NEWBERRY – Newberry City Council gave a salute to many summer youth programs throughout Newberry County Tuesday night during their August council meeting.

“We’ve had an outstanding effort and selection of summer programs, the best I can remember,” said Mayor Foster Senn. “We had existing programs that were already in place and then we had new programs. There was just a whole offering of all types of activities.”

Senn, along with Mayor Pro-Tem Zebbie Goudelock recognized each of these groups in the order of which their programs came about over the summer:

  • Mary Alex Kopp and the City’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department were recognized for their free family movies in Memorial Park this summer. The first moving being Black Panther in June, followed by Mary Poppins in July. The next movie, Disney’s Coco was held Friday, August 17.
  • Jackie Brown was recognized for hosting summer camps, reading, snack time and game days for children in the Nance Forest Area. There was also a social hour to help parents plan for getting kids back to school.
  • Scott Sawyer, Collin Shealy and Johnnie Caldwell were recognized for their work with the Summer Mobile Recreation Program which travelled to four parks per week in the City with games and fun for children. Also from the PRT Department, Mark Gardiner, along with Sawyer were recognized for their work with the Oakland Tennis Center summer programming.
  • On behalf of the Newberry Arts Center summer art camps, Marquerite Palmer was recognized by council. The camps catered to children, teens and adults alike.
  • Jessica Toland and Sam Zaidy were recognized for their work on the Newberry County Library Summer Reading Program. The program has been around for many years, Senn said and takes place during the months of June and July. The theme for this year’s program was “Libraries Rock.”
  • Michelle Long and Russell and Ciria Triplett were recognized for their involvement in the annual Harper Street Bike Parade. This year, the parade celebrated its 16th year honoring the Fourth of July holiday.
  • Barbara Chapman with the Newberry County Literacy Council hosted the Wise Street Enrichment Summer Camp and the Families and Schools Together Program at Newberry Elementary to ensure that children continue to learn throughout the summer by applying STEM learning and reaching each day. Jackie Holmes with the Newberry County YMCA was also honored for her work with summer programming at the YMCA and keeping children active over the summer.
  • Wayne Pratt Jr. was recognized for his group’s seventh annual Back to School Bash held this August in Gallman Park for the community. School supplies were available for children as well as inflatables and other family fun activities.
  • Police Chief Roy McClurkin, Fire Chief Keith Minick along with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and the SC Department of Natural Resources were commended for their work for the recent National Night Out event held in Mollohon Park. The event is a way to meet local law enforcement and other officials to work towards building stronger neighborhoods.
  • For his thirty-sixth consecutive year of Children’s Day held at Wise Street Field in Newberry, Calvin Sims was recognized by council. The event included games, music, prizes and food as well as a softball tournament for people to enjoy.

Other recognitions

Senn, City Manager Matt DeWitt and Fire Chief Keith Minick recognized Burt Mohler for his 25 years of service with the City’s fire department. Mohler began his employment with the department on July 3, 1993 and holds the position of Fire Captain.

Minick said that Mohler’s 25 years had been instrumental to the fire department and to the City.

“He’s been named firefighter of the year by the city, nominated by his peers I think that speaks highly of him,” Minick said.

From the police department, Rodney Grey was recognized for his 25 years of service with the department and his recent retirement. McClurkin said the City loved him as did the citizens of Newberry and that he appreciated Grey’s dedication to the City and police department as well as the job he did for the department.

“Not only is he outstanding, but he is a friendly face for our City,” Senn said of Grey.

Old business

Under old business, second and final reading was approved to amend Chapter 8.5, Article 4 of the City Code that relates to the condemnation of properties within the City. Senn said the ordinance would address the repair, closure or demolition of a property using Chapter 15, Title 31 of the South Carolina Code of Laws and would be a departure from the International Property Maintenance Code making the process similar to other municipalities within the state. The ordinance provides the owners an opportunity to repair, demolish or come to an agreement with the City regarding the property.

DeWitt said this ordinance put the City in a better position and worked closer with the owner to allow them to either repair or demolish their property. Motion to accept second reading was made by Councilman Lemont Glasgow and seconded by Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd.

The motion was made by Boyd and seconded by Councilman Edwin Wicker to accept second reading of an ordinance to amend the lien collection process for the city’s planning and development department. Currently the planning and development department is charged for the maintenance of properties whose owners do not comply with the city code. The current system allows the city t put liens on properties to be collected when and if the property is sold. This new ordinance gives the city the authority to collect liens in the same manner as municipal taxes through the use of the Newberry County Auditor’s office, making the collection of these liens more likely.

New business

Under new business, first reading was approved to authorize the lease purchase of a residential side loader. Senn said the current budget had an appropriation of $275,000 for the purchase of the equipment to replace an existing 2011 Bridgeport 32-yard Ranger Automated Sideloader mounted on an Autocar Xpediator chassis. The purchase will be financed through a lease/purchase agreement not to exceed a three to four-year period.

Three quotes were received for the equipment, Senn said with Nu Life Environmental submitting the lowest bid at $270,593.03. The city has requested bids from local banking institutions and are waiting for final figures to come in. Financing options for the new truck should come before council at next month’s meeting.

DeWitt said the Public Works department got seven good years out of the last side loader when they usually only last four to five years which was commendable. The motion to accept first reading was made by Councilman Goudelock and seconded by Boyd.

With a motion from Councilman Boyd and seconded by Wicker, first reading was approved of an ordinance to amend the fiscal year 2018-19 budget for the Newberry Recreation Complex Fund. Newberry County contacted the city at the end of fiscal year 2018 and asked to cut the city a check for the remaining funds left in the Capital Project Sales Tax money for the recreation complex. While the check was accepted and deposited in June 2018, the expenditures for this will be in the building construction of the recreation complex in fiscal year 2019, Senn said, which necessitated a budget adjustment for this year’s budget.

Other updates

  • Outside water service for property located at 2118 Pinehill Circle was approved by council. The property owner agreed to execute an annexation covenant indicating a willingness to annex if his property became contiguous to the city limits and council determined it was in the best interest of the city to annex the property. The property is adjacent to an existing city water line and will require no extension beyond a standard tap. Motion was made by Councilman Goudelock and seconded by Glasgow.
  • Resolution was passed to provide for a local match for a Municipal Association Hometown Economic Grant. Senn said the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) offers a grant to cities in South Carolina to implement economic development projects that will make a positive impact on the quality of life in the community. The grant program also promotes and recognizes innovation in economic development practices. A motion was made by Councilman Boyd and seconded by Goudelock to provide a match for the grant if received from MASC. The monies would be used for a marketing roll-out program for the new fiber network within the city.


 Burt Mohler recognized for his 25 years of service. 

 Rodney Grey recognized for his 25 years of service and recent retirement. 

 Mary Alex Kopp recognized along with the PRT department for free family movie nights.

 Wayne Pratt Jr. and group recognized for 7th annual Back to School Bash held in Gallman Park.

 Calvin Sims recognized for 36th consecutive Children's Day event at Wise St. Field.

 Michelle Long and Triplett family (Russell, Ciria and children) recognized for Harper St. Bike Parade. 

 Marquerite Palmer and Newberry Arts Center recognized for summer art camps.

 Jackie Brown recognized for hosting summer camp for children in the Nance Forest area. 

 City police/fire departments, Newberry County Sheriff's Office and SC DNR recognized for work with National Night Out event.

 Jessica Toland and Sam Zaidy recognized for their work at Newberry County Library Summer Reading Program. 

 Barbara Chapman, Newberry County Literacy Council and Jackie Holmes, Newberry YMCA were recognized for work with the Wise STreet Enrichment Summer Camp and the Families and Schools Together Program as well as programming at the YMCA for youth. 

 The PRT department was recognized along with Scott Sawyer, Johnnie Caldwell and Collin Shealy for their work with the Summer Mobile Recreation Program and Mark Gardiner for his work with the Oakland Tennis Center summer programming.