Hartsville approves police agreements with DHEC and SLED

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

Hartsville City Council convened their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 11, and passed two resolutions to help law enforcers improve public safety and efficiently share criminal investigation data.

On the regular agenda, Council approved Resolution 09-18-01, an agreement between the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Hartsville Police Department setting terms and conditions for dispensing naloxone to HPD officers.

Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a medication which, if administered in a timely manner, can quickly reverse opioid overdose symptoms and restore normal respiration to someone who has stopped breathing or is having difficulty breathing. Under this program, DHEC pharmacies dispense naloxone to trained police and emergency medical personnel in an effort to treat, report, and identify overdoses due to opioids. Opioids include illegal drugs such as heroin, and prescription painkillers like fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.

HPD officers have received training through DHEC’s Law Enforcement Officer Narcan Program to receive and administer naloxone, and the agreement calls on officers to “make every reasonable effort to use naloxone to revive victims of any apparent drug overdose.”

“It’s for people who’ve overdosed on opioids. We spray it up their noses and hopefully it will bring them back,” said HPD Chief Jerry Thompson. “It’s for us too. Sometimes we get involved in a search and we get fentanyl or opioids on us, and if it hits us real strong, we can use (naloxone) on each other.”

City manager Natalie Zeigler noted that Hartsville City Council has approved this agreement before, and city police officers have never had cause to administer naloxone. This renewed agreement terminates on June 30, 2020.
Resolution 09-18-02 also received approval. This measure clears the way for the HPD to use the inter-jurisdictional system called CrimeNtel to share criminal intelligence information. The system is funded by SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) and the Department of Homeland Security, and is provided to participating agencies at no cost.

Council approved Resolution 09-18-03, allowing the city to apply for a $25,000 Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) Hometown Economic Development grant to fund façade and signage improvements for the B-1 district and adjacent areas in downtown. If received, the grant would require a ten percent match from the city.

First reading of Ordinance 4346 passed without objection, bringing the city closer to establishing a multi-county business park in the Canal District along 4th Street. The ordinance explains that Hartsville wishes to team with Darlington and Lee Counties to encourage economic development in this area.

The business park property, all geographically located in Hartsville, would be exempt from ad valorem property taxes and instead yield revenue through Fee In Lieu of Taxes (FILOT) agreements.

Mayor Pro Tem Johnny Andrews asked for and received an amendment to 4346, excluding a property (Minnie’s Giftique) that was erroneously included in park plans.

Council approved first reading of Ordinance 4347, to renew the Hartsville Rescue Squad’s annual lease of property at the corner of Marlboro and Seventh Street at a cost of $1 per year.

First reading of Ordinance 4348 passed as well, revising regulations on temporary signs to comply with a recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, in which the plaintiff (representing a church) claimed that regulations allowing temporary political signs and disallowing other similar signs based on content was discriminatory.

First reading of Ordinance 4350 was tabled until Council’s special meeting on September 18. If this ordinance moves forward and receives final approval, it would establish a Large Water User Industrial Rate Class. The ordinance states that this classification will apply to “any industrial customer of the System that maintains an account with average monthly water usage in excess of 2,000,000 gallons.” The minimum charge (covering the city’s fixed costs and 2,000,000 gallons of monthly water usage) will be $7,466.38 for these customers.

The ordinance would also establish a Large Sewer User Industrial Rate Class for industrial customers with “an average monthly water usage in excess of 2,000,000 gallons, a discharge point not associated with a water meter, and with no permanent sewer flow meter.” These customers will be charged a flat fee of $1,385 per month.

Council also passed an emergency resolution declaring a State of Emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.

Author: Rachel Howell

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