CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
December 15, 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, December 15, 2004 in the City Council Chambers at 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina. The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.  The following members of City Council were present:  The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, 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.  Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, City Clerk.

PRESENTATION

A. Next Energy Planning  – Dr. Harris Pastides, University of South Carolina Vice President for Research and Mr. Larry Wilson, Managing General Partner of Trelys, Inc. and Columbia Next Energy Initiative Co-Chairs

Mr. Neal McLean, Executive Director of Engenuity SC, said that during the summer Mayor Coble announced his intentions for Columbia to become a hydrogen city and he appointed Mr. Larry Wilson and Mr. Harris Pastides as Co-chairs and Engenutiy was asked to fill the role of Project Leader for the Columbia Next Energy Initiative.   He said that a coalition of businesses, higher education and government leaders formed the project team.  He outlined that Mr. Larry Wilson, Mr. Lee Bussell, Ms. Cathy Novinger, Mr. Jim Fields, Mr. Clarence Davis, Mr. Harris Pastides and Mayor Coble serve on the Project Team.  Mr. McLean said that a short-term project plan has been drafted and a local project team has been appointed.

Mr. Harris Pastides, Next Energy Co-chair, he said that the University of South Carolina has begun to focus more on research and technology areas that can be winners in the short-term and eventually in the long-term future.  He said that Next Energy has a higher probability of success.  He stated that the University of South Carolina would have a prominent role in helping to spear the technology at the Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken.  The University has committed $250,000.00 for the hiring of a consultant and related expenses that will be incurred while determining in a six-month period if the hydrogen economy can be centered in Columbia.

Mr. Larry Wilson, Next Energy Co-chair, said that this is the only opportunity for Columbia to be an economic front.  He stated that the University of South Carolina is the only National Science Foundation Fuel Cell Lab.  He said that a consultant is needed to develop a 20-year plan for Next Energy.  He noted that the tentative selection made by the committee was ICF Consulting of San Francisco, California.  ICF Consulting has expertise in cluster development around energy, hydrogen and new energy.  He requested authorization to engage ICF Consulting to develop a six-month study in conjunction with a local team from the University and the business community, the Savannah River and other interested parties.  He requested that the City of Columbia match the University’s funding of $250,000.00.  He said that they will raise an additional $250,000.00 from the business community for a total of $750,000.00 for phase I.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to endorse the plan that was presented and to allocate $250,000.00 to the Next Energy Initiative.  Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager was directed to identify the source of funding.

B. Responsible Employer Ordinance – Mr. Jimmy Gibbs, Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council Carpenters and Millwrights Local Union 1778 Business Representative

Mr. Jimmy Gibbs, Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council Carpenters and Millwrights Local Union 1778 Business Representative explained the concept of a Responsible Employer Ordinance and urged the City of Columbia to consider adopting the same.   He explained that the Ordinance sets minimal requirements for all contractors and subcontractors bidding on publicly funded projects.  He stated that the City of Columbia could require contractors and subcontractors to pay prevailing wages, provide health insurance for all employees, provide a drug free workplace, classify workers as employees, and comply with OSHA standards.  Mr. Gibbs urged City Council to consider adopting a Responsible Employer Ordinance.

C. **Disparity Study Overview – Mr. Tony Lawton, Office of Business Opportunities Director

Ms. Dalhi Myers, Esquire, presented the results of the Request for Proposals for an Underutilization and Causation Analysis Study.  The committee recommended that the contract be awarded to MGT of America due to their extensive expertise in dealing with the city of Columbia.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Rickenmann, Council voted unanimously to approve the committee’s recommendation to negotiate a contract with MGT of America for an Underutilization and Causation Analysis Study (Disparity Study).  Prior to entering into a contract City Council has requested a briefing from the City attorneys to ensure that we are proceeding in an appropriate manner.  Mr. Rickenmann was not present for the vote.
 
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

D.  Community Promotions Funding Recommendations – Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman

Judge Mildred McDuffie, Community Promotions Advisory Committee Chair told the members of Council that the committee has less than $50,000.00 remaining in their budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2004/2005.  She stated that two (2) of the three (3) organizations that applied for funding were denied because they received funding previously.

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Rickenmann, Council voted unanimously to approve the committee’s recommendation to fund Junior Achievement in the amount of $3,500.00 from the Community Promotions Fund.  Councilwoman Devine abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest.  (See list below)

E.  Community Promotions Advisory Committee Appointments - Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman

Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman, explained that there are currently three (3) vacancies on the Community Promotions Advisory Committee.  She requested guidance on whether or not to advertise the vacancies or to seek nominations directly from City Council.

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mr. Rickenmann, Council voted unanimously to approve the reappointment of the following eight- (8) committee members.  Staff was directed to advertise vacancies for three (3) at-large representatives.

Ms. Jacqueline Cromartie Councilman Cromartie
Ms. Candy Waites Councilwoman Sinclair
Mr. Rusty DePass Councilman Osborne
Ms. Connie Jenkins Councilman Davis
Ms. Shelia Clause Councilwoman Devine
Mr. Chris Brownlee Councilman Rickenmann
Ms. Mildred McDuffie, Chair At-Large
Mr. Harold White At-Large

F.  **Five Points Fountain – Mr. Jack Van Loan, Five Points Association President

Mr. Jack Van Loan, Director of Economic Development for the Five Points Association requested funding in the amount of $125,000.00 to upgrade the fountain that is currently a part of the Five Points Streetscape Project.  He said that the City budgeted $45,000.00 for this fountain, but the association would like to upgrade the proposed fountain.  He stated that the association would raise an additional $125,000.00.  The fountain would be placed in the median of the intersection at Saluda Avenue and Blossom Street.

· City Council adjourned the Work Session at 9:57 a.m. to break prior to convening the Regular Meeting.

· City Council reconvened the Work Session at 11:48 a.m.

G.  Hospitality Tax Funding Advisory Committee Appointments and Guidelines - Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mr. Rickenmann, Council voted unanimously to approve the reappointment of nine (9) current members as listed below.  Staff was directed to advertise the four (4) remaining vacancies.   The Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee is directed to meet quarterly to review applications, as needed.

Ms. Mildred McDuffie (Chair)  Mr. Bill Ellen
Ms. Delores Hurt  Mr. Steve MacDougall
Mr. Richard Burts  Mr. Jimmy Stevenson
Ms. Harriett Green  The Honorable Barry A. Walker
Ms. Dianne Light

APPOINTMENTS

H. Board of Zoning Appeals – Mr. Marc Mylott, Director of Development Services

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Rickenmann, Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Ms. Elaine Gillespie to the Board of Zoning Appeals as a District III representative.  Ms. Gillespie will serve a five (5) year term to expire on December 15, 2009.  Consideration of the two (2) remaining appointments was deferred until January 5, 2005.

I. Columbia Small Business Regulatory Review Committee

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to increase the number of committee members from eleven (11) to twelve (12) and to approve the appointment of the following ten (10) individuals to the Columbia Small Business Regulatory Review Committee.  Nominations from Mr. Osborne and Mr. Davis will be announced prior to December 31, 2004 without further consideration.

Mr. Frank Knapp, Chairman  City Council
Mr. Dean Cook Mayor Coble
Mr. Leon Howard Councilman Cromartie
Ms. Barbara Rackes Councilwoman Sinclair
Mr. Brian South Councilwoman Devine
Mr. Nigel Mahaffey Councilman Rickenmann
Mr. Steve Hinson Mr. Frank Knapp
Mr. Doug Snyder Mr. Frank Knapp
Mr. William Nathan South Carolina Minority Business Development Center
Mr. Perry James South Carolina Minority Business Development Center

  J. **Citizens Advisory Committee

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Davis, Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Ms. Naomi Jones as the Midland Terrace Neighborhood representative and Ms. Laura Easley as the Melrose Heights representative.  Both individuals will represent District III during fiscal year 2004/2005.

TRAFFIC ISSUES

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mr. Davis, Council voted unanimously to approve on a single motion Traffic Items K. and L. as presented.

K. 1800 Standish Avenue  - Approved the installation of “No Parking” signs on both sides of the 1800 block of Standish Avenue. This recommendation eliminates the need to shift the centerline as approved by City Council on October 20, 2004.
 
L. Melrose Heights Traffic Control – Approved the installation of five (5) multi-way stop signs at the following intersections: Fairview Drive and Kirby Street, Fairview Drive and Senate Street, Shirley Street and Pickett Street, Butler Street and Kline Street and Daly Street and Pickett Street.  Due to the offsets in intersections on Gladden Street, it is not feasible to utilize multi-way stops to slow traffic; therefore, parking on Gladden Street will be permitted on alternate sides of the street in successive blocks to encourage slower speeds.

M. **Five Points Parking Meters – Mr. John Spade, Director of General Services

Mr. John Spade, Director of General Services reminded the members of Council that two (2) years ago parking meters were installed city-wide.  He added that parking meters would be installed in two (2) blocks of Five Points within the next two (2) weeks in order to create more turnover parking.  He said that parking turnover has increased by 60-80% in the Vista area due to the installation of parking meters.   He said that the forty-seven meters in Five Points would be increased to 240-250.

Mr. Randy Dennis Five Points Merchant appeared before the members of Council in opposition to the installation of the parking meters in Five Points.  He said that there hasn’t been any communication with the merchants and they don’t understand why the meters are needed.  He urged the members of Council to reconsider installing the meters because they would not be appropriate for the area.

Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted six (6) to one (1) to reaffirm the vote from 2002 to install additional parking meters within Five Points.  Voting aye were Mr. Cromartie, Ms. Sinclair, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Davis, Ms. Devine and Mayor Coble.  Voting nay was Mr. Rickenmann.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 12:45 p.m. for the discussion of Items N. and Q. as amended.

EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

N. Discussion of negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements
- Grants Administration Services
- Department of Mental Health  (Farrow Road)
- Lobbying Services
 These items were discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

O. Discussion of employment of an employee
 This item was withdrawn from the Executive Session discussion.
 
P. **Receipt of legal advice which relates to a matter covered by attorney-client privilege
- **Renaissance Foundation
 This item was discussed during the regular meeting and withdrawn from the Executive Session discussion.

Q. **Discussion of negotiations incident to the proposed purchase of property
 This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

· City Council adjourned the meeting at 2:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Moore
City Clerk