NEWBERRY — Ward Braswell, director of Planning and Development Services for the City of Newberry, was recently elected to serve as the president of the S.C. Plumbing, Mechanical and Gas Inspectors Association for the 2017-18 governing term.
According to City Manager Matt DeWitt, Braswell has been a leader in the industry with Master Code Professional certification, and has served the state, region and numerous local councils during his years as a senior planning, building and inspections professional.
Braswell has held past posts as president of Building Officials Association of South Carolina, president of Upper State Code Enforcement of South Carolina, president of the Central Building Inspectors Association of South Carolina and he currently serves on the board of directors for the S.C. Association of Hazard Mitigation, on which he has served for the past 12 years.
He has also been active on the International Code Councils initial Plumbing Exam Development Committee, Building Exam Development Committee and now serves on the Property Maintenance and Zoning Exam Development Committee.
“The City of Newberry is pleased to honor and congratulate Ward on this latest accomplishment and the stellar representation and experience he provides the City of Newberry and his peers throughout the state,” DeWitt said.
In other business, Council approved a resolution authorizing the city manager to initiate, prosecute and conclude condemnation proceedings on behalf of the City of Newberry.
The condemnation proceedings are for a residence at 1315 Garden Circle Drive, Newberry, which is located behind the Wells Japanese Gardens. The property burned leaving structurally unsound and potential hazard for Newberry residents. The City has determined that it is necessary to clear the remaining structure.
Mayor Foster Senn said that this resolution came about because it is an eyesore. He also noted that the City sought to remedy this situation.
“Our contact with the owner goes all the way back to 2014, dated July 2, we sent a letter for overgrowth. Again, Aug. 3, 2016, this time the house was vacant, again a letter for overgrowth. On Aug. 5, 2016 there was a fire at the residence. On Sept. 20, 2016 we sent a notice of violation for the dilapidated building, Feb. 6, 2017 we sent notice of violation and condemnation order to demolish,” DeWitt said. “Most recently, June 16, 2017, we sent a notice of violation and condemnation in order to demolish and remove to the owner.”
The City received no response from the owner, but have received numerous complaints from Newberry residents in regards to the structure.
The resolution was passed after Councilman Edwin Wicker made a motion and Councilman Thomas Boyd seconded.
• Council recognized the following employees for their years of service: Chris Odom, 10 years; Mark Sanders, 10 years; and Lindsay Sexton, 10 years. Janice Wilson was recognized for retiring from the City of Newberry. She has been an employee since 2002.
• Council recognized Jan Piersol, director of the Newberry Housing Authority, for her organization being awarded an Emergency Grant for Underground Electrical Upgrade in the amount of $1,384,440.
• Mayor Foster Senn signed a proclamation for Housing America Month.
• Council re-appointed Connie Rinehart to the Planning Commission.
• Council approved the first reading of a lease purchase agreement in the amount of $258,601 for the purchase of a Commercial Garbage Truck.
• The City of Newberry will have a Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11. Applications to be in the parade can be picked up at City Hall. The deadline to submit an application is Nov. 7.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.