Hartsville swears in Mayor and Council members

Joined by his family, Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington was sworn in for another four-year term at the Nov. 14 Hartsville City Council meeting. Photo by Samantha Lyles

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, slyles@newsandpress.net

Hartsville City Council convened their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 14 and began the evening by officially confirming the results of the Nov. 7 election and swearing in the Mayor and members of Council.

City Clerk Sherron Skipper read the results aloud.

“In District 1, (incumbent) Adlena Graham received 36 votes, Tre Gammage received 46 votes, and Carolyn Govan received 26 votes. With no clear winner in that district, there will be a run-off November 21 between Graham and Gammage,” said Skipper.

In District 3, incumbent Teresa Mack received 137 votes, defeating challenger Trevor McDonald, who received 99 votes.
Incumbent Mayor Mel Pennington and District 5 incumbent Bob Braddock ran unopposed and were re-elected by default. Mack, Braddock, and Pennington were all sworn in and the meeting proceeded to the regular agenda.

Council heard a presentation from Jacqueline Slaten, executive director of the Darlington County Community Action Agency, which floated the possibility of DCCAA building a facility in the 8th Street area on the former site of Lincoln Village Apartments, if the city would consider gifting them the land.

Slaten gave a brief history of the 50 year-old agency, which has served over 14,000 children with Head Start programs, summer learning, and after school care programs. Slaten said the agency currently works out of St. Joseph’s Head Start on Washington Street and the Butler Heritage Foundation on 6th Street, but the Catholic Church has informed DCCAA they must move out of the St. Joseph’s location.

“The Diocese has informed us that they want to evict us, even though they have allowed us to live at their facility for more than fifty years to run our Head Start program,” said Slaten.

She said the church has given DCCAA until the end of the next school year (May of 2018), and she says she will request an extension to give them time to build a new facility – one that belongs to DCCAA and will give them a permanent, secure home. Slaten said the facility could represent a $3 million investment, and noted the agency’s funding is federally guaranteed and therefore very stable. She said DCCAA is hoping to have a new facility built and ready to move into within two years.

Council held a public hearing and final reading for Ordinance 4312, clarifying that it is unlawful for residents to construct a private sewage disposal system when sanitary sewer service is available. The ordinance also states that when city sewer service is made available to residents who have existing private sewage systems, they must connect to the city system within 60 days or risk fines and penalties, including the imposition of city sewer system charges regardless of whether or not they have actually connected to the system.

Council held a public hearing and final reading for Ordinance 4313, leasing city-owned property at 229 West Carolina Avenue to the Salvation Army for use as office space. The lease is for a ten-year term, with a lease cost of $1 per year.

No citizen spoke at either public hearing, and both ordinances passed without opposition.

Council also passed first reading of Ordinance 4314, restating some provisions of the city’s policy regarding consumption of alcohol at downtown areas and at locations which obtain special event permits. The ordinance specifies that during these special events, vendors may sell one serving of beer or wine to a person, the serving may not exceed 16 ounces, and the customer must remain within the designated ‘open consumption’ area with their beverage.

First reading approval was also given to Ordinance 4315, an agreement with Duke Energy Progress to accept and treat industrial leachate generated by DEP from its coal-ash remediation efforts (the “DEP Flow”) in and around the H.B. Robinson Nuclear Generating Station. Per this agreement, “the city needs to upgrade its existing Pine Ridge pump station and construct a new force main sewer to properly process, treat and dispose of the DEP Flow.”

Ordinance 4316 also cleared first reading. This measure would create an Environmental Remediation Rate Class for industrial customers of the city’s sewer system. To qualify for this rate, a customer or potential customer must invest no less than $500,000 into city-owned portions of the sewer system (as approved in the sole discretion of the City), meet all federal, State and City requirements and standards for the processing of industrial waste, and anticipate generating 750,000 of sewer flow per month. Qualifying industrial customers would be charged a base fee and volume rate per 1,000 gallons matching the rates charged to city residential customers.

Author: Duane Childers

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