April 21, 2004
9:00 AM - City Council Chambers
3rd Floor City Hall - 1737 Main Street

The City of Columbia City Council met for a Work Session on Wednesday, April 21, 2004, in the City Hall Council Chambers at 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.  Council members present were The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Jim D. N. Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis and The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine.  Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, City Clerk.


A. Fast Forward Quarterly Report – Ms. Dee Albritton, Director of Fast Forward

Ms. Dee Albritton updated the members of Council on the progress of Fast Forward, the 2004 summer camps and future funding for programs.  She stated that there were 540 seats available for the summer camps, but they are ¼ full with some scholarships remaining for upcoming 6th to 8th graders.  Ms. Albritton announced that Fast Forward is the largest Science Quest site in the country.  She told the members of Council that Fast Forward might be awarded a $1 million grant through Science Quest, which is a national program that is usually operated in the community and ran by volunteers.  She also noted that University of South Carolina students receive a credit for working with Fast Forward after school participants.


B. Black Expo Request for Funding – Mr. Darrin Thomas, Black Pages USA

Upon motion by Ms. Devine, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to approve funding in the amount of $35,000.00 from the City Council Economic Development Contingency Fund for the 7th Annual Midlands Black Expo.

C. Midlands Commission on Homelessness – Mr. Robert Hill, Committee Member

Mr. Cravens Ravenel, Committee Chair, requested funding in the amount of $97,750.00 for fiscal year 2004/2005 to acquire a facility that would provide shelter and meet the social service needs of the homeless.  He asked City Council to make the issue of homelessness a priority in the City of Columbia.  He said that because of their efforts to assist the homeless, there are less visits to the emergency room by the homeless.  Mr. Ravenel stated that there has been an increase in the number of homeless individuals utilizing the winter shelter.  He described how Raleigh, North Carolina created an effective solution to assisting the homeless.  He stated that there are concerns with the current lease for the Winter Shelter and that by November 2006 there may not be a Winter Shelter.  He said that they receive $95,000.00 from local community support and $75,000.00 from the City of Columbia.

There was a consensus of Council to direct the Midlands Commission on Homelessness to outline the criteria for an appropriate facility, operational costs and to identify other funding sources.  This information should be provided to the members of Council and will be considered during the fiscal year 2004/2005-budget process.

D. Midlands Authority for Conventions Sports & Tourism Hospitality Tax Funding Application – Mr. Steve Camp, President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Steve Camp, President & Chief Executive Officer, presented the Midlands Authority for Conventions Sports and Tourism’s Application for Hospitality Tax Funding for fiscal year 2004/2005 in the amount of $1,000,000.00.  He stated that the Bureau were always $500,000.00 behind in marketing funds, until they received hospitality tax funding.  He said now advertisements are seen all over.  Mr. Camp stated that the funds are need to continue effective advertising, Internet marketing and for community building.

Action on this item was deferred until April 28, 2004.

· Mayor Coble adjourned the Work Session at 10:11 a.m. to convene the regular meeting.

· Mayor Coble reconvened the Work Session at 11:09 a.m.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 11:09 a.m. for the discussion of Items E. and F. as amended.


E.  Receipt of legal advice, which relates to a matter covered by attorney-client privilege
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

F.  Discussion of employment of an employee
  This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

· Mayor Coble adjourned the meeting at 1:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Moore
City Clerk