City Council endorses sale of BPW property

During a rescheduled Bamberg City Council meeting that was held on Thursday, January 13, 2011, per recommendation of attorneys, Bamberg City Council endorsed the sale of property owned by the Bamberg Board of Public Works to Bamberg School District One for the purpose of building a new school. The 57 acre property that is located on highway 301 north was sold to the school district for $285,000. Bruce Watson said it was at the recommendation of attorneys to document the agreement to sell the property.

Mayor Alton McCollum reported the need for the members of city council and the members of the Bamberg Board of Public Works to meet with each other in an attempt to form a more cohesive city government relationship. McCollum said the BPW manager is interested in “building a better relationship” between the board and the city council. McCollum sought recommendations from council members regarding the format of what was described as a “workshop” for the two groups. After weighing the pros and cons of meeting in or out of town, city council agreed that it would be more feasible to meet locally in the evening during a time that would be convenient for most of the prospective participants and media.

In other business:

• Councilman and police commissioner Bo Griffin reported that the retirement drop-in for retired assistant police chief Sammy Bamberg was a wonderful way to pay tribute to the veteran officer of the Bamberg police department. Griffin also reported that the commissioners are currently evaluating applications for a new police officer.

• Councilperson and Sanitation Department and Chamber of Commerce Commissioner Janeth Walker reported on upcoming Chamber sponsored events and thanked the citizens for their patience with waiting for garbage collection during the recent bad weather. Walker said due to the weather the trucks were not able to get out of Columbia.

• Recently elected councilman and insurance commissioner Buck Fralick said he was going to meet with outgoing insurance commissioner Walker and Bruce (Watson) to get a handle on what needs to be done regarding insurance matters.

• Under Councilperson Teresa Hannibal’s fire department commissioner report, she reported that the Bamberg Fire Department will host ladies’ night on January 20th at 7 p.m. at Bamberg First Baptist Church for the wives of the firemen. Fire Chief, Timmy Taylor reported that the department has acquired two new fire fighters. Taylor said Stephen Hughes, who works with EMS has joined the department along with Stephen Gunnells who is employed by the Bamberg County Sheriff’s department.

• Public Buildings, Parks, Franchises and Economic Development commissioner Nancy Foster said that she had some ideas for the basketball courts and wanted to meet with the committee after the council meeting to discuss a time to meet with the committee. Foster also advised the council that they needed to move forward with the agreed upon recommendation to fix the roof in the Bamberg Civic Center. City Manager Bruce Watson said the city was waiting on the outcome of some federal funding before spending the 32,000 that the council voted to spend on the project. Foster also reported that city employees are currently working on getting outlets in the dugout for the scoreboards that were acquired by way of private donations.

• McCollum advised council that appointments needed to be made to replace Kitty Padgett and Louise Grimes who both resigned from the Board of Zoning Appeals. “Padgett thought she had served long enough and Grimes has moved out of Bamberg,” explained the mayor. Watson reminded council that South Carolina law requires that appointees for these boards are required to attend a six hour certification class and must attend annual three hour recertification classes.

• Fralick pointed out that the BPW website (that is also used by the city) has not been updated in years. He noted that the minutes and meeting dates are old. “It does not reflect well on the city,” he said. Foster said the city is trying to get their own website and she is currently talking to individuals to do that.

• Griffin noted that the city has not moved forward with the main street project. After a brief discussion about where council was with the matter, the mayor agreed to pull together several key players and invite city council members to join them so that council can move forward.

• After hearing the second reading of ordinance 10-6, council voted to rezone property owned by Judy Halmon from HC to R-10.