CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
August 18, 2004
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, August 18, 2004 in the City Hall Council Chambers at 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m.  Council members present were The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis, The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine, and The Honorable Daniel J. Rickenmann.  Absent was The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II due to his attendance at the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials Board Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio.  Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, City Clerk.

PRESENTATION

  1. **United States Tennis Association – Mr. Jim Wescott

Mr. Jim Wescott thanked the members of Council for their support of the United States Tennis Association Southern Sectionals.  He told the members of Council that an economic impact study would not be compiled, but he thinks that the tournament had a $15 million impact.  Mr. Wescott presented a plaque to Mayor Coble for his dedication to the tournament and another to the members of City Council for their continued support of the tournament.

CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

A.  Engenuity South Carolina – Mr. Neil McLean, Executive Director

Mr. Neil McLean provided an update on the progress of Engenuity SC.  He invited the members of Council to attend the Engenuity ’04 Economic Leadership Conference at the State Museum on Thursday, August 26, 2004.  He stated that the goal of Engenuity is to create high wage and high impact jobs in the Columbia region by connecting businesses to higher education and research; creating the infrastructure in an entrepreneurial business environment in the Columbia region; and building access to sources of investment capital for entrepreneurs in the region.  He said that initial funding was provided by the City of Columbia and they were able to triple the City’s investment with funding from local higher education institutions, Richland County and private businesses.  Mr. McLean told the members of Council that the first hot spot was launched in the Vista and they are currently working to launch hot spots on Main Street and on the Riverfront.  He stated that a Fast Track Program has been launched with Midlands Technical College to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in deciding how feasible their business ideas are.  Engenuity will also provide scholarships for those who are interested in attending these classes, which are scheduled to begin next month.  He said that a big part of the conference is going to be educating our leaders and the general public about how research fits together with investment capital and business incubators to create the types of jobs and companies that we want in Columbia.  He thanked the members of Council for their leadership and support.  He requested approval of the request for financial support for Engenuity SC in the amount of $100,000.00 that has been earmarked in the Economic Development budget for fiscal year 2004/2005.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to disburse $100,000.00, which was earmarked for Engenuity South Carolina from the Economic Development budget for fiscal year 2004/2005.
Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to authorize staff to include the installation of Wireless Internet infrastructure in streetscape projects where there is a demand for public wireless Internet accessibility.

B.  City Center Master Plan Update – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development

Mt. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development, told the members of Council that the City Center Master Plan Selection Committee reviewed the responses to the fifty- (50) Requests for Proposals that were sent to professional land planners throughout the country.  He said that five (5) of the twenty-two (22) responders were invited to present their proposal to the selection committee.  He requested authroization to enter into a contract with LandDesgin and their design team consisting of Quackenbush Architects and Planners (Columbia, SC), Zimmerman/Volk Associates (Clinton, NJ), Miley & Associates (Columbia, SC), SRS Engineering (Columbia, SC), and Tom Sawyer Company (Columbia, SC).

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the committee’s recommendation to contract with LandDesign of Charlotte, North Carolina to update the City Center Master Plan.

C.  Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act – The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble
   This item was held over, no action was taken.

C1.  **Courtyard at Arsenal Hill – Mr. Steve Gantt, Senior Assistant City Manager for Operations
 
Mr. Steve Gantt, Senior Assistant City Manager for Operations, recommended that the City reimburse the Columbia Development Corporation for the funds they utilized through our Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to acquire property for the Courtyard at Arsenal Hill development project.  He said that the contract for the development of the Courtyard at Arsenal Hill would be between the Columbia Development Corporation and Doric Real Estate Development, LLC.  Mr. Gantt stated that the reimbursed funds would go back into the CDBG Fund for other appropriate projects within the City.

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to authorize the disbursement of funding in the amount of $164,000.00 to the Columbia Development Corporation from the Property Acquisition Fund.  The Columbia Development Corporation will use these funds to repay the Community Development Block Grant loan that was utilized to acquire property for the Courtyard at Arsenal Hill development project.
 
C2.  **Hill Crest Avenue Transfer of Ownership – Mr. Steve Gantt, Senior Assistant City Manager for Operations

Mr. Steve Gantt, Senior Assistant City Manager for Operations, told the members of Council that the Lutheran Seminary is working to revamp their campus and they want to turn Hillcreast Avenue into a plaza and pedestrian walkway.  He stated that Hillcrest Avenue is state owned.  Mr. Gantt recommended that we proceed with a request to SCDOT to transfer Hillcrest Avenue to the City of Columbia that would allow us to transfer it to the Seminary for their development project.

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by