The City of Columbia City Council assembled for a Work Session on Wednesday, December 8, 2004 in the Washington Square Building at 1136 Washington Street, Columbia, South Carolina. Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 8:42 a.m. The following members 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.
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION
1. Arsenal Hill / Housing Authority Swap – Ms. Dana D. Turner, Assistant City Manager for Commerce and Development
Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to authorize a property swap involving three (3) parcels of land as requested by the Columbia Development Corporation for property owned by the Columbia Housing Authority.
· Parcel one (1) is owned by the Columbia Development Corporation
and is located at 602 Richland Street.
· Parcel two (2) is located in the center of the same block as parcel one and is currently owned by the Columbia Housing Authority.
· Parcel three (3) is located at the rear of another parcel owned by the Columbia Housing Authority and is also adjacent to land owned by the Columbia Development Corporation.
1a. **Review of Hospitality Tax Funding Applications – Ms. Libby
Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman, presented two (2) applications for Hospitality Tax funding. The Columbia City Ballet requested $100,000.00 to present “Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green” and Black Pages USA requested $70,000.00 to support the continued growth and success of the annual business and cultural event known as the “Black Expo” for 2005.
Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager, recommended that each organization receive $50,000.00 from the Hospitality Tax Fund.
Mr. Osborne inquired about a request from the Columbia Classical Ballet in the amount of $10,000.00. He asked if there was funding available for this organization.
Upon motion by Ms. Sinclair, seconded by Mayor Coble, Council voted unanimously to approve recommendations for funding for Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green in the amount of $50,000.00 and for the Black Expo 2005 in the amount of $50,000.00 from the Hospitality Tax Fund. There was a consensus of Council to have the Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee review the funding request from the Columbia Classical Ballet in the amount of $10,000.00.
CONSIDERATION OF BIDS, AGREEMENTS & CHANGE ORDERS
2. Council is asked to approve a Proposal for Grants Administration Services, as requested by Administration. Award to the University of South Carolina in the amount of $38,250.00 plus variable costs.
Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager, presented a proposal for Grants Administration Services from the University of South Carolina in the amount of $38,250.00 plus variable costs in the amount of $70.00 - $75.00 per hour. He said that the University has 35 staff members dedicated to tracking and writing grants. He stated that the University would tax 10% of each grant awarded to the City of Columbia. Mr. Austin explained that another option would be to hire an individual to be the Grants Administrator, but his concern is that one person would not have the broad range of expertise needed for the many diverse grants that may be available.
There was a consensus of Council to endorse the concept of partnering with the University of South Carolina for Grants Administration Services. Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager was directed to negotiate a contract for Grants Administration on a pay by performance basis.
ORDINANCES - SECOND READING
3. Ordinance No.: 2004-103 - Authorizing City Manager to execute an Easement to South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) for an electric line along Richland County TMS 07413-01-03, TMS#07316-01-02/02-01A , TMS#07316-02-14, TMS#07314-02-05, TMS#07314 and TMS#09006 for Canal Lights to Serve the Canal Embankment Project; CF#250-119 First reading approval given on November 17, 2004.
Councilman Hamilton Osborne, Jr., asked whether the lines would be installed underground. He said that he would vote against all easements for SCE&G to install or expand any above ground electrical lines. He said that as long as we allow the utility companies to do the easy thing, they will. He admitted that it might be impractical to install underground utilities in this situation.
Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted six (6) to one (1) to give second reading approval to Ordinance No.: 2004-103 - Authorizing City Manager to execute an Easement to South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) for an electric line along Richland County TMS 07413-01-03, TMS#07316-01-02/02-01A, TMS#07316-02-14, TMS#07314-02-0