CITY COUNCIL PUBLIC HEARING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2005
10:00 A.M. Ė 1737 MAIN STREET
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

The City of Columbia City Council conducted two (2) Public Hearings on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 in the City Council Chambers at 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m.  The following members of Council were present:  The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis and The Honorable Daniel J. Rickenmann.  The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine was absent.  Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Salley, City Clerk.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1.  Minutes of August 3, 10 and 17, 2005 - Consideration of this item was deferred until September 7, 2005.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

· Council opened the Public Hearings at 10:05 a.m.

2. Proposed Fees for the Charles R. Drew Wellness Center Ė Mr. S. Allison Baker, Assistant City Manager

Ms. Beatrice Abel Cossey, 2301 Waverly Street, expressed concerns about the fees for senior citizens and disabled citizens and the Cityís lack of long-term planning.

Mr. William J. Irwin, 1213 Princeton Street, expressed concerns about the programmatic use of the Drew Wellness Centerís indoor pool.  He said that he teaches swimming lessons at Maxcy Gregg Park.

Mr. S. Allison Baker, Assistant City Manager for Public Services explained that the program is a part of the Parks and Recreation Department and that staff will ensure that the group has proper access to the pool at the Drew Wellness Center.  He further explained that there is a fee structure specifically for senior citizens.

Ms. Myrtle Gordon, 2118 Gordon Street, expressed concerns about camps and recreational groups having access to the facility.  She urged the members of Council to include them because they love to swim also.  She asked them to consider the families that canít afford to pay.  She noted that some senior citizens might just want to visit the facility without using any amenities.

Ms. Eleanor Woods Dalton, 1832 St. Louis Avenue, asked for the exact fees that senior citizens would be charged.

· Council adjourned this Public Hearing at 10:23 a.m.

3. Improvement Plan for the Congaree Vista Business Improvement District (BID) Ė Mr. Dale Marshall, Vista Business Improvement District Committee Chair

Mr. Dale Marshall, Vista Business Improvement District Committee Chair, noted that the assessment rate is .0017% versus the 17%, which was inaccurately advertised.  He said that a Memorandum of Understanding was created between the Congaree Vista BID and the City Center Partnership in a spirit of cooperation to ensure that the two (2) work together to expend the resources of the City in the most efficient way possible.  He said that clean and safety services would be shared and possibly even office space.  Mr. Marshall noted that the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce endorsed the creation of a Vista BID. He stated that they have signatures from owners representing 40% of the assessed property value.

Mr. Matt Kennell, City Center Partnership Executive Director, stated that they are in support of the process to form a Vista BID.

Mr. Ike McLeese, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, stated that they had concerns about the two (2) BIDís overlapping, competing for precious resources and marketing discrepancies for the entire community, but those issues have been resolved.  He said that through this process, a template for developing a BID has been created.  He urged the members of Council to encourage all BIDís to share resources and to develop a consistent marketing message.

Mr. Ned Pendarvis, Columbia Development