Council waiting on LSCOG

Bamberg City Council members agreed at their May 9, meeting to table discussion of endorsing the Lower Savannah Council of Governments (LSCOG) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) recommended improvements to the Calhoun Street/Highway 78 intersection until they see a plan.

Mayor Alton McCollum stated that members of Bamberg City Council met recently in Orangeburg with officials from the (LSCOG) and he was not too pleased with the outcome of the meeting. “I wasn’t too enthused when we left,” Mayor McCollum said, adding “not very much” progress was made. The Mayor said the City would continue to pursue getting the needed projects done around town.

“I think we need to protest the stop light at Calhoun Street and Highway 78 and the closing of Bridge Street,” the Mayor said. He said he would keep in contact with LSCOG and going to meetings if Council members “would like for me to pursue it.”

Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Foster stated that she would like for Mayor McCollum to continue to pursue the street projects and asked if he had received a plan for the Highway 78 and Piggly Wiggly intersection. To which she was told no.

Council member Bo Griffin stated that his impression from the meeting was that “nothing could be done” to address the Elm Street and Main Street situation in terms of replacing the stop light or the Bridge Street situation in terms of funneling traffic into the Piggly Wiggly Shopping Center parking area.

“Basically they indicated they realized there was a flaw in design,” Griffin said. “But at this point there was nothing they could do to address our concerns.” Griffin noted that with that information in hand the focus now turns back to looking at what could be done for downtown Bamberg, including looking at alternate sources of funding.

Also during the meeting:

• In an update on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) application for a Staging Area and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Bamberg Civic Center; City of Bamberg Clerk/Treasurer Bruce Watson noted the application that was sent in back in November/December will now move to the State and Federal level. “We may not hear anything until the first of the year,” Watson said, adding “they’re a little concern where the matching funds would come from.”

• Mayor McCollum appointed Council members Buck Fralick, Linda Hayes- Hudson and Nancy Foster to a committee to study having the cash strapped 4th of July Celebration again this year. The Mayor stated Tobul Accumulators would do the fire works again this year and David Garrick would provide the entertainment for $750. “We’re down to a financial crisis. There is no problem having it (4th of July Celebration) just no money,” the Mayor said.

• Also during the public hearing portion of the meeting, council members heard a request from Dinah Magno that Council consider using inmates to clean the Restland Cemetery on South Main Highway in Bamberg. Magno sighted a state law that said inmates “can be used for certain projects.” Clerk Watson said the City of Bamberg does not work inmates. Magno also commended on the use Scout Street by traffic to Tobul Accumulators and trucks of Brabham Oil Company.

• Council members heard a request for an update on the City’s Basketball Courts from Malik Haram El-Bey (formerly known as Rex Williams) wanting to know when will a meeting be held on the basketball courts at the Ness Sports Complex. Mayor McCollum told El-Bey when the recreation committee has a meeting it will be published in the paper. The committee is now waiting for bids on the upgrades to the court the Mayor said.