City of Bamberg looking at annexing roadway property

The City of Bamberg will study the possibility of extending its boundaries along the main highways of 78 and 301 leading into and out of the city. City of Bamberg Police Commissioner Bo Griffin stated at council’s September meeting Monday night that there was “no way” to police the decrease of speeds until “after the fact” along the area of Highway 78 and Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, which he noted was a “very short distance” to offset the reduction of speed in the city limits.

Another problem area Griffin cited was Highway 301 north, pass the site of the new elementary school, where officers often have to go out of the city limits to the Charleston-Augusta Road to police other properties in the city limits. Griffin noted from the outset that he was not referring to annexation of neighborhoods at this point, but roadways only.

“It does create some problems for us,” Griffin said, adding that he was recommending to Mayor McCollum and Police Chief George Morris that they appoint a committee with input from the Chief to come up with some ideas on those areas.

When asked the last time the City of Bamberg had extended its boundaries, Chief Morris said: “I don’t believe we have extended our boundaries along the highway in many, many, many years.”

Mayor McCollum asked that Councilmember Griffin chair a committee with input from Chief Morris and come back to council with recommendations.

Also during the meeting:

• Council members heard a presentation from Deacon Everette Capers, who informed council that the Thankful Baptist Church of Bamberg was in possession of property that they would like to donate to the City of Bamberg. Capers also informed council that because of health reasons he had stepped down as leader of the Boy Scouts at Thankful Baptist Church after 12 years. Capers asked that council continue to support the program that is now chartered at Trinity United Methodist Church in Bamberg under the direction of Pamela Halmon. Council members thanked Deacon Capers for his service to this community and established a committee of Bo Griffin, Janeth Walker and Cynthia Summers to study the Thankful Baptist Church property and report back to council.

• Council members approved a garbage collection contract with Waste Management. Bamberg Clerk/Treasurer Bruce Watson noted the contract was based the number of container serviced or approximately $298,000 per year.

• Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Foster reported that drawings and the cost of repairs to the basketball court at the Ness Sports Complex were in and has been sent to Rep. Bakari Sellers. It was noted that an 80x100 versa court with 10 feet added would cost approximately $27,000. Foster noted the plans for the new court were: “pretty close to what we agreed on.”

• Police Commissioner Bo Griffin reported the police department is working shorthanded with one officer having resigned and one officer out for medical reasons. He reported the department is using overtime to cover shifts, “the best we can.” As to the city’s fourth of July Celebration the police commission recommended continuing the event with Chief Morris coming up with a traffic and crowd control plan before the next event.