City of Bamberg gets green light
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

The city of Bamberg has the green light to start renovation work on the Bamberg Civic Center and can began moving forward, council members were told at their regular August 12, meeting Monday night. Council members gave their permission to allow the city’s building commission to oversee the project and report back to them regularly and engage the services of the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina based architectural firm of Pike McFarland Hall Associates, which the same firm that Bamberg County will be using for its renovation and construction projects.

The project is being funded based on the one cent sales tax initiative that voters passed last November. The city of Bamberg originally requested $700,000 for the civic center renovation project, but was awarded $589,000 that will be used on the priority areas of the roof, restrooms and fire and safety codes to began with . The reduction in the amount of money also made it difficult for the city to secure a larger architectural firm.

“It’s going to be a little bit short,” city of Bamberg Clerk/Treasurer Bruce Watson told Council members referring to the reduction in the original funds requested. He noted that at some point it will get to a “pick and choose” as to how the city would spend its money on the project. Watson noted the cost of project couldn’t run over “one bit” and would have to be done in phases.

Watson also noted that the city of Bamberg had to be “creative” with how it spends its money on the project without draining its bank account.

Council members approved a 2013 Tax Credit Factor Roll Back of .001241. It was noted that the tax factor roll back was less than last year which should leave a little more money in the city’s coffers.

Also in the meeting Council members gave first reading approval to Ordinance 13-3 Adding Section 14-92 regulating derelict Mobile Homes within the City of Bamberg. It was noted that the Ordinance defines a derelict mobile home the same way the State of South Carolina does and puts all the burden back on the land owner.

In a report on upgrades to the railroad berm, Council member Kevin Sandifer noted that he visited the city of Greenville and talked about the idea of having citizens sponsor or donate benches along the berm.