CITY OF COLUMBIA CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
Work Session
WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2000

Columbia City Council met at 9:00 a.m. for a work session, Wednesday, June14, 2000 in the City Hall Conference Room.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.  Council members present were:  The Honorable Francenia B. Heizer, The Honorable Jim Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., and The Honorable Sam Davis.  Also attending was Mr. Michael A. Bierman, City Manager and Ms. Peggy S. Breeland, City Clerk.

Mayor Coble opened the meeting with the introduction of guests, Mr. Buddy Meetze and Mr. Tooton, members of the Richland County Council.

I. ORDINANCES - FIRST READING:

A. City of Columbia Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2000-2001 and Ordinance No. 2000-037; To Raise Revenue and Adopt the Budget for The City of Columbia, South Carolina, for the Fiscal Year Ending
June 30, 2001.

Mayor Coble opened the discussion by stating his desire to change the proposed tax increase of 3 mils to 2 mils and adjust the proposed budget.  At this time the Mayor informed Council that if a vote was taken today with changes, a minimum of seven (7) days would have to pass before voting on this matter again. Mayor Coble stated that he would like to have perfect attendance at the next meeting when this item would be presented again.  Ms. Sinclair stated that she would be out of town on June 21, 2000 but would return for the Council Meeting.

Ms. Heizer, in favor of the millage increase, cautioned Council, concerning the necessity to continue to move to fund essential services, and other projects that enhance the quality of life and that are important for economic development. Ms. Heizer asked that Council members, who are not in favor of the proposed property tax increase, present areas they would have cut from the proposed budget.

Mr. Osborne, opposed to the increase, stated that his understanding was the 2 of the 3 mils were to add additional funds to Council’s discretionary fund and the remaining 1 mil was for the capital discretionary fund.  Mr. Osborne suggested that Council be more disciplined in their spending.  He also stated that he was in favor of the City Manager’s proposal to cut $150,000 from the Community Promotions budget.

Mr. Bierman interjected that another $100,000 could be cut from basic services.

 
Mr. Osborne asked that the City Manager look at other revenue sources other than raising property taxes.  Mr. Osborne also stated that he believes that it is Council’s responsibility to limit spending.

Mr. Davis expressed his opposition to the millage increase.  He noted that the area he represents has basic needs and some dire needs with serious infrastructure problems. He stated that he does not know if a tax increase is necessary and is not comfortable with a tax increase at this time.  Mr. Davis stated that he would like to take a look at cutting funding for Community Promotions.  Mr. Davis would like address the serious infrastructure problems within his area with money that is currently in the budget.

Ms. Sinclair, stressed that she does not want to have a tax increase, but acknowledges that resources are needed to do what is necessary.  Ms. Sinclair again stated she would be willing to attend the June 21, 2000 meeting if all other members will also commit to attend.

Mayor Coble then stated that the first reading of the budget would be on June 21, 2000.

Ms. Heizer requested a meeting with City Manager, Mr. Bierman and Assistant City Manager, Mr. West to find a way to cut $750,000 from proposed budget.

Ms. Heizer asked staff to investigate the following:
1. Value of each home in each Census Tract
2. And show the impact on the average home owner

Ms. Heizer also encouraged other Council members to be honest about voting against a modest tax increase by looking down the road to future needs.

Mr. Papadea stated that staff would also need to look at the impact an increase would have on small and large business.

Mayor Coble cautioned Council members to check with the City Manager if they are unable to attend the June 21, 2000 meeting.  He also stated that attendance of the entire Council was desired and a special meeting would only be called as a last resort.

City Manager Michael Bierman scheduled the First Reading of the Budget for Fiscal Year 2000-2001 for June 21, 2000 and the Second Reading for June 28th.

Upon motion by Ms. Heizer, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to approve items B through D on a single motion.

B. Ordinance No. 2000-044 Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of The
 City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 23, Utilities and Engineering,
 Article IV, Wastewater Service, Sec. 23-103, Discharge of industrial
 waste, (g) General guidelines, to add subparagraph (12) Organotins.

C. Ordinance No. 2000-43: Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the
 
City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 23, Utilities and Engineering,
Article V, Water and Sewer Rates, Sec. 150, Discharge of septic tank
 waste (b).

D. Ordinance No. 2000-034: Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the
City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 23, Utilities and Engineering,
Article V, Water and Sewer Rates, Section 23-145, Installation of water
meters and cross connection control devices, to add (b) Cross connection
control devices, (1)(c).

II ORDINANCES - SECOND READING:

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council unanimously approved
second reading on items A & C on a single motion.

A. Ordinance No. 2000-041: Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the
City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 12, Motor Vehicles and Traffic,
Article II, Division 2, Parking Meter Zones, Sec. 12-72 Location and
operation of meters subsection (a) and repealing subsection (b).

C. Ordinance No. 2000-040: Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the
City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 23, Utilities and Engineering,
Article III, Water Service, Sec. 23-71, Authority of city manager to restrict
use during water shortages.

Mayor Coble informed Council that he had received a letter from the Chair of Richland County Council which he will respond to after today’s meeting.  He also stated that $4.5
million of the water and sewer revenues will be transferred to the General Fund as has been the case for the past several years.  Mayor Coble also brought to the attention of Council that because of the issuance of bonds the rating increase is need to maintain our bond rating.

Ms. Heizer discussed the necessity to maintain and upgrade the water and sewer plants and keep the system in good working order.

Mr. Osborne stated that he was in favor of the rate increase, especially since the Federal regulations have become more demanding.  He also stated that with the amount of growth in the suburbs, maintenance is necessary maintain a quality system.

B. Ordinance No. 2000-042 - Amending the 1998 Code of Ordinances of the
City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 23, Utilities and Engineering,
Article V, Water and Sewer Rates, Section 23-143, Water sewer rates and
Sec. 23-149, Sewer service rates (a) Generally.

 
Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council unanimously gave second reading approval to the above Item II.B (Ordinance No. 2000-042).
 
 
 
 

III.      REQUEST TO CLOSE STREET

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Heizer, Council unanimously approved the request from the SC Department of Transportation to close Park Street between Pendleton and College Streets for a public news conference concerning the “Highways or Dieways Billboard and Pledge” on July 19, 2000, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

IV. KIRK FINLAY ART FUND

This item be held over.

V. EDVENTURE - Allocation of Funding and Approval of Payment
 
Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Ms. Heizer, Council unanimously voted approval of the allocation of funds and payment of $1 mil for reimbursement expenses incurred by EDVENTURE.

Upon motion by Mr. Papadea, seconded by Ms. Heizer, Council unanimously voted to go into executive session at 10:17 a.m. to discuss Items A thru D.  Note:  Mr. Osborne will not participate in discussions involving SCANA.

VI. CONTRACT AND LEGAL MATTERS*

A. Condemnation - Microtel
B. County Issues
C. Cayce Water
D. SCANA

*May require executive session.

Council returned to work session at 10:55 a.m.

Items added to the agenda:

VII. APPOINTMENTS

1. Columbia Historic Foundation Board

 
Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council unanimously approved the appointment of Ms. Debra Livingston to the Columbia Historic Foundation Board replacing the seat currently held by Mr. Roger Stroup.

2. Mayor Pro Tempore

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Ms. Heizer, Council unanimously approved the appointment of Mr. Hamilton Osborne as Mayor Pro Tempore for the July 2000- 2001 Fiscal Year.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted to go into executive session at 11:05 a.m. for a legal briefing on contractual matters related to Olympia Mills Project.

Meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.
 

Submitted by:
 
 

Peggy S. Breeland
 




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