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City of Bamberg waiting to hear on FEMA application Print E-mail

With its application to the Department of Homeland Security in place for funds to retro-fit the Bamberg Civic Center, Bamberg City officials now have to play a game of wait and see, while trying to come up with matching funds if their application is approved.

“It’s not a competitive grant, the monies have been earmarked, we will not hear anything until April,” City of Bamberg Clerk/Treasurer Bruce Watson told Bamberg City Councilmember's at their February 14, board meeting. “The sticking point will be the matching funds," Watson added.

The City of Bamberg is looking for $900,000 to retro-fit the Bamberg Civic Center with windows, doors and a roof to be used as an Emergency Operations Center for the County as well as a staging area for the South Carolina National Guard for an emergency on the coast.

Watson stated that Bamberg City officials met in Columbia on February 10, with Daniel Cooper of the South Carolina House Ways and Means Committee and was informed of the “dire straight” the state is in facing an $800 million dollar deficit.

“No way will they be able to come up with any matching monies to help us with that Civic Center,” Watson said. “Representative Sellers wanted us to hear that coming from the horse’s mouth.”

Watson noted that Rep. Sellers was moving forward in seeking matching funds for the Civic Center by coming back to the Adjutant General’s Office seeking funds. “I can’t tell you anything to get your hopes up,” Watson said. “At the state level it’s going to be hard.”

Also during the meeting:

• Bamberg Fire Department Chief Timmie Taylor informed Council members the department had received notice three and a half weeks ago from the offices of Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint that the BFD had been approved for a $50,588 grant that included a five percent or $2,029 match to replace generators and other equipment. Chief Taylor informed Council members that after the matching funds the department received a grant for $48,059. “We put up $2,029 and received $48, 059,” Chief Taylor noted. Council members unanimously approved the grant for the fire department.

• Council member Bo Griffin reported there was no disagreement between the City of Bamberg and Board of Public Works with the Split Salary Agreement between the two and thanked BPW General Manager Bruce Ellis for all they do for the City of Bamberg along with Supervisor Gene Searson, who both were present at the meeting.

• Council members approved the appointment Jack Izlar to the Board of Zoning Appeals to fill the seat of Mrs. Kitty Padgett.

In the Public Comments portion of the meeting:

• Council members heard from Dinah Magno, who said she has lived in small towns in California and Michigan and was now proud to say that “she was from Bamberg.” “Everyone here in Bamberg is just wonderful,” Magno said. Adding that she will try to shop first in Bamberg and thanked those responsible cleaning and taking care of the cemetery on south Main Street.

• Longtime Bamberg plumber and businessman Sammie Milhouse also encouraged Bamberg Citizens to spend their money locally and “make the City of Bamberg a place we can be proud of.”

• Council member Cynthia Summers thanked the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) for erecting the signs on Race Street for the children and thanked Council member Janeth Walker for her assistance.

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