10/16/2020

Free application to complete for cash prizes is now available. All ages welcome.

Newberry, SC –

Returning this holiday season is the 4th annual Gingerbread Competition. Bakers and makers of all ages and from all over are welcome to compete. Application to compete is due by 5 pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. Entries will be dropped off on Thursday, December 3 for judging by 3 local judges representing the local food, art, and general community. Awards will be given on Saturday, December 5 at an invitation only private event.

There are two categories available for competitors to consider for entry. The Newberry Village is open to all ages, either working in teams or as individuals. It is limited to 10 entries that follow official competition rules. Winners for the Newberry Village will be given as follows; 2nd runner up receiving a ribbon and $200 cash prize, 1st runner up receiving a ribbon and $300 cash prize, and best in show receiving a ribbon and $500 cash prize. The Kids Village category is open to all children ages 6 to 16, either working in teams or as individuals. The category is limited to 10 entries that follow the official competition rules. One winner will be selected from the Kids Village and said winner will receive a best Kids Village Entry Ribbon and Gift Certificate to the Newberry Arts Center. Both Kids and Newberry Village entries should use gingerbread in their construction and are required to use only edible materials to create their masterpieces, not including their display base. Details about the rules and free application to compete can be found at www.newberrychristmas.com.

The display can be found in the Newberry Arts Center (NAC) and is available for public viewing December 4 through 23. Winners will be announced following the private awards event on Saturday, December 5. Links to images of past displays and details on how to enter the competition can be found at www.newberrychristmas.com.

For more information call 803-321-1015 or visit www.newberrychristmas.com. Follow the City of Newberry on social media @CityofNewberry/@CityofNewberrySC (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn).

City Council adopted both the 2020-2030 Comprehensive Plan and Updated Land Development Regulations of the City of Newberry Tuesday during their October City Council meeting.

Prior to second readings on both topics, two public hearings were held for those wishing to speak in favor or opposition to the two agenda items. With no comments submitted for the virtual meeting, the public hearings were adjourned.

The City of Newberry Planning Commission is responsible for updating the city’s Comprehensive Plan every 10 years, the last update being in 2010. The city’s Land Development Regulations were last updated in April 1999. Working with the Matheny-Burns Group, both were updated and presented by the city’s Planning and Development department to council for approval.

Mayor Foster Senn said both documents would be available soon on the city’s website, www.cityofnewberry.com for viewing.

Under old business, second and final reading was also held on the acquisition of property by the Newberry Fire Department. The couple that previously owned the property adjacent to fire station on Wilson Road (2718 Deloache Avenue) had passed away and asked their son to offer the property to the fire department first because they were aware of the difficulty the department had in backing their large ladder truck in from Wilson Road, especially during times of heavy traffic.

Acquiring the property will allow for a drive to be put in around the back of the property, allowing the ladder truck to be pulled in without blocking traffic along Wilson Road, creating a much safer atmosphere for firefighters and pedestrians alike. Acquisition of the property will cost the fire department $85,000.

The house and property will be kept up by the city’s fire department and will be used as the department configures living spaces for on-duty personnel. Motion was made by Councilman David Force and seconded by Councilman David DuBose to accept second reading.

Motion was made by Force and seconded by Councilwoman Holmes to accept second reading of an ordinance to authorize the transfer of property located at 1505 Main Street, current home of The Aviator.

The owner is looking to build a deck off the back of the bar to allow for outdoor seating and expand his business’ ability to serve customers. To do this, he needs about 50 foot of city property to transfer from the city to his property on Main Street. The owner agreed to construct a deck at a cost of no less than $20,000, an investment that will be added to his property taxes and value and how the city will be made whole on the transfer, Senn said.

Updates/Announcements

Under updates and announcements Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Scott Sawyer provided an update to council on the Newberry Recreation Complex. Sawyer said staff was excited the facility was now open and he had seen many community members take advantage of the playground facility and nature trail.

Senn confirmed that catch and release fishing was permitted in the pond at the complex.

The press box construction would soon begin, Sawyer told council with the anticipation that it may be 2021 before completed.

City Manager Matt DeWitt provided an update on a safe alternative for the traditional Halloween festivities in the city to include city staff passing candy to children in a drive-thru form on Halloween night from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the city’s recreation complex (1786 Glenn Street Extension). DeWitt said city staff realized there may those in the community that do not feel comfortable taking their household to trick-or-treat in the usual capacity, as well as many homes that may choose not to offer candy at their doors this year, so they wanted to provide a safer alternative for households to enjoy the holiday together.

“We hope it will be well received by the community,” DeWitt said.

Senn updated council on three recent proclamations to include Public Power Week, Fire Prevention Week and National Newspaper Week. He also spoke on National Hispanic Heritage Month that took place September 15 – October 15 and thanked the city for their presence of all on their social media pages.

New Business

Under new business, council unanimously voted to extend their ordinance regarding face coverings. Originally set to expire on October 31, the ordinance has been extended 61 days into December.

The measure requires masks or face coverings in grocery stores, pharmacies and dollar stores and clarifies the term grocery store to mean an indoor or outdoor establishment that primarily sells food but may also sell other convenience and household goods.

Motion was made by Councilwoman Jackie Holmes and seconded by Councilman Edwin Wicker to approve the ordinance.

Senn said DHEC had reported that communities that established ordinances had been more successful seeing a decrease in cases and while we had recently seen an uptick it looked as if that was now declining again.

Following a motion made by Wicker and seconded by Holmes, council tabled the consideration of a resolution to add a color to the Architectural Review Board’s color palette until more information could be received by council.

During last month’s ARB meeting, the owner of 1300 Main Street requested painting the trim of the building a Sherwin Williams color of SW6740 Kilkenny. The color is not on the approved color palette and must be approved by City Council before used.

Council requested more information so as to know how much of the color was going to be used on the building.

Due to the recent passing of Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, two vacancies were left on both the Clinton-Newberry Natural Gas Authority and the Central Midlands Council of Governments Boards. Motion was made by Councilman Lemont Glasgow and seconded by Wicker to appoint the next senior member of council, Councilman Dubose to the board of CNNGA.

Holmes made a motion, second by Councilman David Force to appoint Senn to the board of the Central Midlands Council of Governments.

City Council will meet virtually again on Tuesday, November 10. Information will be shared on how to view the meeting prior to that date.

Halloween Driving Passenger's BINGO Scavenger Hunt! Use your smart phone to play! Tour town to find the items on your bingo card. Everyone can play! 30 Different Cards! Scan QR Code.Spooktacular Costume Photo Reel. Message us your pictures by Nov. 3. Facebook  and Twitter @CityofNewberry, Instagram @CityofnewberrySCSpooktacular Pumpkin Photo Reel.  Message us your pictures by Nov. 3. Facebook  and Twitter @CityofNewberry, Instagram @CityofnewberrySC

Pull out your Halloween costume and join the City of Newberry for a safe alternative to the traditional trick-or-treating festivities in Newberry.

On Halloween night from 5:30-7:30 pm, City of Newberry staff will be present at the Newberry Recreation Complex, 1786 Glenn Street Extension, to host a drive-thru Halloween candy exchange with members of the community. To participate, residents are invited to drive through a marked route at the complex and remain in their car while Halloween treats are passed safely through the car’s window and dropped into each child’s goodie bag they bring from home!

While the city’s recreation complex is normally open until 8 p.m., the park will close at 3 p.m. on October 31 in preparation for the drive-thru event. Those participating will not be able to enter the park until 5:30 p.m.

All participants must remain in their vehicles and no walk-ups will be allowed. Candy is encouraged to be for participants of less than 13 years of age. For the safety of city staff and participants, masks are encouraged by those interacting in the exchange of Halloween candy.

City Manager Matt DeWitt said the city realized there may those in the community that do not feel comfortable taking their household to trick-or-treat in the usual capacity, as well as many homes that may choose not to offer candy at their doors this year. City staff wanted to provide a safer alternative for households to enjoy the holiday together.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are distributed while continuing to social distance are deemed a moderate risk activity for the Halloween holiday. A list of low, moderate and high-risk activities can be found by visiting the CDC’s website, www.cdc.gov.

Organizations within the community have donated Halloween candy to the cause in support of providing this activity for families. Residents who may not be hosting trick-or-treaters at their homes this year, but would also like to donate as a means of holiday participation, are invited to drop off sealed, unopened bulk packages of candy or a monetary donation to the Newberry Police Department (1507 Nance Street), Newberry Fire Department (1041 Wilson Road) or City Hall (1330 College Street). Donations must be delivered by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 26.  

Newberry City Council discussed a Commercial Economic Electric Rate Proposal at their meeting Tuesday that would benefit new businesses coming into the City of Newberry – more specifically, a potential grocery store.

If approved, this Economic Development Rider would feed off of a recent policy being discussed by Newberry County Council that would give property tax incentives to grocery stores that locate within Newberry County.

“Tonight is about talking through the plan to see if it would make a good fit to partner with the county’s policy,” City Manager Matt DeWitt said.

Available only at the City’s option, Utility Director Tim Baker said, the Commercial Economic Development Rider would be for nonresidential establishments receiving electric service from the city under the commercial customers monthly rate.

While the Rider would not specifically be for grocery stores, Baker said they would fit the criteria of the Rider by having at least 250 kW at one metering point.

“If there’s another ‘big box’ store that also would qualify, I think it would be worth exploring that too,” Baker said on why the policy didn’t solely refer to grocery stores.

Also mentioned in the proposed Rider is that the customer must also make new capital investment of one million dollars and must occur following City Council’s approval for service under this Rider.

This Rider would not be available to a new customer which results from a change in ownership of an existing establishment, Baker said. However, if a change in ownership occurs after the customer contracts for service under the Rider, the successor customer may be allowed to fulfill the balance of the contract and continue the schedule of credits.

Those meeting the above qualifications and having gained approval from City Council after applying would be eligible for the following credits to the electric portion of their bill, including the Basic Facilities, Demand Charge, Energy Charge, or minimum bill, but excluding Wholesale Power Cost Adjustments:

  • Months 1-24: 20 percent
  • Months 25-48: 15 percent
  • Months 49-72: 10 percent
  • Months 73-96: five percent

No credits would be received following month 96. Baker said the first two years of a new business were critical and he felt the 20 percent incentive on the customer’s bill would be an advantage to new customers.

The Rider also proposes closing funds, meaning each customer may also apply for assistance with the payment of basic infrastructure costs including, but not limited to: water and sewer tap fees, signage, paving, parking lot lighting or other infrastructure costs.

Closing funds may be reimbursed based on one dollar per $100 in capital spending with a cap of $25,000 per project. Baker said if a customer is requesting closing funds, that must be requested as part of the Commercial Economic Development Rider application along with a brief description of how the funds will be used.

“The customer will receive a commitment letter if approved,” Baker said.

Customers must also provide documentation when submitting for reimbursement. Baker mentioned that depending on the city’s annual budget funding for economic development, that they could probably do approximately three projects per year with the $25,000 cap.

Mayor Foster Senn asked Baker if existing business completed renovations that surpassed one million dollars if they would be eligible to apply for the Rider. Baker said while the chances were not as likely, that if the business added an additional 250 kW to their existing usage from the renovations, that they would be eligible for the incentive. However, the discount would only apply to the new utility load that the city would be serving.

Senn said the city was in need of an additional grocery store and while they had met with Retail Strategies and had also tried their hand at getting Ingles to come into the city, he hoped this proposed incentive would bring new business to the area.

This item will be up for a vote by City Council at their next meeting on Tuesday, November 10.

Trevon Joe Rinehart, 21, of 841 Gray Street in Newberry has been arrested and charged in connection with a homicide occurring on September 26 on Holloway Street in Newberry.

Rinehart has been charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and breach of peace of a high and aggravated nature.

Police Chief Roy McClurkin said investigators with the Newberry Police Department have been busy interviewing witnesses and following up on leads which led to Rinehart being developed as a suspect in the homicide case.

The Newberry Police Department is also looking for an additional suspect involved in the case. Jalen Derand Glymph, 21, of 6206 Arbor Crest Court in Fountain Inn is also wanted on charges of murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and breach of peace of a high and aggravated nature associated with the case.

McClurkin said Glymph is considered to be armed and dangerous. If located, members of the community are advised to avoid contact with him and call 911 immediately.

If anyone has information on Glymph’s whereabouts, please contact the Newberry Police Department at 803-321-1010 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. All tips will remain anonymous.

  Jalen Derand Glymph (08/13/1999)