In This Weeks Edition: 11-04-2009

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Ehrhardt awards contracts for new water system

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Writer

The Ehrhardt Town Council unanimously passed a resolution in a special call meeting on October 26 to award contracts in three Divisions of work for the new water system.

In Division 1 of the project, which was noted by town administrator Scott Neeley as the “biggest part of the project and were the most money is spent,” of the five bids submitted the contract was awarded to Gene Ray Fulmer Construction Inc. of Ridge Spring SC. in the amount of $1, 707,097.50. The work in Division 1 will include installation of water lines, valves and hydrants. The next lowest bidder for the work in Division 1 was Green Construction Company with a total bid amount of $2,201,725.00. Mayor Bill Stanley noted that the bid that was approved by council “left on the table close to $500,000 in savings for the over-all project.”

Division II of the project was awarded to Caldwell Tank of Louisville, Ky. in the total amount $719, 200 to construct a 100,000 gallon elevated water tank. Caldwell was the only bidder in Division II. Neeley noted that the company “built a lot of tanks in South Carolina.”

Division III was awarded to Wateree Construction Company of Sumter SC. in the amount of $242,675.00 for installation of water meters, meter reading, software and installation of meter equipment.

Also during the meeting:

Ehrhardt Town Council members agreed to delay a second reading of the ordinance on animal control until Town Administrator Scott Neeley can make changes in the ordinance language related to dogs being under the control of their owners.

In discussion of the ordinance Administrator Neeley stated that “you said that you didn’t want a strict leash law.” Police Chief Jim Preacher stated that “state law says that he (a dog) can’t leave the property unless under control of a leash. The town is responsible for enforcing state law.”

Councilman Bill Edinger noted that, “I think what we talked about was not about a leash law, but the dog had to be under the control of the owner.” Preston Davis stated that he recently had to run a dog off his property three times that had a tag and dog collar, Davis said the dog chased his cat “would’ve killed it.”

Nell Walling, whose grandson was recently attacked by a dog said; “An animal isn’t predictable, an animal that may have never done anything to anyone for some unknown reason may suddenly do something, you can’t say for certain what any animal won’t do at anytime.”

Police Chief Jim Preacher noted; “What we are doing is trying to control the pets we have here, If you’re going to have pets you must be responsible enough to take care of them. We want people to have control over them. The dog that did the damage was fed by someone, but the damage he did was horrendous. Any animal must be under direct control of the owner, if not the owner must be penalized.”

“There are too many dogs running around, we need to put in rules that everyone understands,” Council Edinger said.

Veterans Day Program

The Cities of Bamberg County will sponsor a Veterans Day Program at the Bamberg Civic Center on Wednesday November 11 at 11:00 a.m. The featured speaker for the program is Butch Jacobs. The Bamberg - Ehrhardt High School Band will be performing along with the JROTC. All branches of the armed services will be recognized in honor of our veterans. A lunch will be served after the program. The event is open to the public.

Military Mailing

For military service members stationed around the globe, holiday gifts are a big morale boost. To help the families and friends of U.S. military personnel, the Postal Service offers a discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box.

The recommended mailing date for the most economical postage to overseas military installations, including Iraq and Afghanistan, is Nov. 13.

Mail sent to overseas military addresses is charged only domestic mail prices. The domestic mail price for the Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box is $13.95, but for packages to APO/FPO addresses overseas the price is reduced to $11.95. Additional discounts are available for customers printing their Priority Mail postage labels online at Click-N-Ship.

The Postal Service continues to show support to those serving in the armed forces by offering free Military Care Kits, designed specifically for military families sending packages overseas. The mailing kits can be ordered by phone by calling 1-800- 610-8734 and asking for the Care Kit. Each kit includes two “America Supports You” large Priority Mail Flat- Rate boxes, four medium-sized Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes, six Priority Mail labels, one roll of Priority Mail tape and six customs forms with envelopes.

Fifteen Local Governments

A spending-transparency initiative championed by state Comptroller Richard Eckstrom is gaining momentum, as 15 local governments in South Carolina have begun posting their spending details on the Internet.

“By putting such information at people’s fingertips, these local officials understand it’s not their money they’re spending,” said Eckstrom. “It’s the people’s money, and in this Information Age it’s not difficult or expensive to provide people easy access to government spending details.”

Denmark Water System

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Writer

“USDA Rural Development has lots of money on a given year up to $40 million for water and sewer, and if you want big money, they’re the ones,” Robert “Bob” Britts, Regional Program Manager (Loan program for water assistance) with the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. (Southeast RCAP), told members of the Denmark City Council at their October 19 meeting Monday night.

After Britts gave his presentation, Denmark City Council member Hope Long Weldon stated, “We need to hit the ground running. What is the best option for us?” Britts said the town needed to look ahead to where it wanted to be in the Spring of next year. “This was a special year most stimulus funds went to state governments and was spoken for in March and April 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised next Spring if there is another round of stimulus funding. You might want to think where you want to be March or February of 2010.” Britts added that applications can be made at anytime to USDA Rural Development except in late December. He emphasized that the town’s paper work (i.e.) financial statements, audit and workable budget must be up to date.

Thanksgiving Event

Lisa Stokes, Contributing Writer

Mt. Carmel UMC is gearing up for it’s first annual Community Thanksgiving Service and Dinner. The event will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. A brief Thanksgiving service and registration will begin at 11:00 a.m. and dinner will be served at noon. “The church’s goal is to feed and fellowship with at least 500 people from the community,” said Douglas Stokes, president of the Mt. Carmel United Methodist Men.