CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
June 8, 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, 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 9:10 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.

PRESENTATIONS

A. U.S. Youth Games National Invitational Championship Games – Mr. James C. Brown, Chairman and Mr. Mike Griffin, Public Relations / US Youth Games of Columbia, South Carolina

Mr. James C.  Brown, Chairman of the US Youth Games Board of Directors of Columbia, SC, announced that the City of Columbia has been invited to participate in the U.S. Youth National Championship Games during June 21-25, 2005 in Orlando, Florida.  He described this opportunity as a competitive recreation event that provides summer activities for young people ages 9 – 15.

Mr. Oliver Washington, National Coordinator of the US Youth Games Board of Directors of Columbia, SC, announced that there is an opportunity for the City of Columbia to host the 2006 National Championship Games.  He said that the games were last hosted in Columbia in 1995 and people still say that this is the best place to host the games.  He explained that the goal is to have 1,500 athletes and 500-700 parents and supporters come and see what Columbia is all about.  He anticipates a $1.5 – 2 million economic impact if we choose to host the event.  Mr. Washington requested a future meeting with City Council to discuss the proposal and increased funding.  He invited the members of Council to join them on the trip to Florida.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to endorse the concept of hosting the 2006 U.S. Youth National Championship Games in the City of Columbia. He encouraged the Board of Directors to meet with City staff and other agencies to discuss the proposal and budget.

B. South Carolina Indian Affairs Commission – Ms. Terence Lilly Little Water, Executive Director

Ms. Terence Lilly Little Water, Executive Director of the South Carolina Indian Affairs Commission, stated that she has worked with the Commission since 1995 and has been the Executive Director for 2 ½ years. The following tribes are represented by this Commission:  American Indian Advocacy Services of South Carolina, the Beaver Creek Indians, Catawba Indian Nation, Chaloklowa Chickasaw Indian People, Chicora Indian Tribe Of South Carolina, Pee Dee Indian Tribe Of South Carolina, Pee Dee Indian Nation Of Upper South Carolina, Piedmont American Indian Association, Lower Eastern Cherokee of South Carolina, Santee Indian Tribe and Waccamaw Indian People.  She stated that on May 22, 2005, they proudly participated in a Unity Pow Wow on the State House grounds.  Ms. Little Water explained that problems began when the Greening of the Arts Festival’s Executive Director informed them that funding would not be available. She said that with only two (2) weeks notice they still had to uphold certain contracts and proceed with the event.

Ms. Little Water noted that women had to haul buckets of water from a nearby church and that the 237 performers were fed and paid.  She stated that the SC Indian Affairs Commission held up to their end of the bargain and almost filled three (3) hotels. She said that the negative press coverage was not fed from the comments of the Commission.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to direct Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager to meet with representatives of the South Carolina Indian Affairs Commission and the Greening of the Arts Festival to determine how to disburse the $25,000.00 allocated to the Greening of the Arts Festival on June 1, 2005 from the Accommodations Tax Fund subject to the organization providing valid documentation for reimbursement.

CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

C. National Youth Sports Program Funding Alternatives – Mr. Gilbert Walker, Executive Director for the Columbia Housing Authority
 This item was withdrawn from the agenda.

D.  Proposed Vista Business Improvement District – Mr. Terry Jenkins, President of Business Districts, Inc. and Mr. Dale Marshall, Congaree Vista Guild

Mr. Tom Jackson, Congaree Vista Guild, recognized individuals associated with the Congaree Vista Guild.  He announced that another public forum would be held at the Columbia Museum of Art to address the proposed Vista Business Improvement District (BID).

Mr. Dale Marshall, Vista Business Improvement District Committee Chair, explained that the purpose of today’s presentation is to bring the members of Council up to speed on the proposed Vista BID. He said that a formal presentation would be made to City Council within 3 - 4 weeks.  He stated that notices were sent to property owners twice and several public meetings had been conducted.

Mr. Terry Jenkins, President of Business Districts, Inc. explained that he has worked with the Vista Guild for one (1) year now.  He said that the Vista Guild had already developed a vision statement and he helped them to develop an operating plan to achieve that vision. A financing plan has been generated with multiple layers to avoid dependency on any one source to be successful. The State of South Carolina is relatively new to the concept of Business Improvement Districts, but Columbia has a leadership position in creating another one for the state.  Mr. Jenkins said that during his four (4) trips to Columbia they held over twenty five interviews with a broad cross section of stakeholders.  He noted that Columbia has an unusual combination of assets that lend themselves to successful downtown redevelopment. The Operating Plan represents the unique nature of the geographical area, what they do and how they interface with the other parts of downtown.  The plan also represents a strong partnership with the Columbia Development Corporation (CDC). On behalf of the Vista Guild, he requested that City Council approve a Resolution that would begin the process of developing a Vista BID as governed by State law.

There was a consensus of Council to direct the Congaree Vista Guild to work with the University of South Carolina in coordinating the boundaries of the proposed Vista Business Improvement District as it relates to the University’s Research Campus.

E. Vagrancy Strategies for City Parks – The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble

Mayor Coble presented recommendations on vagrancy strategies from the residents of Governor’s Hill.  He directed Mr. S. Allison Baker, Assistant City Manager for Public Services, Mr. Jim Meggs, City Attorney and Chief H. Dean Crisp, Columbia Police Department to review the recommended vagrancy strategies for the entire park system and requested that any recommendations be submitted for the July 13, 2005 meeting for consideration.

  F. **Request for Funding – The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II
 This item was withdrawn from the agenda.

G. **Veteran Affairs Hospital Land Sale Briefing – Chief Howard Lederfind, Emergency Operations Center

There was a consensus of Council to direct staff to inquire about the Request for Proposals for the 26 +/- acres of surplus property located behind the Dorn VA Medical Center. He directed the City Attorney to evaluate issues related to the zoning requirements and suggested that we assist the VA in determining the best use for this property.  He further directed staff to involve Councilman Osborne in these discussions.

· Council adjourned the Work Session at 10:00 a.m. to break prior to convening the Public Hearing.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 11:38 a.m. for the discussion of Items H. through J. as amended.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

H. Discussion of negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements
- 2004/2005 Storm Drain Projects – Mr. Steve Gantt, Senior Assistant City Manager for Operations
- **Commission on Columbia City Government Reform and Restructuring – Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager
  These items were discussed in Executive Session.  No action was taken.

 I. Receipt of legal advice, which relates to matters, covered by attorney-client privilege
- **Millage Rate
 This item was withdrawn from the agenda.

- **Annexation of Farrow Road State Campus
 This item was discussed in Executive Session.  No action was taken.
 
J. Discussion of employment of an employee
 This item was discussed in Executive Session.  No action was taken.

· Council adjourned the meeting at 1:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Salley
City Clerk