CITY OF COLUMBIA
CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
August 22, 2001
9:00 AM - City Council Conference Room
2nd Floor City Hall - 1737 Main Street
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The City of Columbia City Council met in a Work Session Wednesday, August 22, 2001 in the City Hall Council Conference Room, 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 E. W. Cromartie, II, 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 were Ms. Leona K. Plaugh, City Manager and Ms. Pamela J. Ferst, Acting City Clerk.

1. CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

A. Police Department Overtime Proposal

The Regional Commanders of the Police Department briefed Council on statistics of the work load, community complaints and the locations of the crime problems (target areas).  They reviewed the efforts of the crime task force.  The commanders agreed that the suppression system seems to be working, however, funding of the overtime hours is a major player.

The Mayor and Members of Council expressed their appreciation for all that the Police Department does to insure the safety of the Columbia Citizens.

Council members voiced their concerns about citizens reporting neighborhood crimes, i.e. drug dealers.  Council cautioned that it is not always best to approach the property of the person calling in the report.  They stated this practice may put the citizen in danger or deter them from reporting crimes.

Upon motion by Ms. Heizer and seconded by Mr. Davis, Council voted unanimously to approve the allocation of $250,000.00 from the Fiscal Year 2000 / 2001Fund Balance carried forward to Fiscal Year 2001 /2002 to fund the Police Department overtime.

. Mayor Coble moved the meeting to the City Council Chambers  to accommodate the public at 9:50 a.m..

. Mr. Papadea and Mr. Osborne left the meeting at this time.

B. Ordinance No.: 2000-039 - Amending Code of Ordinances of the    City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter .. (Public Nuisances).
 
Members of Council discussed several issues regarding Ordinance No.: 2000-039 - Amending Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter .. (Public Nuisances).

Most issues were related to:
. The perpetrators being charged with a misdemeanor crime(s).
. Maximum fines or penalties
. The notification of the property owners or managers.
. The number of violations occurring at the same property but not by the same offender.
. Should ordinance include business/commercial property as well as residential.
. Violations occurring on commercial properties, i.e. Hotels, Motels, Apartment complexes, and shopping Malls.
. The legal process once a violation has occurred.
. Consequences of the Federal Fair Housing Law.

. Mr. Osborne rejoined the meeting at 10:15 a.m.

Mr. Mel Jenkins, resident, spoke in opposition to the ordinance.

Mr. Jesse Reese, property owner / manager brought concerns to Council especially in regard to the homeless.  Mr. Reese stated that homeless people commit crimes on his property that he has no control over and wants Council to address this.

. Mr. Papadea rejoined the meeting at 10:40 a.m.

Mr. Joseph Rosen, property owner, stated that he has no trespassing signs on all of his properties but needs better enforcement by the city.  Mr. Rosen stated that signs don=t deter people.  He also stated that the law enforcement agencies need to streamline the eviction process.  Mr. Rosen also told Council that property owners and managers have to be very careful not to violate the Federal Fair Housing laws.

. Mr. Osborne left the meeting at 10:50 a.m.

Mr. Robert Wesson asked Council to tread lightly on where the responsibility lies and if there is an enforcement problem.

. Ms. Heizer and Mr. Davis left the meeting at 11:00 a.m.

Ms. Catherine Bellfield, resident, asked Council if the ordinance would be enforced in all neighborhoods and would it include commercial property.  Ms. Bellfield told Council of several lots that aren=t cut in her neighborhood.  She informed them that one owner is terminally ill and unable to cut the grass.

Council asked the city attorney to provide a draft of the revised ordinance to City Council for review by September 5, 2001 and to review the Federal Fair Housing laws.
 
Ms. Dorothy Love, resident, informed Council that since SCE&G trenched holes on her property to put lines in, she has been unable to get grass to grow.

. Mayor Coble moved the meeting back to the City Council Conference room at 11:42 p.m. and reconvened the Work Session meeting.

' Mr. Osborne left the meeting at 11:50 a.m.

C. Accommodations Tax and Community Promotion Funding

Upon motion by Mr. Papadea and seconded by Mayor Coble, Council voted unanimously to approve the Historic Columbia Heritage Trolley Tour portion in the amount of $16,000.
Mr. Osborne was absent for the vote.

All other Accommodations Tax and Community Promotion Funding items were held over.

Ms. Sinclair asked that Council look at the amount of money being funded from Accommodations Tax and Community Promotions for Arts Organization's facilities.

D. Midlands Regional Authority Convention Center Escrow Account

Upon motion by Ms. Heizer, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to approve  the Midlands Regional Authority Convention Center Escrow Account.

E. Update on the Convention and Visitors Bureau / Convention Center By Laws
F. Business Improvement District Agreements
1. Memorandum of Agreement
2. By Laws Revision
G. Old Shandon/Lower Waverly Neighborhoods - Design Preservation
Rehabilitation Grants for the Elderly (Correct Legal form)
H. Neighborhood Traffic Control Program (Stop Signs) - Wanda Dunn
I. FEMA / Green Diamond

Items 1. E. through 1. I. were held over, no action taken.

' Mr. Osborne returned to the meeting at 12:02 p.m.

2. CONSENT AGENDA

Upon motion by Mr. Papadea, seconded by Ms. Heizer, Council voted unanimously to approve on a single motion the consent agenda as presented.

A. STREET CLOSINGS

1. Request from the Pinehurst Community to close the 2900 block of     Schoolhouse Road at the Four Seasons Apartments, at Mercer Street, and    at Pinehurst Road on Saturday, August 25, 2001 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00    p.m.  Contact:  Officer Yvette Cordon - Approved

2. Request from Benedict College to close Barhamville Road at McAllister    and Germany Street at Waites Road for the 2001 Home Football Schedule    on the following dates and times. - Approved

Saturday, September 01st and 15th 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 20th and 27th   11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 10th   11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
B. BIDS AND AGREEMENTS

1. Council is asked for approval to contract to complete the Tee Box Putting    Green and Chipping Green at the Golf Driving Range as requested by    Parks & Recreation.  Award to New Life Turf, Inc., the second lowest    bidder, in the amount of $71,500.00.   No MBE/FBE Bidders.  Firm    located in S.C. - Approved

3. RESOLUTIONS

Resolution No.:  2001-059 - Authorizing consumption of alcoholic beverages and  outdoor concert for Jillians in Gadsden Street at Gervais Street.

Upon motion by Ms. Heizer, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to approve Resolution No.:  2001-059 - Authorizing consumption of alcoholic beverages and outdoor concert for Jillians in Gadsden Street at Gervais Street.

4. APPOINTMENTS

A. The Planning Commission
This item was held over, no action was taken.

B. The Mini Grant Committee

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted to appoint Moses Felder and Mel Jenkins to the Mini Grant Committee to serve until September 30, 2004.

C. The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority
This item was held over, no action was taken.
 
5. OTHER MATTERS

A. Sound System Recommendation

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to authorize the City Manager to enter into an agreement with Acoustical Design Associates for $2,500 to resolve problems with the Council Chambers sound system.

B. Council Meeting Schedule

1. October, November, and December, 2001
District II Meeting - City Talk (CAC / CNN)
2. January, 2002 - District Meeting
This item was held over, no action was taken.

C. *John Hardy Sponsorship

Upon motion by Ms. Heizer, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve a sponsorship in the amount of $5,000 for the John Hardy event.

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mayor Coble, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session to discuss Economic Development issue, Co-Location, and Contractual Matters at 12:10 p.m.

6. Legal Briefings and Contracts *

A. *Co-Location - Contract / Lease
B. *Annexation - Riverhill Circle area
C. *Economic Development - Legal Briefing
D.. *Personnel Matter
E. *Legal Briefing - Contracts

The meeting adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
 
 

Pamela J. Ferst, CPS
Acting City Clerk