City Council Discusses Future Priorities
November 7, 2022
Andy Butcher, general manager for the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency (PMPA) spoke to council Tuesday on the Catawba Nuclear Station, which they jointly own with three other agencies – North Carolina Municipal Power Agency No. 1, North Carolina Electric Membership Cooperative and Duke Energy.
The Catawba Nuclear Station is one of the largest electric generating stations in South Carolina, Butcher said, and has supplied power to approximately 1.7 million homes since 1985.
Catawba avoids the release of over 12.5 million tons of carbon annually, as nuclear energy is a carbon free resource.
Following Butcher’s discussion with council, he presented them with a framed picture of the nuclear station.
Council then heard from Jeff Shacker, field services manager with the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
Through MASC, Shacker said he works with municipalities to identify goals of council, prioritize them, and in turn, give city staff a feel for relative importance for each of the priorities.
“It’s a service the municipal association provides,” Shacker said. “The role of council is to provide policy direction and these sessions are a productive way for council to come together and identify goals and priorities that are shared.”
Mayor Foster Senn said that while council had worked on a 10-year comprehensive plan, that it seemed appropriate to go through and discuss their priorities for the next few fiscal years.
Beautification, safety and economic development were among the top recommendations of city council.
Throughout the session, council discussed many ideas for future priorities to include pedestrian friendly opportunities that could potentially includes trails for biking or walking. The prospect of additional sidewalks in areas of the city was also discussed.
Council discussed strengthening relationships and partnerships they currently had as well as building more relationships with local agencies as a future goal of the City of Newberry.
Several councilpersons had concerns of speed limits and discussed assessments to improve safety throughout the city.
Updates to city parks, facilities and healthy living initiatives were also discussed.
Goals discussed Tuesday will be used in a resolution to be approved by council at a future meeting.
Newberry Oktoberfest: Virtual Festival for 2020
NEWBERRY - In accordance with recommendations from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), & the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the City of Newberry’s annual Newberry Oktoberfest, originally scheduled for October 3, 2020, has been canceled. A Virtual Newberry Oktoberfest is expected to run in its place September 20 through October 3 at www.newberryoktoberfest.com. This is being done in the interest of public health and that of our community.
The SCDHEC recommends following the CDC recommendation of closing large community events to reduce COVID-19 outbreaks.
CDC Guidance regarding mass gatherings:
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, the CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events throughout the United States.
“After extensive research and study of documents for reopening festivals and events from AccelerateSC, SCDHEC, the CDC, and the Event Safety Alliance the City of Newberry’s Parks, Recreation, and Tourism office recommended canceling the Newberry Oktoberfest. The decision to cancel the event was not taken lightly as the Newberry Oktoberfest is a cornerstone of programming for our department and tourism for the City of Newberry. Holding a festival during a global pandemic presents many challenging issues, many which were impossible to overcome in a real world setting, and the City wouldn’t want to host something that will directly affect our citizens as well as those who would normally visit us from neighboring areas in a negative way. 2020 has been a heartbreaking year for the community focused special events we typically take pride in hosting. However, it is for that same community we serve through these events, we now seek to protect,” shared Tourism & Events Manager, Mary Alex Kopp, the festival’s lead organizer.
Although the traditional festival will not be taking place, a Virtual Newberry Oktoberfest will take place at www.newberryoktoberfest.com September 20 through October 3. This online festival will include several free-to-enter contests with prizes, Virtual Vendor Fair, Virtual Kindertown, and Taste of Oktoberfest. More information about the virtual festival and how folks can participate will be announced soon at the festival website.
According to SCDHEC the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, SCDHEC recommends the following basic, actions to help you stay healthy:
- Washing your hands
- Wearing a cloth mask when in public while social distancing (remain 6 feet apart)
- Covering your cough and sneeze
- Appropriately disposing of tissues and other items that you’ve used to cover your sneeze or cough
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid close contact – use social distancing, avoid handshakes and close, physical contact
Most importantly, to avoid infecting others, stay home if you have risked exposure, are feeling ill, or know you are sick, except to get medical care. Several South Carolina health systems are offering telehealth options to the public. These options are available to anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in South Carolina. In order to access the free consult, use the promo code COVID19.
- MUSC Health Virtual Urgent Care
- McLeod Telehealth
- Prisma Health Virtual Visit
- Roper St. Francis Healthcare Virtual Care
The City of Newberry’s number one priority is always the health and safety of its citizens, employees, volunteers and guests. Should there be further recommendations from local, state or federal health officials, the city will communicate scheduling changes to impacted events and programming.
Direct questions to:
Mary Alex Kopp, Tourism & Events Manager
City of Newberry PO BOX 538 | Newberry, SC 29108
Newberry City Council will hold a Regular Meeting Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at 5:30 P.M. in Council Chambers at City Hall. Agendas may be accessed HERE.
The City of Newberry is seeking applicants for our Boards and Commissions. If interested in applying please refer to the requirements of each board to make sure you are qualified. If you have any questions, please call the Planning and Development Department and 803-321-1019. Click Here to access the application and qualifications.
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ONLINE BILL PAY CUSTOMERS
The City does not have a 3rd party agreement on Utility payments. The only way to pay your bill is by coming into City Hall, bank draft, or directly from the City's Website. Please note that the City’s official bill pay website is through www.sc.gov. Payment submitted through any other payment service is not endorsed by the City of Newberry and any late penalties that result from payment made to any other payment service other than the City’s official payment site, is the responsibility of the customer. If you are not sure if the payment site you visit is the City's official site, please call the Finance Department at (803) 321-1007 to confirm the official site. If you feel like you are being scammed please contact us to ask questions.
Our vision is to be an open, engaged and thriving community.
To be prudent stewards of the public's resources as we provide citizens, business and visitors with excellent public services.
We will embrace the diversity of people, interests, resources and perspectives throughout the City by seeking and considering the input of our stakeholders in our decision-making.
We are accountable to the citizens of Newberry. As stewards of the public's resources, we acknowledge the public is counting on us - We must set and exceed expectations that ensure our intentions, words and deeds are beyond reproach.
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Newberry Named one of 50 Most Charming Small Towns
Newberry was most recently named one of 50 of the most charming small towns in America. In the article published by the Travel Channel, Newberry was the only town in South Carolina to make the list among other cities to include Nantucket, MA, Kennebunkport, ME and Carmel, CA.
“Newberry, South Carolina, is a college town with lots of extras: lovely architecture, a historic Opera House, a winery where rocking chairs beckon from a big porch and world-class dining and drinking experiences. Nicknamed the ‘City of Friendly Folks,’ it’s been called one of the 100 best small towns in America,” the article stated.
City Manager Matt DeWitt said it was nice to see that others were noticing what many citizens in Newberry had known all along.
“Newberry is a great place to visit, but an even better place to call home,” he said.
Mayor Foster Senn said more significant things were on the horizon for 2019 to add to Newberry’s charm, including the completion of the Old Newberry Hotel, the Newberry Museum, and The Standard on Main – new apartment living spaces downtown.
“We’re thrilled to be named one of the 50 most charming towns in America,” Senn said. “I see Newberry only getting better and more interesting in the future with the opening of these places as well as the new businesses that opened in recent months and other projects sure to develop because of the momentum that Newberry has.”
For more information on what’s going on in Newberry, check out www.cityofnewberry.com.