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Denmark Mayor gives preliminary State of the City address Print E-mail

Denmark Mayor Gerald E. Wright presented City Council members with what he called “a working document or overview” of a preliminary draft of a “State of the City” address outlining some of the accomplishments, needs, and strategies to improve the City of Denmark at their February 22, meeting.

The Mayor noted that since 2009 the City has seen: The installation of two new wells at a cost of $860,000 with an additional $90,000 coming from other sources, supplying a “good adequate supply of water.” The City is “close” to finishing the installation of 40 new fire hydrants, successfully annexed Voorhees College and Denmark Technical College, noting “this should be beneficial over time in terms of the U.S. Census.” Other accomplishments noted were: impending Improvements to the Highway 321 and 78 intersections that should be completed in 10 months; Construction of a new library and laptop computers in each police car.

Under the heading of Current Conditions and Needs; it was noted that there were still a large number of old pipes underground in the City; City Hall, the Brooker Center and the Dane Theater has some needed repairs, there is a “persistent” abundance of litter on the streets, abandoned houses and buildings, a lack of sources of jobs and cultural and recreational events are “very limited.” Under goals and strategies; it was noted the City needed to: Seek funds to address needs and capital expenditures; Prosecute violators of the City’s litter laws; recognize examples of “Community Pride”; Take a stronger look at how the Dogwood Festival is done and strive to get citizens involved in the City’s concerns. “We want to encourage community pride,” Mayor Wright said.

Also during the meeting:

• It was noted in the Public Works Department report that the waterline repair patches “looked very good,” four leaks repaired, three taps replaced, and four employees are scheduled for water treatment training in Williston. Six training meeting were also held.

• It was reported in the Denmark Police Department reports the department made 101 new cases between January 18, and February 22 including hit and run, assault and battery, missing person, possession of crack cocaine and unlawful carrying of a handgun.

• City Administrator Heyward Robinson reported that President Obama has proposed a seven and a half percent cut in the Community Development Block Grant Program in which the City has an application due in April. He noted the legislature has proposed an even more drastic cut of 62 percent in the CDBG Program. “This will impact us in some way,” Robinson said.

• In the fire department report, Chief Charles Breland reported the department responded to 19 fire calls in what he described as a “busy month.” Chief Breland asked Council members to “revisit” the department’s request for first responders training for 14 firefighters at a cost of $120 each that would cover the cost of books and tests. Breland said the department now has 30 members with one new fulltime firefighter and is “running better.”

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