CITY OF COLUMBIA
CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
September 24, 2003
9:00 AM - City Council Chambers
3rd Floor City Hall - 1737 Main Street

 
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

A. Convention Center Update  – Mr. Bill Dukes

Mr. Bill Dukes introduced the board members to the members of Council.  He requested that the members of Council continue to consider their request for funding in the amount of $1 million for marketing the Convention Center.  He explained that the request includes $50,000 for the Columbia Branding Initiative.  Mr. Dukes stated that the Convention Center authority is pursuing potential groups to use the facility, but it’s difficult at this point without knowing when the Convention Center Hotel would be opening.  He t old the members of Council that minority business participation for the $33 million project is at 23.7% and female business participation is at 14%.  Mr. Dukes announced that the Convention Center could open as soon as September 2004.

I. S. Leevy Johnson, Convention Center Board Member, stated that credit should be given to City Council for articulating this idea and helping to make it a success.  He assured the members of Council that more would be done to increase the minority and female business involvement in the development of the Convention Center.

Mr. James Bennett, Convention Center Board Member, informed the members of Council that the Convention Center project has remained within budget and on schedule.

Judge Michelle Childs, Convention Center Board Member, informed the members of Council that Center Plate of Spartanburg has been selected as the Food Services vendor.  She stated that this is a financially sound and highly reputable company.  Ms. Childs said that the use of the University of South Carolina’s Program on Hotel & Tourism and the local workforce was mandated in the contract with Center Plate.

Mr. Bill Cramms, MB Kahn, informed the members of Council that thirty-five (35) MBE / FBE firms are working on the Convention Center project.  He stated that this is a result of City Council’s commitment and the assistance of City staff.  Mr. Cramms also stated that the entire project was broken down into twenty-five (25) bid packages, which enabled small firms to be more competitive with larger firms.

B. Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee Appointments – Ms. Libby Gober

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Mr. Steven McDougal, Mr. Richard Burts and Mr. Jimmy Stevenson as Restaurateurs; Mr. Steve Camp of the Conventions & Visitors Bureau and Judge Mildred McDuffie from the Community Promotions Advisory Committee as Ex-Officio members; and the solicitation of a representative from the Business Improvement District to serve as a voting member.
 
C. Hospitality Tax Funding – Ms. Libby Gober

Upon motion by Mr. Papadea, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to direct the Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee to review the list of funding and provide specific recommendations for Council to consider.

D. Columbia Branding Initiative Request for Funding – Ms. Libby Gober

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted six (6) to one (1) to approve funding in the amount of $45,000 from the Hospitality Tax Fund for the final phase of the Branding Initiative; Council authorized staff to deduct this amount from the Conventions & Visitors Bureau application for Hospitality Tax funding; and Council directed the Branding Committee to present the concept of the Branding Initiative to the Council of Governments.  Voting aye were Mr. Cromartie, Mr. Papadea, Ms. Sinclair, Mr. Davis, Ms. Isaac and Mayor Coble.  Voting nay was Mr. Osborne.

E. Mainstream Rent Payments – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Economic Development Director

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Isaac, Council voted unanimously to approve rent payments due to Mainstream in the amount of $125,000.00 for a 6-month period from August 2003 until January 2004.  The Land Acquisition Fund was determined as the funding source.

STREET CLOSING
 
F. Council is asked to approve a request from SCDOT to close the north side of Senate Street adjacent to Trinity Cathedral from Sumter Street back about 200 feet, on Thursday, October 2, 2003, from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. for the SmartRide Kick Off and News Conference.  Contact:  Peter Poore

Upon motion by Mr. Papadea, seconded by Ms. Isaac, Council voted unanimously to approve a request from SCDOT to close the north side of Senate Street adjacent to Trinity Cathedral from Sumter Street back about 200 feet, on Thursday, October 2, 2003, from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. for the SmartRide Kick Off and News Conference.

ORDINANCES - SECOND READING

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to give second reading approval on a single motion to Item G. Ordinance No.: 2003-033 – Annexing 5.85 acres, Cort Road, Richland County TMS#11704-03-12 (portion) and # 11703-01-02 (portion) and Item H. Ordinance No.: 2003-033 – Annexing 5.85 acres, Cort Road, Richland County TMS#11704-03-12 (portion) and # 11703-01-02 (portion).

G. Ordinance No.: 2003-033 – Annexing 5.85 acres, Cort Road, Richland County TMS#11704-03-12 (portion) and # 11703-01-02 (portion) First reading approval on June 18, 2003  - Approved on second reading.

H.  Ordinance No.: 2003-073 – Annexing 1730 and 1732 Canal Drive, Richland County TMS #07311-03-06 and 08 First reading approval on September 17, 2003 - Approved on second reading.

APPEARANCE OF PUBLIC HAVING BUSINESS WITH CITY COUNCIL

Mr. Eddie Lloyd informed the members of Council that the Waverly Annex Neighborhood is now a part of the Richland County Council of Neighborhoods.  He stated that Richland County has given the Waverly Annex Neighborhood a sign that is now located at the corner of Millwood Avenue and Dillon Street.  Mr. Lloyd raised concerns regarding the sign being in the right-of-way.  He asked for permission to let the sign remain in place until he is granted an encroachment from the City of Columbia and the South Carolina Department of Transportation.  He thanked Captain Burke for providing Police Officers to escort children across Millwood Avenue to the Community Center.

Ms. Lisa Lillis, 1 Kings Gate Drive, appeared before the members of Council to voice concerns regarding illegal activities in the Rosewood Community.  She complained about loud music, drugs, gang activity, the lack of police presence, overgrown right-of-ways, trees, and debris in the drains and ditches.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 10:37 a.m. to discuss Items I. through K. as amended.  Ms. Sinclair was not present for the vote.
 
EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

I.   Discussion of the employment of an employee
  This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

J.  Discussion of negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements
   This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

 K.  **Receipt of legal advice which related to matters covered by attorney-client privilege
  This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

· Mayor Coble adjourned the Executive Session at 2:15 p.m. to convene the Work Session.

RESOLUTIONS

L. **Resolution No.: R-2003-058 – Authorizing City Attorney to abandon the condemnation of 900 Senate Street, Richland County TMS # 08916-10-01 and 02

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve Resolution No.: R-2003-058 – Authorizing City Attorney to abandon the condemnation of 900 Senate Street, Richland County TMS# 08916-10-01 and 02.

Mayor Coble adjourned the meeting at 2:16 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Moore
City Clerk