Work Session
WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2000

The City of Columbia City Council met Wednesday, May 3, 2000, at 9:00 a.m. in the City Hall Council Conference Room, 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  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 Jim Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, and The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr..   Also attending were Mr. Michael A. Bierman, City Manager and Ms. Vivian A. Krigline, City Clerk

1. Presentation - Mayfest - Ms. Judy Stringer

Ms. Judy Stringer briefed Council on the upcoming Mayfest event scheduled for May 4 through 7, 2000.  Ms. Stringer presented the new 2000 logo poster to Council.

2. Presentation by Ms. Susie Heyward on Rental Property Issues

This item was postponed until May 17.  This request coincides with the ordinances we are preparing.  Ms. Sinclair is going to contact Ms. Heyward and give her the information being prepared.  The ordinances are currently being reviewed by the Building Official and Legal Department.

3. Review of Regular Agenda

Mr. Bierman reviewed the agenda with Council.  Two items are to be added to the consent agenda:

Resolution No. 2000-020 Authorizing street closings and consumption of alcoholic beverages for the Cinco de Mayo Celebration on Santee Avenue between Harden and Blossom Street on Sunday, May 7, 2000 from 10:00 a.m. until midnight.

Request from Carolina Coliseum to close Park Street between Greene Street and Blossom Streets during upcoming High School graduations during the weeks of May 17, through June 3, 2000; and during USC graduation on May 5 & 6, 2000.

4. Appointments

Council discussed appointing Ms. Arrington Cox to the Historic Columbia Foundation Board and the Design Review Commission.  No action was taken at this time.

5. Martin Luther King, Jr., Park Improvements

Mr. Jim Lawracy, of the Parks and Recreation Department, presented plans for improvements of the drainage issues at Martin Luther King Park  The ditch will be redesigned to create a water pond area and piped in certain places.

Mr. Osborne expressed concern with certain dam designs (low head dam) and asked this be studied carefully to prevent a safety hazard during flood conditions.

Other discussion included a 60-day time frame for construction after permits are received from the Corps of Engineers; and that the project is not to address flooding problems in Five Points – just park beautification.

Council agreed to have Parks and Recreation begin the permitting process from the Corps of Engineers.

6. First Tee - Mental Health Property

Charles Williams briefed Council on issues with the property being used for the First Tee Golf Course.   The property is owned by the State Department of Mental Health and was initially to be leased to the City for $1.00.  However, due to a change in administration and existing capital needs, the Mental Health staff is now reluctant to recommend leasing the property.  Mr. Williams presented a proposal to purchase the property by paying $350,000 of the 2.5 million purchase price, with 24 months to pay the balance.  Congressman Clyburn’s staff will assist with a federal parks grant to pay the balance of the purchase price.  An alternative would be a $2 million bond issue.

Council discussed the project and the use of City funds, along with federal grants and the bond issue option.  The $350,000 will come from:  $100,000 general funds, $150,000 from Hope VI, and $100,000 from the First Tee grant.

After discussion, Mr. Cromartie made a motion to authorize the City Manager to negotiate with the Department of Mental Health Board either the lease or purchase of the property on Sligh Avenue for the First Tee Nine Hole Golf Course.  Upon second by Mr. Osborne, Council unanimously approved Mr. Cromartie’s motion.

7. Broad River Heights - Sewer Issue

Council was briefed on a proposal to assist the Broad River Heights community with sewer service from the City.  The area is located on the river and is experiencing problems with leaking septic tanks.  The proposal is for the City to fund 1/3 of the cost with Richland County funding 1/3 and the neighborhood funding 1/3.

Council agreed the work should be done and asked the city staff to following up with the neighborhood on the proposal and to assure the engineering work is done properly.
8. Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council unanimously voted to go into executive session at 9:40 a.m., to receive a legal briefing on a contract matter related to Fort Jackson.

Council went into the regular meeting at 10:00 a.m.

Council returned to executive session at 10:40 a.m. until 11:40 a.m.

9. Ms. Katherine Trimnal, of the Columbia Council of Neighborhoods, asked Council for $1,000 in advance of approving the Community Incentive fund requests to assist with publishing the CCN newsletter.  Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council unanimously approved the request and asked Ms. Trimnal to coordinate with the Community Development staff.

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

Mr. Bierman reviewed the proposed budgets for General Government, Municipal Court, Finance and Treasurer’s departments.  Municipal Court has requested an additional $100,000 of which $52,000 will be used for bond hearings in the evenings (6-7 p.m.) five days a week and a hearing on Saturday morning, and $30,000 will be to match a grant for a domestic violence court with Richland County.

Ms. Sinclair asked for a copy of Richland County’s community promotion funding policy.

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

Submitted by:

Vivian A. Krigline, City Clerk and
Peggy S. Breeland