Newberry City Council was presented a resolution Tuesday by Representative Rick Martin for the city’s recent Juneteenth festival.

“It is my great pleasure to present this to the city,” Martin said.

While Martin was not able to be at the Juneteenth celebration, he thanked council for allowing him the opportunity to present the resolution Tuesday.

Mayor Foster Senn thanked Councilmembers Jackie Holmes and Carlton Kinard for their work as part of the city’s Juneteenth committee that made the event a success in the community.

Under updates and announcements, Senn said that council had attended the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s annual meeting in July. He gave a brief review of the conference, saying the city had received the Joseph P. Riley award for their “Fiber to the Home” project as well as several staff members involved with the project having participated in a panel discussion during the meeting.

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Scott Sawyer provided an update for council on the Newberry Recreation Complex as well as other PRT endeavors. Sawyer noted the master plan for the recreation complex was being finalized and that the park’s splash pad would remain open through Labor Day.

City Manager Matt DeWitt updated council that the splash pad had received over 7,700 patrons since opening in May.

Other updates from Sawyer included the ponds taking shape at Wells Japanese Garden. The liners for the ponds have been installed, he said, and concrete has been poured. The restrooms at Marion Davis Park are also nearing completion.

Sawyer said the department hoped to receive word on the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant for Wise Street Park in the next few months.

New Business

Under new business, City Council approved an outside water request for property located on Johnstone Street.

DeWitt said Utility Director Tim Baker had been in communication with the individual looking to build four homes on the 10-acre property (TMS 399-99-2). Having talked with city police, fire and public works, DeWitt said staff was not concerned with the city’s ability to service the property.

Baker said the owner said they were interested in building four homes on the property, each at approximately 1400 square feet. While he was unsure who would be living on the property, Baker said he understood them to be road workers and that they would have some equipment parked on the rear of the property and would eventually want to build a pole building on site for the equipment.

DeWitt said from a zoning standpoint, the owner would be allowed to put the pole building in the rear of the property.

“The builder would be responsible for running any line extensions (water, sewer) on the property and obtaining the DHEC permit,” Baker said.

The owner has agreed to execute an annexation covenant indicating a willingness to annex if council determines it is in the best interest of the city to annex the property. With the property being contiguous to the city, council expressed a desire to proceed with the annexation process.

Councilman Lemont Glasgow made a motion, seconded by Councilman David DuBose to allow out-of-city water service for the property. Senn declared the motion carried following a 6-1 vote, with Councilwoman Holmes voting in opposition.

Also under new business, council approved two requests for alcohol during designated areas for events. The first being, Main Street Shop and Dine Nights.

Main Street Shop and Dine Nights are the monthly first Friday promotional nights for the downtown district and take place from 4-9 p.m. when Main Street is closed to vehicular traffic and open to pedestrians only.

The city’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department requested permission to allow beer and wine only, served and sold from inside downtown businesses with a current alcohol license using plastic cups to be no larger than 16 ounces, taken from businesses into the outdoor event area.

The event area includes Main Street from Nance to Holman Streets only. Approval was granted for the following Shop and Dine event nights: September 3, October 1, November 5 and December 3 from 4-9 p.m.

Motion was made by Councilman David Force and seconded by Councilman Edwin Wicker.

The other request authorized was on behalf of the Hejaz Shrine Temple for their ceremonial weekend in Newberry, running Friday, October 15 through Sunday, October 17. Jamie Smith, event coordinator told council he anticipated 300-400 Shriners from the upstate to be present in Newberry that weekend.

The festivities will begin with a reception on Friday in the Newberry Opera House lobby. As in previous years, the Newberry Opera House will serve beer and wine inside the building. Because of the number of participants, Smith said they have requested the ability to overflow into Memorial Park.

Smith spoke on behalf of the event saying there would be a parade held Saturday, October 16 at 10 a.m. and he hoped for community participation.

Glasgow made a motion, seconded by Holmes to approve the request.

Following executive session, council returned to open session at the call of the chair (Senn). DuBose made a motion, seconded by Force to allow DeWitt to enter into a contract to purchase property on behalf of the PRT department. Senn declared the motion carried following a 5-1-1 vote of council, with Holmes voting in opposition and Glasgow recusing himself.

City Council will meet again on Tuesday, September 14.

 Newberry City Council was presented a resolution by Representative Rick Martin for the city's recent Juneteenth festival. From left to right: Mayor Foster Senn, Representative Rick Martin and Councilwoman Jackie Holmes.