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Ehrhardt Town Council gives 1st reading to ordinances Print E-mail

After several incidents involving alcohol last year at the Copeland Ball Field that prompted several softball teams to move their games to a new location, and a number of incidents this year of people tampering with the Town’s water meters during the water system upgrade, after their service had been terminated for non-payment of their bills, Ehrhardt Town Council members passed on first reading (entitle only) two ordinances at their February 15, regular monthly meeting that will hopefully let the town’s citizens know they are serious about these matters.

Ehrhardt Public Safety Chief Chad Dilling noted that State law pertains to the consumption of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle and Ehrhardt law doesn’t cover drinking in public places in Town.

Ordinance No. 2011-02 pertaining to the consumption of alcoholic beverages on certain “public and private areas” states in part: “It is unlawful for Any person to drink, or carry for the purpose of immediate consumption in an open cup, can, glass, bottle or other similar drinking vessel containing beer, wine or any alcoholic beverages upon the streets, sidewalks, parks, public parking lots or other public property except where authorized or permitted by the owner thereof or Ehrhardt Town Council.

The Ordinance further states: “The maximum penalty for violation of this ordinance shall be a fine not exceeding ($250.00) or imprisonment for a period not exceeding (30) days, or both.”

It was noted in discussion of the Ordinance that consumption of alcohol on private property (i.e.) hotels and restaurants grounds would not be restricted by the Ordinance. “We have to use common sense on this,” Councilman Bennie Hughes said.

Ordinance No. 2011-01 concerning tampering with Town owned water meters states in-part: “It is unlawful for Any unauthorized person to turn on, tamper with, steal or bypass water service by breaking seals, locks or otherwise, except pursuant to the terms of a contract with the Public Works Department of the Town of Ehrhardt.

The Ordinance further states: “The maximum penalty for violation of this Ordinance shall be a fine not exceeding ($250.00) or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed (30) days, or both.”

The third Ordinance passed by Ehrhardt Town Council members at their February 15, meeting concerned the “careless burning of combustible matter” and states in-part: “ It is Unlawful for Any unauthorized person to carelessly or negligently set fire or burn grass, brush, leaves, or other combustible matter on any public street, sidewalk, or private property so as to cause or allow fire to spread or to be transmitted to the property of another.”

The Ordinance further states: “The maximum penalty for violation of this Ordinance shall be a fine not exceeding ($250.00) or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding (30) days or both with a 25 % assessment of any collected to be deposited to the General Fund of the Ehrhardt Fire Department.

Also during the meeting:

• Fire Chief Chad Dilling reported the fire department responded to four fire calls this month including: two brush fires, one structure, one call to assist Bamberg FD.

• It was reported in the public works department report that $11,668.99 was collected in December and $9,835 was collected in January. It was reported that 18 customers were cutoff for failure to pay their bill last month.

• In an update on the proposed health clinic it was reported that Family Health Clinic Inc. had applied for a 50 percent in matching funds. And a meeting was scheduled in Columbia on February 22, with Senators Brad Hutto and John Matthews in Columbia.

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