Denmark Mayor expresses concerns

Denmark Mayor Dr. Gerald E. Wright expressed the City’s concerns about House Bill 3790, which would create a county-wide water and sewer authority in Bamberg County. Wright noted that the City has registered “some real concerns” about whether the service is in the “best interest” of the City of Denmark. The South Carolina House of Representatives has passed the legislation after three readings (as a local matter) and the Senate has passed two readings.

“We want to have some additional information shared with us before it becomes law,” Mayor Wright said.

Wright noted that under the bill, the City of Denmark would have to give up its waste water system (that is supplying more water than the City can use at this time) and is not paid for yet. “We want to protect the citizens of Denmark, is our first interest,” Wright said.

Also during the meeting:

• Police chief Leroy Grimes reported the department created 87 case files for the month. Council members approved the purchase of a new police car for $18,833. Fire Chief Charles Breland reported the fire department responded to 16 calls for the month, attended a training/business meeting and has a total of 30 members, while averaging nine members per call. Breland reported the department has 14 members who have signed up for a first responder’s course that would cost $150 per person.

• In the public works department report, Administrator Heyward Robinson reported the department repaired six leaks, made repairs to a lift station, repaired sprinkler heads and did a large grass cutting job. Council members also approved a resolution for a community development block grant for the water system of $498,000 that would require a ten percent match. The roofs of the Dane Theatre and Brooker Center were also replaced.

• It was also noted during the meeting that Daniel Shealey the architect for the new library was now under contract and the changes to the lien on the property was “moving along.”

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Denmark resident Vic Whetstone stated his water meter had not been read for the last four months and he still received a bill each month. Whetstone wanted to know, who is responsible for reading the meters. “Who is assigned to read the water meters?” Whetstone asked. “Where did those numbers come from? This is a real concern. That’s a red flag that no one knows who reads the meters.”

Denmark City Council member elect Rufus Jamison expressed his concerns about the City’s sidewalks being covered by grass and cracks. Johnnie Rosa also expressed her opinion about meters not being read, trash in the City’s ditches not being cleaned up and problems with her bathroom facilities because of the quality of the water.

Denmark resident Pat Anduze had questions about the following: Bulk trash having not been picked up since last spring; the need for a referendum on the regional water system; questions about $405,000 in the budget report under system improvements; the need to clean up the sidewalks and the need to hire people from this area for jobs.