Four local high school students were recognized by City Council Tuesday night as the 2019 recipients of the Newberry-PMPA Community Scholar Scholarship. Matthew Epting, Andy Lin, Ledare Livingston and Shield Sawyer will each receive a $500 scholarship to go towards tuition at the state school of their choice.

As one of 10 cities that receives their electricity from the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency (PMPA), the City of Newberry is provided $2,000 from PMPA to give back to the community and divide up among four $500 scholarships.

Mayor Foster Senn and members of council congratulated each of the students on a job well done.

City Manager Matt DeWitt announced Tuesday that the new neighborhood, Newberry Landing currently under construction on Smith Road would require a pump station and that three bids had been received with a low bid of $201,224 from Tom Brigman Contractors who was awarded the project.

“The neighborhood is really starting to take shape if you haven’t been by to check it out,” DeWitt told council. “We’re excited to make more progress on helping get that neighborhood up and running.”

City staff have recently developed a Boards and Commissions application that will be posted on the city’s website, DeWitt said Tuesday, with the purpose of the form being to gauge qualified citizens’ interest and desire to serve on one of the city’s boards or commissions that provides information and recommendations to council.

DeWitt said the recommendation was provided to city staff by council as a way to act as a clearing house with those who had interest to serve.

“That way when something opens up, we can provide to council a list of folks interested,” he said. “We’re hoping this creates a more inclusive process and allows for more community involvement.”

As a new announcement to council each month, Utility Director Tim Baker will provide updates to the rolling out of the city’s fiberoptic network build out. Baker told council they were still on schedule with their original timeline and that quadrant one (in the Newberry Hospital area) was approximately 25 percent complete. Construction on the network began April 1.

Senn informed council that this week was Drinking Water Week in the City of Newberry, reading a recently signed proclamation on behalf of the city utilities department. Junior Leadership Newberry County visited the city’s Water Treatment Plant last week, Senn said and as always, they were impressed with the work done each day there.

Under old business, second and final reading was passed with a motion from Councilman Edwin Wicker and seconded by Councilman Zebbie Goudelock to amend section 9-29 of the Wholesale Power Cost Adjustment schedule. Senn said there had recently been changes in the PMPA base billing demand credit that effected the wholesale power cost adjustment (WPCA) for the city.

The request was made so that base billing demand credits issued by PMPA would not be reflected in the WPCA but be placed into a rate stabilization account to be used as council sees fit, including, but not limited to capital improvements, WPCA reduction and system maintenance. The adjustments to the WPCA that have been adopted prior to this amendment and are currently scheduled will not be affected.

New Business

Motion was made by Councilman Glasgow and seconded by Councilman DuBose for first reading of an ordinance to amend the future land use map and zoning map of the city by rezoning a parcel on Dixie Drive, Tax Map #346-2-1-44 from GC General Commercial to R8 Residential. Senn said the owner has a contract for the sale of the property contingent on re-zoning and the purchaser wanted to build a residence on the property.

A public hearing for this item will be held on June 11.

Also under new business, the city’s Planning and Development department, in an effort to streamline processes and create uniformity for murals in the city recommended an amendment to council to add murals to general regulations of the zoning ordinance. The amendment would give council the authority to approve all murals located with the general commercial, core commercial and office commercial zoning districts.

DeWitt said there was currently nothing in the city’s zoning ordinances allowing for murals.

“I wouldn’t say they’re disallowed, but there’s currently no way to approve them,” he said. 

Should someone express interest in creating a mural in one of these districts, DeWitt said they will come to council directly for approval.

Motion was made by Wicker and seconded by Goudelock amending the ordinance to include two readings for the approval of murals in these districts. A public hearing will be held June 11 prior to second reading.

 Ledare Livingston was recognized by City Council for being a recipient of this year’s Newberry-PMPA Community Scholar Scholarship. She is pictured with Utility Director Tim Baker (left), and Mayor Foster Senn (right). 

 Local high school students Matthew Epting, Andy Lin and Shield Sawyer were recognized by City Council for being recipients of this year’s Newberry-PMPA Community Scholar Scholarship. They are pictured with Mayor Foster Senn, Mayor Pro Tem Zebbie Goudelock and Utility Director Tim Baker.