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No public input received during 1st Sumter city budget hearing

BY SHELBIE GOULDING
shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 5/21/20

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No public input received during 1st Sumter city budget hearing

Posted

Sumter City Council held two public hearings virtually Tuesday regarding the fiscal year 2021 budget draft and to give input on how the City of Sumter spent CDBG funds during the last fiscal year.

The first public hearing was to receive comments from the public on the proposed draft budget for fiscal year 2021.

Council members addressed the updated budget draft during a special meeting on Monday, and City Manager Deron McCormick said they're down to a deficit of $380,931, between $70.6 million in projected revenue with $70.9 million in projected expenditures, left to balance after the staff made adjustments to the general fund.

No one sent in comments to the council members before the meeting for the public hearing. With the Sumter Opera House closed to the public because of the pandemic, city residents were advised to provide comments before the meeting by filling out a request form on the city's website or emailing publiccomment@sumtersc.org. Residents were also allowed to visit a physical comment station that was set up at the rear entrance of the Sumter Opera House.

The second public hearing was to receive comments from the public on the consolidated annual performance and evaluation report for the last fiscal year. This is a report on how the City of Sumter used its entitlement funds in the amount of $306,499 last year.

Projects included sewer improvements for three LMI homeowners, the demolition of seven structures, historic preservation in the Historic District, housing repairs, Sumter United Ministries housing repair, youth employment and the YMCA.

No one sent in comments for the public hearing.

Council votes to authorize contract for Green Swamp Road and Broad Street Sewer Line Extension Project

A resolution approving a contract with a local construction company for the Green Swamp Road and Broad Street Sewer Line Extension Project was brought before council.

Contractor B & B Construction Co. had the lowest bid at a price of $453,600.

Several council members discussed the price of the bid, saying it made them feel uneasy.

The staff felt comfortable with the bid, and McCormick said if the bid was considered too high, they would have continued looking for another bidder. He also said the weather is in great condition to get this project started now rather than later.

Councilman Steve Corley said he was reassured the funds will come from the Water and Sewer Department, but Councilman David Merchant was hesitant about whether this will increase capacity in the area.

McCormick said it's a major corridor and that they anticipate commercial growth to expand in the area.

Council passed the authorization 4-1, with Merchant voting against the contract and Councilman Thomas Lowery and Councilwoman Ione Dwyer absent.

Department of Transportation to improve intersection of McCrays Mill, Pinewood roads

Senior Planner Kyle Kelly presented an SCDOT project to improve the intersection of McCrays Mill Road and Pinewood Road to the council.

The highway project agreement to improve the intersection will include concrete and paved medians. There will not be any increased street lighting.

Kelly said the project has been in the works for several years, and before starting improvements, an agreement must be executed by the City of Sumter.

Merchant asked if the McDonald's, Ace Hardware and the Young's gas station on Pinewood Road would be a right turn in and out only with concrete medians in place, and Kelly confirmed. Kelly also said the Young's gas station may have its driveway off McCrays Mill Road closed.

After a brief discussion, council unanimously approved the project resolution.

Meat processing facility on Green Swamp Road to receive full city services

A final reading for an annexation request for about 4.13 acres at 200 Green Swamp Road was brought before council.

The applicant, Harvin Choice Meats Inc., a meat processing facility, is requesting annexation to receive full city services.

There were no changes to the ordinance, and council unanimously approved the annexation.

Residences on Wise Drive to receive city sewer services

Another final reading of an annexation for about 2.81 acres at 2840, 2850, 2860 and 2870 Wise Drive was also brought before council.

The applicant, Charles Ingram, is requesting annexation to receive city sewer service, which is required to develop single family residential dwellings on each parcel.

There were no changes to the ordinance, and council unanimously approved the annexation.

Lease purchase agreement authorizes financing of certain vehicles, equipment to city departments

Council unanimously approved the final reading to authorize the financing of certain vehicles and equipment not exceeding $1,216,000 to city departments.

The cost of the equipment is estimated to be $1,209,975, and the City of Sumter plans to provide vehicles and other equipment to departments, such as the Sumter Fire Department, recycling, public works, parks and more.