Work Session
WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2000

The Columbia City Council met for a work session, Wednesday, April 26, 2000, in the Conference Room of City Hall, 1737 Main Street.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.  Council members present were:  The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, The Honorable Francenia B. Heizer, The Honorable Jim Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., and The Honorable Sam Davis.   Also attending were Mr. Michael A. Bierman, City Manager and Ms. Vivian A. Krigline, City Clerk

1. Presentation - Parks & Recreation Foundation - Ms. Marjorie Stands

Ms. Marjorie Stands briefed Council on plans to proceed with establishing the Parks & Recreation Foundation.  The steering committee, formed by Council late 1999, recommends establishing an eighteen member board with seven appointed by Council and eleven from a list developed by Council previously.  Ms. Stands asked for appointments in order to hold the first board meeting in May.

Mayor Coble asked each Council member to submit an appointment as soon as possible.

2. Presentation - Cultural Council - Ms. Dot Ryall

Ms. Dot Ryall briefed Council on an opportunity to receive a grant from the H&R Block Foundation for a cancer survivor tranquility sculpture garden.  Ms. Ryall asked Council to consider placing the garden at Maxcy Gregg Park.

Council discussed the proposal and agreed to establish  a committee to work with the Cultural Council and Parks and Recreation to select a site and report back to Council.

Mr. Davis asked that Mr. Randy Childers of the Earlewood area be on the committee.  Mr. Cromartie asked that Ms. Elise Martin be asked to serve.  Mayor Coble asked that other Council members give their recommendations to Ms. Ryall and to move forward with a proposal.

3. Request to Relocate SCE&G Bus Stop - 1200 Block of Assembly Street

Council discussed a request to  relocate a bus stop currently in front of Cromers in the 1200 block of Assembly Street.   The request is to allow a curb cut for a driveway next to an addition to the Cromers building.  The stop is requested to be relocated south of the current location, between John Pauls and a parking lot.

After discussion, Mr. Cromartie made a motion to authorize the move in accordance with staff recommendations, and consultation with the businesses in the block.  Upon second by Ms. Heizer, Council unanimously approved Mr. Cromartie’s motion.

5. Request Change in Charges for Cross Connections Inspections

Mr. John Dooley discussed with Council the current policy for having the DHEC required inspections to the sewer cross connections performed by private plumbers, and the cost for the City to do the inspections.
The requested rates for City inspections are:  Domestic Double Check Valve Assembly - $90; Fire Line Double Check Valve Assembly - $135; and Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly - $135.

After discussion, Mayor Coble asked to hold a press conference with DHEC to explain the reasons for the inspections and charges, as a way to prevent contamination of the water and sewer system.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Davis, Council approved the rates presented and instructed staff to monitor the rates so they are no higher than they have to be.

5. Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council approved the following request:

Request to Close Street - 2900 Block of Kershaw, between Shirley and Hagood, on Saturday, May 6, 2000, from 3:00 p.m. until midnight for a neighborhood block party

6. Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council approved Resolution R-2000-018:  Authorizing consumption of alcoholic beverages and The Lincoln Street Jam to benefit the Animal Mission and Columbia Animal Shelter.  This request is to close the 1100 block of Lincoln Street from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, 2000 and to allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages at the event between 3:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

7. Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted to go into executive session at 10:20 to receive legal briefings on matters related to:
a.  SCANA*
b.  Land Contract - Catawba Street*
c.  Personnel - Judges*
d.  Legal Issue - Policy of Sewer Damage Payouts*
e.  Sexually Oriented Business Litigation
f.   Billboards

Note:  Mr. Osborne did not participate in discussions related to SCANA.

Council returned to open session at 11:05 a.m.  Council made a presentation to Mr. Tom Ellenburg, who is leaving the City’s Legal Department to accept a position as City Attorney for Myrtle Beach.

Mayor Coble left the meeting at 11:10 a.m.

Upon motion by Ms. Heizer, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council unanimously approved Resolution R-2000-019:  Directing waiver of all permitting requirements as set forth in the Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Planning, Land Development and Zoning, Article III, Zoning, Division 8, Sexually Oriented Businesses, Sec. 17-374 through Sec. 17-380, and Sec. 17-382(b) and Sec. 17-383.

Council returned to executive session at 11:15 a.m.  Council reconvened in open session at 11:45 a.m.

7. Review of Zoning Ordinance Revisions

Mr. Bierman stated the review of the zoning ordinance will be postponed for a future meeting.  Council discussed the housing policy and asked staff to make sure new construction projects such as Governor’s Hill is covered through the loan incentive program.

8. Review of Proposed FY 2000/2001 City of Columbia Operating Budget

Mr. Bierman presented a summary of the Proposed General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2000- 2001.  The proposed budget for the general fund is $70,711,328, an increase of 4.1% over the current allocation.  The proposed budget includes a 3 mil tax increase.  Mr. Bierman reviewed additional information on changes and service levels included in the budget proposal.  Council discussed the proposed budget and several expressed concern over the proposed tax increase.
Ms. Heizer asked to change the review schedule for May 3 and May 10, as she will be out on May 3.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

Submitted by:

Vivian A. Krigline
City Clerk