Darlington City Council approves purchases
By Stephan Drew, Editor
The Darlington City Council met on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, and approved several purchases for the Darlington Police Department, as well as reviewing revenue estimates for the next fiscal year. The purchases did not require a public reading and only needed a vote of approval, according to City Manager John Payne.
The purchase of a new computer server for the Police Department, costing approximately $21,000 was approved by council. The computer server is over five years old and needs to be replaced, according to City Police Chief James “Jimmy” Davis.
The purchase of six laptops for the Police Department was also approved. This will be done by using a S.C. Dept. of Public Safety grant of $27,000, which will completely cover the cost, putting no burden on the taxpayers.
The final purchase approved by council was to take confiscated money from illegal drug activities and use it to fight drug crimes in Darlington. Chief Davis stated that the narcotics division will use a portion of the funds to purchase a vehicle which will be useful in fighting illegal drugs. The city received several quotes, including one for $33,933 for this particular purchase.
Alex Gainey, Director of Streets and Sanitation, discussed current rates for trash pickup and the need to increase them slightly. At present, the monthly cost per residence is approximately $35 per month. If the city increases rates by 3.5%, the new rate would rise to a little above $37 per month. Gainey recommended a 6% increase, to not only add some revenue but also forestall frequent increases in the future. As costs rise, so do the price of services offered.
In other business, council approved the second reading for Ordinance 2023-03, which authorizes and directs the City of Darlington to enter into an intergovernmental agreement relating to South Carolina Local Revenue Services, to participate in local revenue service programs, and to execute and deliver one or more participant program supplements. Recently, the General Assembly reformed several of the state’s revenue programs into smaller organizations with different names. This ordinance compels the municipalities within the state to do business with these organizations, some newly named. Council then entered Executive Session to discuss a proposed contractual arrangement to purchase property.
Council will next meet on June 6, 2023.