Retired City Police Chief Andrew Shealy was recognized by City Council Tuesday night for his recent induction into the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame held a ceremony that recognized seven officers, including Shealy for their contributions to law enforcement in South Carolina.

Each of those recognized, Mayor Foster Senn said have made notable contributions and advanced the field of law enforcement in South Carolina through innovative ideas and partnership, forward-thinking and leadership and a commitment to making our state safer.

“We just want you to know how proud we are of you,” Senn said. “We appreciate all you’ve done to make Newberry as well as South Carolina a safer and better place.”

Shealy told council it had been a wonderful opportunity to serve the citizens of Newberry.

“It’s one I wouldn’t trade for anything,” he said.

Council also recognized Benji Morris Tuesday on his retirement from the Newberry Fire Department after 19 years of service. Morris began working with the fire department on April 12, 1999 and retired as Fire Engineer.

“I can’t say enough about how strong Benji was as an Engineer,” said Fire Chief Keith Minick. “I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him develop and grow within his career. He will be missed.”

As an update to council, Senn said that on August 28 a proclamation was signed to announce Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Week as September 17-23 and was a commemoration of the United States Constitution.

“It’s a great time to learn more about this important document and celebrate the freedoms it gave us,” Senn said. “I thank the DAR for making sure we remember the constitution.”

Utility Director Tim Baker provided council with an update following Tropical Storm Florence by saying that the most customers at a time without power was approximately 200, with most seeing very brief outages, no more than an hour or so in length.

He encouraged the community to follow Newberry Public Utilities on social media to keep up to date with the latest from the department to include power outages, road closures and more.

The utility department has many current projects that Baker went through with council to include the water line replacement on Friend Street to serve the new Newberry County Museum. Other than repainting parking spaces and the addition of road reflectors, Baker said that project had been completed.

On the water line replacement on Highway 219, Baker said he felt the project was approximately 90 percent completed with a few more water tie-ins remaining.

“The project should be completed by the end of this month,” Baker said.  “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we know this is a high traffic area.”

From conversations Baker said he had had with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, he felt that DOT would repave the road next summer when students had finished school.

Work is almost completed on Wilson Road, Baker said apart from the road needing thermoplastic painting. Baker said that DOT requires thermoplastic paint to be used on roads in high traffic areas.

“Currently there are only two people that complete that work in the state of South Carolina and they are both in Georgia right now,” Baker said. “As soon as they are freed up, we will have that completed.”

A project that has not started yet includes a ground water storage tank near the Kraft Heinz plant in Newberry, to which Baker said bids had been received and the city was currently completing contract documents.

Baker said that Kraft currently uses approximately 30 percent of the water in the city as they were a large customer.

“This causes us to run our water booster pumps a lot more than we would prefer,” Baker said.

When the tank is completed, it will allow for a couple of days of on-site water storage as well as an emergency backup water supply for the city. The timeframe for the project’s completion is March 2019.

On the electric side, Baker said the grading for the substation near Kendall Park had been completed and staff had held a preconstruction meeting for the pouring of the foundation and erection of the steel, along with putting everything else into place.

“We plan to give them the go-ahead this week,” Baker said.

Council held a public hearing Tuesday pertaining to an ordinance to amend the city’s zoning ordinance. City Manager Matt DeWitt said some of the changes included in the zoning ordinance update including updated zoning district descriptions, making them more user friendly. A new residential development (RD) zoning district was added which includes single family with smaller lot sizes of 6,000 square feet.

All conditional uses and special exceptions were consolidated into their own chapters and diagrams for illustrations were added as needed. The city’s Planning Commission considered city staff’s request at its August meeting and recommended that council take steps to accept the amendments to the zoning ordinance.

No one spoke in favor or against the proposed zoning ordinance though a member of the public, Aimee Talbot did address council with some thoughts on the restructuring of the new ordinance.

Old Business

 Under old business, council approved second and final reading to adopt an ordinance to authorize the lease purchase of a residential side loader. The equipment would be used to replace an existing 2011 side loader and will be financed through a lease/purchase agreement not to exceed a three-year period. First reading was held at council’s August meeting.

Motion was made to accept second and final reading by Councilman Lemont Glasgow and seconded by Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd.

With a motion from Councilman Glasgow and seconded by Councilman David DuBose, second and final 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.

New Business

Several updates were given, and first readings were approved by City Council Tuesday under new business:

  • Patrick Casey, assistant professor and coordinator of music education at Newberry College addressed council regarding the Newberry College Choir’s music making and sight-seeing opportunity in Kaiserslautern, Germany next June. Casey gave a brief description of the trip and the current initiatives in fundraising to offset some of the costs.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Zebbie Goudelock and seconded by Councilman Glasgow for a request to allow alcohol in the event area to include Main Street from Holman to College Streets during the Newberry Downtown Development Association’s Groove ‘N Brew Festival scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 2019.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Edwin Wicker and seconded by Councilman David Force for a request to allow alcohol in the event area to include McKibben and Boyce Streets in Memorial Park for the Newberry Opera House Party in the Park Summer Concert Series of 2019.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Boyd and seconded by Councilman DuBose for a request to allow alcohol in designated event areas of Newberry Oktoberfest for Saturday, October 6, 2018. The event area includes Main Street from Nance to Holman Streets, Boyce Street from Nance to Lindsay Streets, McKibben from Boyce to Main Streets, Caldwell from Boyce to Friend Streets, College from Boyce to Main Streets and Lindsay from Martin to Main Streets.
  • First reading was passed to establish standards for the placement of small wireless facilities in covered areas in the city in an effort to encourage an investment of a wireless infrastructure and the set of standards by which interested parties would follow. The ordinance was assembled using the Municipal Association of South Carolina sample language. Motion was made to accept first reading by Councilman DuBose and seconded by Councilman Boyd.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Glasgow and seconded by Councilman Boyd to accept first reading of an ordinance to amend sexually oriented businesses. Over the past year, the Planning and Development Services department has worked closely, Senn said with a consulting firm to update the zoning code. Through that process it was recommended to staff that the sexually oriented businesses ordinance become a stand-alone ordinance as it has other facets unrelated to the zoning code.
  • First reading was passed of an ordinance to amend the text of the zoning ordinance for the city. Motion was made by Councilman Goudelock and seconded by Councilman DuBose.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Boyd and seconded by Councilman DuBose to authorize the renewal of the Newberry Dove Club lease. Senn said the club has leased a parcel of land belonging to the city adjacent to the Bush River Wastewater Treatment Plant for 23 years and requested to renew the lease for an additional three-year period. The lease contains a hold harmless provision protecting the City from any claims of loss of property or injury or death to any person whatsoever while engaged in the activities of the Newberry Dove Club. The Dove Club maintains liability insurance to protect all parties from such claims.
  • First reading was passed providing for the construction, management and leasing of a dark fiber network to be owned by the City. Senn said the network would extend the fiber the city currently has to manage its infrastructure for use of residents, businesses, etc. Motion was made by Councilman Glasgow and seconded by Councilman Wicker.
  • Motion was made by Councilman DuBose and seconded by Councilman Boyd for first reading of an ordinance providing the allocation of surplus funds to extend the city’s existing fiber network for use by the city to manage its infrastructure as well as for use by residents, businesses and organizations of the city.

 Former Police Chief Andrew Shealy was recognized by City Council for recently being inducted into the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. He is pictured with City Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, Police Chief Roy McClurkin, Mayor Foster Senn and City Manager Matt DeWitt.

 City Council recognized Benji Morris for his retirement from the Newberry Fire Department after 19 years of service. Morris began working with the fire department on April 12, 1999 and retired as a Fire Engineer. He is pictured with Mayor Foster Senn, Fire Chief Keith Minick and City Manager Matt DeWitt.