Sumter County Veteran Larry Huff led the Pledge of Allegiance before Tuesday night’s County Council meeting as part of a new endeavor that will see a Veteran from each council district take turns leading the pledge.
Councilman Carlton Washington noted that U.S. Air Force Veteran Huff served our country in Vietnam, and was awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal, among other commendations. Huff volunteers with the Knights of Columbus and serves as Chairman of the Sumter County Veterans Association. He and his wife Carmelita have two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, Washington said.
Sumter City-County Planning Director Helen Roodman spoke about a request to rezone 2.33 acres of land at 1765 North Main Street from Agricultural Conservation (AC) and Neighborhood Commercial (NC) to General Commercial (GC).
During the Public Hearing, no one spoke.
Second reading was approved unanimously.
Roodman spoke next about a request to rezone 1.99 acres of land at 6815 Claremont Lane from Agricultural Conservation (AC) to Neighborhood Commercial (NC).
During the Public Hearing, developer Greg Googer spoke in favor of the request and said 6 to 9 people will be employed at the location and development of the store is being done with sensitivity to nearby property owners.
Washington urged rapport and conversations with the property owners.
Michelle Furman spoke during the Public Hearing and asked about traffic impact and public safety. Roodman said a traffic impact study is conducted at the time of site plan approval.
Charlene Avant spoke for the request and said she and her son own the property; she personally spoke to nearby property owners. The area will benefit from the store, she said.
Second reading was approved.
Roodman then spoke about a request to rezone 32.11 acres of land at 950 and 980 Oswego Highway from Light Industrial-Warehouse (LI-W) to Agricultural Conservation (AC).
The property owner wants to build two homes, she said. Due to wetlands on the property there are strict environmental restrictions, she said.
Councilwoman Vivian Fleming-McGhaney said she’s very familiar with the area and has spoken with constituents about wetlands, septic tanks and the effects of heavy rainfall. Roodman said many of the nearby homes were developed before the implementation of current environmental regulations.
Current environmental standards would have to be met, she said.
During the Public Hearing, attorney Frank Shuler spoke for property owner Wendy Miller and Shuler gave a brief synopsis of Miller’s plans. She ultimately wants to develop a children’s outdoor-oriented day camp as she already operates a daycare.
Michael Heriot asked about buildings on the property, and about zoning designations for nearby businesses and property, which Roodman answered.
Second reading was approved unanimously.
Sumter County Attorney Johnathan Bryan spoke next about an ordinance authorizing the conveyance of an interest in property to the state and then to grant an easement for ingress and egress to the state as well.
The ordinance is to facilitate location of a Veteran’s nursing home on property north of Dillon Park, he said.
First reading was approved unanimously.
During the committee reports portion of the meeting, Chairman James T. McCain Jr. noted a Public Safety Committee meeting was held on April 20, 2021. Councilman Washington reported on a Public Safety Committee meeting held prior to regular Council meeting and detailed a plan to address litter.
Washington offered a motion and a second from committee for the litter plan to be sent to the newly formed City-County Litter Advisory Committee for guidance. Full council approved it.
McCain noted a Budget Workshop was also held on April 20, 2021. Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon said requests for additional personnel were made from the Solicitor, the Treasurer, Veterans Affairs and the Coroner. Total costs would be $342,600 and will be considered at future meetings.
McCain noted the Internal Affairs Committee met earlier and Vice Chairman Jimmy Byrd noted appointments to the Cultural Commission and Planning Commission, which were approved by full council.
McCain noted the Public Works Committee met earlier and Councilman Artie Baker said a presentation was given about procedures and policies regarding roads in Sumter County. A motion was made to locate new streetlights to be located an Anburn Drive and Longleaf Drive as well as at Fullard Street and Trinity Road, which full council approved.
A Budget Workshop was also held, McCain said, and Mixon explained the new proposal for the litter program was heard, which would cost $318,100 and would include two litter officers and three litter technicians. New equipment for the program would cost $350,000, he said.
Councilman Eugene Baten reported how he attended a Vet Talk at Central Carolina Technical College and advocated for Veterans.
McCain noted that a Veterans-focused Covid-19 vaccine clinic will be held from May 10-14 at the Sumter County Civic Center. Sumter County Veterans Affairs will be on hand to provide support along with other Veterans groups. McCain said the Santee-Wateree Regional Transportation Authority will provide free transportation to and from the Civic Center.
During the Public Comments Michael Heriot said he appreciates the hard work done by County Government staff and County Council.