With a new police chief, Lamar eyes new police cars

Lamar Mayor Darnell Byrd McPherson (right), Mayor Pro Tem Lang Howell (center) and Town Clerk Sherrill Dorriety. Photo by Samantha Lyles

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

With newly sworn-in Chief of Police Carl Scott on the job, the Town of Lamar is planning to investigate ways to update its aged fleet of patrol cars.

During the July 8 meeting of Town Council, Mayor Darnell Byrd McPherson noted that a recent call for assistance required Chief Scott to travel from Lake City to Lamar, and his town-owned patrol car broke down, leaving him waiting for a tow truck around 11 p.m. Scott completed the trip using his personal vehicle, but the incident highlighted the need for newer and more reliable vehicles.

McPherson said that after consulting the municipal handbook, she learned that the Town of Lamar can borrow money for necessary capital expenses such as equipment replacement. She suggested that members of council consider the possibility of taking out a loan to purchase or lease police vehicles.

“There are surplus property programs and other possibilities to consider, but we really need a dependable vehicle that is properly equipped,” said McPherson.

Chief Scott noted that his patrol car has logged just over 180,000 miles, and the other cars in the police fleet have over 160,000 miles on them. All of the department’s vehicles are about 10 years old, and were purchased or received as used cars.

While council members stopped short of granting permission to apply for a loan package, they agreed to gather a list of prices and options – including repairing or replacing vehicle engines – which they will review at their August meeting.

Council also approved a motion to raise wastewater disposal rates, meaning that for every 1,000 gallons the Darlington County Water and Sewer Authority sends to Lamar’s water treatment facility, the Authority will pay the town $5. This rate applies for the first 750,000 gallons; thereafter, the rate would be $3 from 750,000 to 3 million, and $2.50 from 3 million to 6 million gallons. Previously, Lamar charged only $1.93 per 1,000 gallons received. This increase brings Lamar into line with wastewater disposal fees charged by other providers like Florence County.

McPherson also noted that the town’s website is online and ready for visitors at www.lamarsc.org. Currently, the site features calendars of local events, municipal meetings, and town information. Planned additions include the ability to pay town utilities and business license fees online.

Author: Rachel Howell

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