New members join Darlington City Council
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, email@example.com
The first meeting of the new year ushered in four new faces on the Darlington City Council, and a new meeting room. The newly sworn in Mayor Gloria C. Hines joined newly elected council members Carolyn Bruce, John Milling, and Bryant Gardner in the newly renovated courtroom. City attorney Albert James, III swore in new members Bruce, Milling and Gardner.
Hines was sworn in prior to the meeting by Judge Marvin Lawson. Please see adjoining story.
Coleman Cannon was elected as Mayor Pro Tem once again by unanimous vote; Cannon joins Segars as the only two remaining council members from the previous year.
The council seat formerly held by Gloria Hines will remain empty until a special election is held on Tuesday, April 5 for Ward One.
Anna DeWitt approached council as a concerned citizen about trash and yard debris on sidewalks impeding runners and joggers.
Two locations noted by DeWitt as two of the most dangerous were the 700 block on Cashua Street, and on Pearl Street near the dental office.
Mayor Hines requested that the street and sanitation department look into this issue.
Lee Andrews approached council to update them on a potential move by the Council on Aging Department. “They are outgrowing the facility on Pearl Street,” said Andrews.
Andrews said that the group is actively looking for locations to move to, and have considered the Recreation Department facility at the Harmon Baldwin Gym location.
As their program is concluded by early afternoon, it would not compete with the basketball or youth programs which are held later in the afternoon and evening.
The Administration Building also on Pearl Street was discussed at the council meeting regarding the damages incurred by the historic rain and flooding in early October of 2015 which destroyed the chimneys and roof of the historic Dargan House. FEMA assistance may be available for use, but city manager Howard Garland advised council that the costs may still be prohibitive; the idea of waiting for a city-county complex will be addressed as a possible solution.
City Fire Chief Pat Cavanaugh addressed council asking permission to apply for a FEMA Radio Grant to upgrade their current radio communications to 800 MH. The grant would be a significant savings, with only a 5% cost match- making the city’s responsibility be only approximately $16,000 versus the $324,000 estimate of footing the entire cost on their own.
The current radio system in place is aging and tied in with Time Warner Cable; when there is a storm, it goes out and takes up to one hour to be reset.
Council voted to approve his request to apply for the grant.
The next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m.