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City of Denmark to ‘aggressively’ pursue stimulus funds Print E-mail

Acknowledging that “the window of opportunity is very small, and that time constraints are the biggest impediment” newly installed Denmark Mayor Dr. Gerald E. Wright wasted little time letting it be known that getting a piece of the Federal Stimulus pie was a high priority on his agenda for the city at their April 20 meeting.

“This maybe a once in a lifetime situation, how will Denmark position itself to get its fair share of the $2 billion in funds coming to South Carolina?” Wright asked council.

Wright stated that he had recently attended a technical assistance session in Kingstree SC. sponsored by Rep. Jim Clyburn’s office. He informed council that the money in the package will serve systems that already exist.

Wright informed council that money was still out there. And, the city would be trying to get money through state agencies with promises of assistance from Rep. Clyburn’s office. Again, he reiterated that with a small administrative staff, the city was up against some hard deadlines, one of which was today he said.

“There are still some opportunities out there, our staff can’t reasonable handle that effort to get those kinds of dollars,” Wright said, adding that finding skillful competent folks that can come with us and go after those funds is critical.”

The new mayor identified “set aside programs” such as the one that awarded funds to counties that had poverty rates of 20 percent or more for 30 years, the Unemployed Veterans Program, and Disconnected Youth Program for people 16-24 that have been out of school or unemployed for six months or longer.

To assist the city in pursing stimulus funds the administration will install a computer terminal in City Hall dedicated solely to that effort. “When we get into the system, everything is time conscience, the one terminal would be dedicated to that one function,” Wright said.

“I ask council to commit to diligently and aggressively getting as much of this money as we can get, we want our guiding principle to be this, our decisions and actions will be driven by what is in the best interest of the citizens of the city of Denmark,” Wright said.

Council members voted unanimously to approve Councilmember Evert Comer’s motion to authorize the administration to pursue and apply for stimulus money in the various categories by use of volunteers or expenditures of a reasonable amount for consulting fees.

Also during the meeting the following business was also conducted:

Council members voted unanimously to name Councilmember Evert Comer as Mayor Pro Tem.” Thank you for your confidence in me,” Comer said.

In the police report, Officer Bernard Holman reported that the department created 42 case files for the month, three officers attended taser training, and he introduced the city’s newest employee a 14 month old German Sheppard by the name of “Rebo.” Officer Holman stated that the dog was trained “just to help get some of these drugs out of the community.”

The Denmark Fire Department reported 11 fire calls for the month, the department hopes to get the latter truck back soon and is using Blackville for backup and Barnwell if needed.

Water Department Director Daniel Norton reported that the Ash Lift Station has been refurbished with new lines, slide rails, and pump, and work is to begin on the Redwood lift station tomorrow. Work on the irrigation holding pond is scheduled for the end of the week, and erosion in the irrigation pond is to be repaired.

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