CITY OF COLUMBIA
CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
July 16, 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, July 16, 2003, in the City Hall Council Chambers, 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  Mayor Pro-Tempore Jim D. N. Papadea called the meeting to order at 9:06 a.m.  Council members present were The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Sam Davis and The Honorable Tameika C. Isaac.  Absent was The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble and The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr.  Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., Interim City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, Acting City Clerk.

CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

**Mr. Brent Robertson, Financial Advisor with Merchant Capital, updated the members of Council on the city’s fiscal health.  He stated that it is an on-going task to make sure all long-term debt outstanding is being held at the most aggressive interest rate possible.  Mr. Robertson informed the members of Council that the Series 1993 Water and Sewer Bonds have three (3) maturities that are currently callable at any time with a projected value of $450,000.00.  He said that he wished all of his clients were in such good financial standing as the City of Columbia.

· Ms. Sinclair joined the meeting at 9:11 a.m.

A. Columbia Action Council Budget Request – Mr. Allison Baker, Director of Parks & Recreation

Mr. Allison Baker, Director of Parks & Recreation, presented budgetary recommendations for Columbia Action Council’s fiscal year 2003/2004 budget request.  He stated that the Budget Committee allocated $200,000 for the Columbia Action Council for fiscal year 2003/2004.  Mr. Baker outlined numerous actions that could be taken to reduce Columbia Action Council’s budget.  He requested additional funding for Autumn at the Mills, the Veterans Day Parade and WOW ’04 New Years Event.  Mr. Baker recommended that a current employment vacancy not be filled and move the $47,000 to a budget line item in order to fund operations.  He said that if his recommendations were approved there could be over $61,000.00 in annual savings.

Ms. Judith Stringer, Columbia Action Council, presented attendance and revenue information for the various events sponsored by the Columbia Action Council.  She introduced various staff members, board members and volunteers.

Mr. Barry Ahrendt, WIS News 10, stated that WIS has been a proud sponsor of the New Year’s Eve Celebration for several years and it’s a great way for families to bring in the New Year with good and inexpensive entertainment.   He informed the members of Council that WOW ’04 would be held in the EdVenture Children’s Museum parking lot.

Ms. Hanna Nelson, WIS News 10 Anchor, stated that the New Year’s Event is a unique celebration for families to get together on the biggest night of the year.  She said that she is looking forward to WOW ’04 in its new location.

Mr. Earl Brown, Columbia Action Council Chairman, stated that the New Year’s Event is a great way for family and friends to bring in the New Year.  He stated that it is his privilege to protect the partnership with the City of Columbia.  He asked the members of Council to consider the request for additional funding in an effort to maintain the highest standards of performance.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Isaac, Council voted unanimously to approve the recommended budget reductions.

B. Heyward Street Paving – Mr. I.D. Hook, Director of Public Works

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the request to repair the paving on Heyward Street in the amount of $65,000 and authorized the installation of signs prohibiting no thru truck traffic on Whaley Street.

C. Traffic Issue: Brennan School Area Traffic Control – Mr. David Brewer, Traffic Engineer

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Isaac, Council voted unanimously to authorize staff to proceed with obtaining authorization from SCDOT to install a 4-way stop at Arbutus Road and Cross Hill Road; a 4-way stop at Arbutus Road and Datura Street; and a 3-way stop at Datura Street and Camella Street.

 D. **Homeland Security Briefing  - Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., Interim City Manager
 
Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., Interim City Manager updated the members of Council on the City’s involvement with Homeland Security for South Carolina.  He informed the members of Council that he is a member of the Homeland Security Council and serves as Chair of the Midlands Council, which will develop strategies and prepare recommendations for the State Council as it relates to funding.  Mr. Austin explained that $600,000 has been allocated for a Search and Rescue Team to be housed at the Columbia Police Department.  He stated that the Midlands Council would work closely with the State Council to assure that our local needs are met.
 
· Mayor Pro-Tempore Papadea adjourned the Work Session at 10:05 a.m. to convene the Regular Meeting.

· Mayor Pro-Tempore Papadea reconvened the Work Session at 11:06 a.m.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Isaac, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 11:07 p.m. to discuss Items E. through H. as amended.

EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

 E. Discussion of negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements
- AquaGrille
This item was held over, no action was taken.

- Convention Center Hotel
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

- **Mr. Charles Williams, Consultant
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

- **Annexation Consultant
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

 F. Discussion of the evaluation of employees
  This item was held over, no action was taken.
 
 G. **Discussion of the employment of employees
- Business Enterprise Office Director
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

- Public Works Director
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

- Chief of Police
  This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

 H. **Receipt of legal advice which relates to a matter covered by attorney-client privilege
- RTA lawsuit update
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

- **Pending lawsuit
   This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

 Mayor Pro-Tempore Papadea adjourned the meeting at 1:31 p.m.

 Respectfully submitted by:

 Erika D. Moore
Acting City Clerk