July 14, 2022

City employees were recognized for their career milestones Tuesday during City Council’s July meeting. The recognition portion of the meeting took place at the Newberry Firehouse Conference Center.

Michael Ballenger was recognized for his five years of service with the city. Ballenger began his work with the city in April 2017 as a water/sewer crewmember and is now a wastewater plant operator within the utilities department. Utility Director Tim Baker described Ballenger as having a big heart and never hesitating to help anyone in need.

Adrian Navarette was also recognized for five years of service with the city’s police department. Navarette began as corporal in 2017, was promoted to sergeant in 2018 and to his current position of lieutenant in 2021. Police Chief Kevin Goodman described Navarette as bringing a calmness to every situation and a calming force for the department.

For her 25 years with the City of Newberry, Lucille Kinard was recognized by council. Currently an administrative assistant with the Newberry Fire Department, Kinard was hired as a customer service representative in the finance department in 1997 and moved to her current position in 2000. Former Fire Chief Keith Minick described Kinard as the heartbeat of the department, taking care of every firefighter and citizens’ needs daily.

Former fire chief, Keith Minick was recognized for his retirement after 30 years with the city’s fire department on Tuesday. Minick began his career with the city in September of 1991 and worked his way through the ranks to chief in 2008. City Manager Matt DeWitt said that life in the public sector could be demanding and extremely tough at times, but that Minick had a dedication and consistency that is hard to find.

Special Recognitions

Mayor Foster Senn read a letter of appreciation Tuesday from the Nathan M. Wolfe Law Enforcement Cadet Academy, thanking Sergeant Caitlin Branch for her work with their 2022 academy. Senn said the city was proud of Branch and her efforts not only in the city, but with other outreach efforts.

Council also recognized and congratulated the city’s “Team of the Year,” to include Corey Brown, RJ Doran, John Dunbar and Chansel Minick. The team was chosen on their efforts during winter storm Izzy in January and their generosity to serve as a site to feed city utility crews and serve as a warming station and rest area.

“There is no doubt that the service offered drastically increased the restoration time and improved the safety of our crews,” the nomination read.

Announcements/Updates

As an update for council, Senn said the city manager had the authority to appoint an officer of the municipality to have the title of municipal clerk. Senn said a municipal clerk gave notice of council meetings to its members and the public, kept minutes of its proceedings, etc. He introduced Fabrienni Chaplin as the city’s new municipal clerk, saying she was a native of Prosperity and a graduate from Mid-Carolina and Piedmont Technical College.

Jimmy Stephens, president of the Newberry Downtown Development Association provided updates to council on the organization, saying they were developing a lot of ideas in order to bring more people downtown. Their event, Christmas in July will be held Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in downtown Newberry.

Senn signed a proclamation Tuesday declaring August 2 National Night Out in the City of Newberry. National Night Out will be celebrated across the country on the first Tuesday in August and in Newberry, the event has been held since 2011, Senn said.

The event is an annual community building campaign to promote strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood comradery to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work.

Newberry’s National Night Out event will be held from 6-8 p.m. in Mollohon Park, 211 Player Street.

Public Hearings

Senn held public hearings for proposed ordinances on four zoning classification amendments. The following public hearings were held with no one speaking in favor or opposition of the proposed ordinances. Following no comment, the hearings were adjourned.

  • Ordinance #2022-1013 to assign a zoning classification and amend the zoning map for parcel 397-1-2-6 located at 1021 Wallace Drive to R10
  • Ordinance #2022-1017 to assign a zoning classification and amend the zoning map for parcels 345-12 and 345-13 located on Dixie Drive to R6
  • Ordinance #2022-1018 to amend the zoning map for parcel 343-8-9-5 located at 621 Drayton Street to R6.

Regarding ordinance #2022-1015 to assign a zoning classification and amend the zoning map for parcel 345-1 located on Dixie Drive to R6, Patricia Chassen with Forestar Group Inc. spoke in favor as the developer for the project.

Chassen said the company is proposing to develop the three properties (parcels 345-1, 345-12, 345-13) on Dixie Drive, annex them into the city limits and rezone them to R6 residential, the language for the adjacent neighborhoods. The developer, Forestar maintains the property until all lots are sold, then selling the property to a national home builder. She said the project was planned for three to four phases, looking at a full buildout in approximately five years.

“We’re looking to obtain all of our construction permits within the next year, break ground about a year from now and start selling lots about a year after that,” she said.

A traffic engineer performed a study, Chassen said to mitigate any impacts to the existing infrastructure and found that a lefthand turn lane, westbound on Dixie Drive would be needed to ease any impacts on traffic that may occur. These costs, Chassen said would be on their company.

Chassen said the plan would be to look at building out 300 lots over the next five to six years.

 

 

Old Business

Under old business, second and final reading was held to annex property at 1021 Wallace Drive into the city limits. Motion was made by Councilman Lemont Glasgow and seconded by Councilman Edwin Wicker.

Second and final reading was then held to assign a zoning classification to the above property of R10-Residential. Motion was made by Councilwoman Jackie Holmes and seconded by Councilman David Force.

Second and final reading was held to annex property (TMS 345-1) on Dixie Drive into the city limits. Motion was made by Councilman David DuBose and seconded by Holmes.

On the above property, second and final reading was held to assign a zoning classification of R6-Residential. Motion was made by Glasgow and seconded by DuBose.

Second and final reading was held to annex property (TMS 345-12 and 345-12) on Dixie Drive into the city limits. Motion was made by Holmes and seconded by DuBose. Second reading was then held to assign a zoning classification to the property of R6-Residential. Motion was made by Wicker and seconded by Holmes.

Last item under old business was second and final reading to assign a zoning classification to property located at 621 Drayton Street to R6-Residential. Motion was made by Councilman Carlton Kinard and seconded by Holmes.

New Business

Under new business, first reading was held of an ordinance to amend the zoning classification of property located at 1517 Martin Street to R10-Residential. Currently the property is zoned as GC-General Commercial. The Newberry Planning Commission recommended a zoning classification of R10, Senn said. Motion was made by Kinard and seconded by Holmes.

A public hearing will take place prior to second reading on August 9.

First reading was also held of an ordinance to amend the zoning classification of property located at 736 Caldwell Street to NC-Neighborhood Commercial. Currently the property is zoned as R8-Residential. The parcel’s intended purpose would allow for a mix of residential and event venue uses. The Newberry Planning Commission recommended a zoning classification of NC, Senn said. Motion was made by Glasgow and seconded by Kinard.

Other updates

Two outside water requests for properties located on Pine Hill Circle were approved by Council Tuesday. Properties are located at 2103 and 2109 Pine Hill Circle. Both property owners have agreed to execute an annexation covenant indicating a willingness to annex if the property becomes contiguous to the city limits and council determines it in the best interest of the city to annex the property. There will be a $1,400 outside water tap fee for both pieces of property.

Consideration of an authorization was approved to allow alcohol in designated areas of the Main Street Shop and Dine Nights held in August, September and October. Motion was made by Wicker and seconded by Holmes.

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 Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism department requests 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, to be taken from said businesses into the outdoor event area. This would allow for event patrons to travel the event area with an alcoholic beverage of beer or win, by foot, if they are carrying the allowed beverage in a plastic cup.

A request to close downtown Main Street for the Newberry Downtown Development Association’s Christmas in July event was approved by council. Motion was made by Holmes and seconded by Kinard.

The NDDA’s Christmas in July is a singular promotional day for the downtown district that takes place from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday July 23. A request was made for Main Street to be closed to vehicular traffic and open to pedestrians only from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Senn led a discussion of informational items he learned at the recent American Public Power Association, South Carolina Association of Municipal Power Systems, and Piedmont Municipal Power Agency conferences. He mentioned a campaign originally created by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Agency on communicating the public power advantage, making sure customers realize they own their local utility. Senn asked city staff to look into similar campaigns for the City of Newberry as well as grants mentioned at the federal and state level.

Following a return into open session, Kinard made a motion to reappoint Robert Matheson and to appoint Candice Frick and Richard Mitchel to the Newberry Opera House Board for three-year terms. Holmes seconded the motion.

City Council will meet again on Tuesday, August 9.

 Michael Ballenger was recognized by City Council for his five years of service with the city. Ballenger began his work with the city in April 2017 as a water/sewer crewmember and is now a wastewater plant operator within the utilities department. He is pictured with City Manager Matt DeWitt. 

 Adrian Navarrete was recognized by City Council for his five years of service with the city. Navarette began as corporal in 2017, was promoted to sergeant in 2018 and to his current position of lieutenant in 2021. He is pictured with City Manager Matt DeWitt.

 Lucille Kinard was recognized by City Council for her 25 years of service with the city. Currently an administrative assistant with the Newberry Fire Department, Kinard was hired as a customer service representative in the finance department in 1997 and moved to her current position in 2000. She is pictured with City Manager Matt DeWitt.

 Former fire chief, Keith Minick was recognized for his retirement after 30 years with the city’s fire department on Tuesday. Minick began his career with the city in September of 1991 and worked his way through the ranks to chief in 2008. He is pictured with Mayor Foster Senn and City Manager Matt DeWitt. 

 Sergeant Caitlin Branch was recognized for her recent work with the Nathan M. Wolfe Law Enforcement Cadet Academy. She is pictured with Mayor Foster Senn and Police Chief Kevin Goodman.

 City Council recognized and congratulated the city’s “Team of the Year,” to include Corey Brown, RJ Doran, John Dunbar and Chansel Minick. The team was chosen on their efforts during winter storm Izzy in January and their generosity to serve as a site to feed city utility crews and serve as a warming station and rest area. From left to right: Mayor Foster Senn, Chansel Minick, Corey Brown, and City Manager Matt DeWitt.