion of 05004-01-09; 05004-01-01; 05004-01-03; 05004-01-10 and 05004-01-11 – Approved on first reading.
Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve on first reading Ordinance No.: 2005-062 –Annexing Parcel 1 (4.87 acres) and Parcel 2 (0.53 acres), Broad River Road at Kennerly Road; 1.23 acres, Kennerly Road near Broad River Road and 4.53 acres (Parcel A, Parcel D and Parcel X), Broad River Road near Kennerly Road, Richland County TMS# 05004-01-04; 05004-01-05; 05004-01-07; 05004-01-12; 05004-01-13; a 0.53 acre portion of 05004-01-09; 05004-01-01; 05004-01-03; 05004-01-10 and 05004-01-11.
CONSIDERATION OF BIDS, AGREEMENTS AND CHANGE ORDERS
10. **Council is asked to approve a Lease Extension, as requested by the Office of Economic Development. Award to Parkway Properties, LP, in the amount of $3,470.50 per month or $41,646.00 annually. Funding Source: 341101301 –636300 - Consideration of this item was deferred.
11. Council is asked to approve a Contract for Mill Village Riverlink II Lighting, as requested by Public Services. Award to Eddins Electric, the lowest bidder, in the amount of $155,266.00. This firm is located in West Columbia, SC. Funding Source: (GL) 4019999-6366 and (JL) CP106301 - Approved
Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve a Contract for Mill Village Riverlink II Lighting, as requested by Public Services. Award to Eddins Electric, the lowest bidder, in the amount of $155,266.00.
12. Resolution No.: R-2005-028 – Establishing a policy for term limits for members of city boards, commissions, committees and development corporations
There was a consensus of Council to direct staff to revise the Resolution to address the concerns related to the number of consecutive terms and by-laws as outlined in section one of the Resolution.
13. Resolution No.: R-2005-029 – Authorizing Rosewood Hills Street Improvement
Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve Resolution No.: R-2005-029 – Authorizing Rosewood Hills Street Improvement
**Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to cancel the July 6, 2005 Work Session and Evening Meeting. Council is not scheduled to meet on June 29,2005; therefore, meetings will resume on July 13, 2005.
APPEARANCE OF PUBLIC HAVING BUSINESS WITH CITY COUNCIL
Ms. Shirley Fields Martin, Greening of the Arts Festival, explained for public record that 27 Indian American Tribes were represented during the Unity Pow Wow. She noted that her organization invited all of the tribes to the event. Ms. Martin presented letters of support from the local hotels. She clarified that if the City provides funding for the festival, then it is their intention to recoup the Indian Affairs Commission’s budget. Ms. Martin stated that information was provided to the media per their request.
· Council adjourned the meeting at 11:30 a.m. to reconvene the Work Session.
Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Salley