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    Patriot Park Playground unveiled as City, County and State officials tout collaboration

    Oct 20 2021 Patriot Park Playground 2

    Team Sumter is sliding into the future.

    A brief ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon as members of City Council, County Council and Sumter’s Legislative Delegation officially unveiled a new playground at Patriot Park.

    As part of the photo opportunity, the elected officials opted to see firsthand how well the new playground equipment is designed.

    Conclusion: You’re never too old to have fun and the good-natured camaraderie on display is one of the reasons Sumter is moving forward in many areas.

    Sen. Thomas McElveen noted he’s been to the park before with his kids as he lauded City and County governments for working together.

    “I think it makes it easier on us to have a Mayor and a County Council Chairman that get along, and collaborate and communicate,” he said, as he gave a shout-out to City Manager Deron McCormick and County Administrator Gary Mixon.

    “I think when you guys have the approach that you have, in that collaborative spirit, it makes it easy to get PARD grants to be able to participate and contribute at the state level.”

    McElveen was referring to state money from the S.C. Parks and Recreation Development Fund that helped pay for the playground, along with funds from the City of Sumter and Sumter County Government.

    The new playground improves the quality of life and “I think a lot of our kids will be able to enjoy it for a long time,” he said, noting that Patriot Park also contributes to enhancing tourism for the area with the many softball and baseball tournaments hosted there.

    “I’ll just say – keep up the good work, let us know how we can be of assistance and we’ll continue to be supportive,” he added.

    Rep. David Weeks noted that “we all work together” to improve Sumter and it shows “what team spirit is all about.”

    County Councilman Charles Edens, an early proponent of Patriot Park, said he was at the park last week with some friends from Shaw Air Force Base and the pilots mentioned that they’d been stationed at many places and “nowhere has what Sumter has,” he said, “with amenities like this.”

    Those comments stuck with him, he said, and meant a lot about what Sumter has to offer.

    County Council Chairman Jim McCain said until Sumter becomes a large metropolis, “we are too small, too rural and too poor to not work together.”

    Between both local governments and the Legislative Delegation, “we got a homerun team working here and this is the result of it,” he said. Both the City and County had to act fast on the project in order to tie in the state funds, he noted, and there was no hesitation to do so.

    City Councilman Colin Davis called the addition “just fantastic.”

    “I stand and look at it and think about parks I played on here when I was a kid and I don’t remember anything like this,” he said. “We can’t say thank you enough to the (Legislative) Delegation and the County and Team Sumter for all of the hard work that went into this. I’m thrilled to death that we have this asset to offer families and children for years to come.”

    County Councilwoman Vivian Fleming-McGhaney said there’s pride for Patriot Park and she would love to see it grow in the future.

    “So I support it, I’m proud of it,” she said, as she was serving as Chair of County Council when the first Penny for Progress was able to fund the creation of Patriot Park.

    Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon touched on his background leading the County’s Recreation & Parks Department and how his “farewell” to that post was to work on getting Patriot Park started.

    It’s a unique park, he said, as it’s a County park located in City limits, with plenty of support from both local governments.

    “Both recognize the impact it has not only on our community but from a regional concept. This is a very special park and really elevated the bar in our community,” he said. “We’re trying to do things first class no matter what we do and this is another prime example.”

    City Manager Deron McCormick said it’s been a pleasure to be part of the collaborative process.

    “I thank everyone and can’t wait to see what will happen next,” he said.

    Sumter County Recreation & Parks Director Phil Parnell said he appreciates everyone’s support and recalled when Patriot Park hosted the first Dixie Youth World Series Softball tournament here in 2009, the players and coaches were impressed.

    “It was like – Wow,” he said. “It’s just a blessing to be here in Sumter.”

    Oct 20 2021 Patriot Park Playground 3

    Oct 20 2021 Patriot Park Playground 32



    Sumter County Community Grant Programs Applications now available

    Sumter County’s Community Grant Program is now underway.

    Applications for grants up to $15,000 under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 are now being received by Sumter County Government.

    Please read through the entire packet.

    The due date for applications is Oct. 22, 2021.

    The process of grants being awarded will begin on Nov. 19, 2021.


    Voter Registration & Elections: Poll Manager applications now available

    Oct 5 2020 Early voting at Sumter County Courthouse 3

    The Sumter County Office of Voter Registration and Elections would like to announce that Poll Manager applications are now available.

    You can find the application by clicking here

    Oct 5 2020 Early voting at Sumter County Courthouse 2

    Gospel superstar CeCe Winans to perform in Sumter on Oct. 29th

    Copy of Club Night flyer

    Sumter County Council's Oct. 12, 2021, meeting

    Sumter County Council Tuesday evening voted unanimously on a resolution to authorize Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon to begin work on the 2023 Capital Projects Sales Tax Referendum.

    Mixon said it was a public announcement of the County’s intention move forward with the Capital Penny Sales Tax process.

    It’s a process that will take about eight to nine months, he said, and a Commission will be formed at the first of next year which will ultimately submit a list of proposed projects to County Council. A final vote will likely be held by Council next May whether or not to move forward with the projects on a November referendum.

    At the outset of the meeting, City-County Planning Director Helen Roodman spoke to Council members about a request to rezone a 3.76 acre tract at 301 East Hunter Street from Residential-9 (R-9) to Agricultural Conservation (AC).

    During the Public Hearing, Mike Lynn of Laverne Street objected to the rezoning.

    William Hayes advocated for the rezoning and said he wants to increase property values in the area.

    Second reading was approved unanimously.

    Roodman spoke next about an ordinance amendment request to establish clear definitions for drinking place uses, bottle club uses, night club uses, and special event facility uses, establishing that bottle club uses and night club uses require the same approval process as drinking place uses in applicable zoning districts, establishing that special event facility uses require conditional use approval in applicable zoning districts, establishing use specific conditional use criteria for special event facility uses, establishing minimum off-street parking requirements for special event facility uses and to correct other minor zoning ordinance text inconsistencies.

    Councilwoman Vivian Fleming-McGhaney asked what would happen to existing facilities.

    If those facilities went through the review process and applied as Special Events and were in fact utilizing that exemption to host weddings and birthday parties, for example, those sites would be reviewed to determine if they were operating as such, Roodman said, or if they were operating as a nightclub.

    Roodman also clarified further for Councilman Charles Edens that gala events are usually one-time and unique events.

    During the Public Hearing, Maj. Randall Stewart of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office spoke in favor of the amendment. Promoters who don’t qualify for an Alcoholic Beverage License could use the Special Exemption as an “end-run” to have an after-hours nightclub, he said.

    Second reading was approved unanimously.

    Clerk to Council Mary Blanding spoke briefly before Council took action on the 2022 employees holiday calendar. She said the same dates that are normally noted as holidays are present on the calendar.

    Vice Chairman Jimmy Byrd noted a minor error regarding what day of the week Dec. 31, 2022 falls on. Blanding noted the calendar would be changed to reflect that. It was approved.

    Blanding then presented the 2022 calendar for Council’s meetings and it was approved.

    County Attorney Johnathan Bryan then spoke about an ordinance to approve the development of an Industrial/Business park to be located in Kershaw County and jointly owned by Kershaw and Sumter counties.

    Second reading was approved unanimously.

    Blanding updated Council on upcoming events: CeCe Winans will perform at the Sumter County Civic Center on Oct. 29th and Oktoberfest will be on Oct. 16th. The next Community Clean Up Day is also Oct. 16th, she said.

    Mixon updated Council on the Home Improvement Projects to be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). A Request for Qualification (RFQ) will be sent out to determine what agency is best suited locally to head up this initiative.

    Mobile homes that are 20 years or older will be targeted by this program, which should be in place by year’s end, he said.

    Councilman Eugene Baten advocated for Covid-19 vaccinations and the wearing of masks.

    During the Public Hearing Frank Kelly advocated for the clearing and removal of fallen trees and limbs in Wedgefield.

    Dr. Brenda Williams advocated for helping lower income Sumter County residents.

    Maggie Smith advocated for road maintenance in rural areas.


    Sumter Veteran and County Coroner Robbie Baker leads Pledge of Allegiance

    Oct 13 2021 Baker leads Pledge of Allegiance Sumter County Council 1

    Sumter County Coroner and U.S. Army Veteran Robbie Baker led the Pledge of Allegiance Tuesday evening before Sumter County Council’s regular meeting.
    Clerk to Council Mary Blanding noted that Baker is a lifelong Sumter County resident who dedicated his life to law enforcement after his military service.

    Baker retired from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office with the rank of Captain after 29 years of service, she said, and then became Coroner in 2017.
    He is a member of American Legion Post 15. He and his wife Terry have two children and six grandchildren, she said.

    Baker lives in District 5, which is represented by Councilwoman Vivian Fleming-McGhaney, who thanked him for his service and for all he does for Sumter County.
    “It’s an honor to serve everybody in Sumter County,” Baker said.
    Thank you for your service, Sir.

    Oct 13 2021 Baker leads Pledge of Allegiance Sumter County Council 2

    Oct 13 2021 Baker leads Pledge of Allegiance Sumter County Council 3

    Phase 2 of Covid-19 vaccinations now underway -- all South Carolinians 12 years old and up are eligible

    Jan 25 2021 Sumter First Responders vaccinated 4

    All South Carolinians 12 years old and up are eligible for the free Covid-19 vaccine.

    These are the locations in Sumter giving out vaccines:

    Prisma Health Tuomey, 129 North Washington Street

    Prisma info: https://prismahealth.org/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine

    Doctors Care at 2475 Broad Street 

    Doctors Care info: https://doctorscare.com/coronavirus-information/

    Walmart's Pharmacy at 343 Pinewood Road 

    The CVS at 1080 Alice Drive 
    And the CVS at 41 East Calhoun Street.


    Sumter Cut Rate, 32 S. Main St.
    For more information:
    Walgreens at 210 North Lafayette Drive
    1000 Broad Street
    Sumter, S.C. 

    For more information: 
    Tandem Health-Pike West
    370 South Pike West
    For more information: 
    Sumter County Health Department
    105 North Magnolia Street
    For more information:
    Sup-Rx Pharmacy #90
    1011 Broad Street
    Sumter, S.C. 29150
    For more information:
    (803) 773-6378
    DHEC Mobile Clinic at Cherryvale Community Center
    4343 Confederate Road
    Sumter, S.C.


    DHEC Mobile Clinic at Sumter Original Brewery
    2 South Main Street
    Sumter, S.C.


    DHEC Mobile Clinic at Eastern Community Center
    3675 E. Brewington Road
    Sumter, S.C. 


    DHEC Mobile Clinic at Catchall Shaw Community Center
    2680 Peach Orchard Road
    Dalzell, S.C.

    For more information:
    Colonial Family Practice
    674 West Liberty Street
    325 Broad Street Suite 100
    Sumter, S.C.
    DHEC Mobile Clinic at Rafting Creek Community Center
    4050 S.C. 261 North
    Rembert, S.C.

    The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control: https://scdhec.gov/covid19
    The DHEC Care Line is 1-855-472-3432

    Jan 25 2021 Sumter First Responders vaccinated 5

    Coronavirus statistics for Sumter County -- Free testing  available

    As of 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2021, there have been 888,189 cases of Covid-19 in South Carolina, according to the state  department of Environmental Health and Control (DHEC).

    There have unfortunately been 13,321 deaths and a total number of tests reaching 11,484,204 and 30,201 hospitalizations.

    For Sumter County, we’ve seen 15,950 cases of Covid-19, with 581 hospitalizations and 290 deaths. The total number of tests performed has been 215,959.

    State and federal authorities continue to offer simple advice for staying healthy: Wear a mask in public, socially distance from others by staying at least six feet apart, wash your hands often, avoid crowds and crowded places and if you don’t feel well, stay home.

    If you don’t feel well you need to get tested.

    There will be FREE TESTING at Sumter County Health Department (DHEC) at 105 North Magnolia Street, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, Neither an appointment nor a referral is needed, but you can pre-register at https://covidtest.dhec.sc.gov/en-US/

    There will be FREE TESTING at USC Sumter, 200 Miller Drive, courtesy of Tour Health, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No referral is needed, but an appointment is needed. You can register here: https://www.tourhealth.com/

    Other testing sites that charge a fee include:  Colonial Family Practice, 325 Broad St., Sandhills Medical Foundation, 425 North Salem Ave., CVS Pharmacy, 41 East Calhoun St. and The Integrated Wellness Center, 738 W. Liberty St.

    For more information, visit the DHEC website: https://scdhec.gov/

    May 6 2020 Sumter County Civic Center coronavirus testing

    October 2021 edition of Gamecock County Gazette now available

    An online newsletter from Sumter County Government is now available for free.
    Each month the Gamecock County Gazette will be delivered via e-mail, and for those who wish to receive a digital copy please send your e-mail address to jperry@sumtercountysc.org and our communications coordinator will add you to the list.

    To see the newsletter, click here

    October 2021 Gamecock County Gazette Front