NEWBERRY — Newberry City Council recognized eight Newberry College Seniors Tuesday night for their outstanding efforts of community service and leadership during their time at the college.
William Brant, Brunes Charles, Rebecca Cromer, Alisa Dunovant, Chas Goodwin, Jason Livingston, Casey Stevens, and Rachel Williams were recognized for their accomplishments.
Each student was presented a framed proclamation from the City of Newberry recognizing all of their achievements.
“It’s quite an honor for our seniors,” said David Davis, basketball coach at the college.
Michael Shealy was also recognized by City Manager Al Harvey and Mayor Foster Senn for his 15 years of service with the city. Shealy began his employment on March 15, 1999 and holds the position of a Water/Sewer crew member.
Harvey told council Tuesday that the only concerns he had with the financial report were that business license fees were running shy of where they normally are.
“I’m confident that it will pick up in the next 30 days,” Harvey said.
In old business, council held the second reading of an ordinance to amend sections 900 sign regulation and section 901 permitted signs to provide for banners on private light posts in the general commercial zoning district, providing for codification and providing for severability; providing for an effective date.
The reason for the proposed zoning text amendment is to regulate the size and intervals for vertical banners. The current zoning ordinance does not contain text concerning these types of signs. The ordinance unanimously passed second reading.
Richard Waddington, owner of Pour Richard’s downtown requested permission to allow alcoholic beverages at a designated event area for his planned block party on May 2.
This would allow patrons of Pour Richard’s Tavern to walk out onto Main Street from Nance Street to McKibben using plastic cups from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. May 2-3.
Waddington said his plan was to tie in the block party with the Pork in the Park and Newberry College graduation that weekend to give another avenue for people to take part in.
The original request was to allow alcohol in the areas until 2 a.m., but Senn pointed out that other events stop outside at 12 a.m., which they agreed as a better time frame.
Harvey said the main reason they were able to accommodate Waddington’s request was because the streets were already blocked due to Pork in the Park. “Otherwise we wouldn’t be blocking them off,” Harvey said.
ISE Newberry, Inc. has had a long-standing request to have the entire length of Alexander Street adjacent to the firm’s property closed.
Alexander Street is approximately 695 feet long and extends from Pope Street on the north to Fair Street on the south. With one exception, all of the property is owned by ISE.
Dean Wise, from ISE said their major reasoning for the request was for the safety of their complex and employees.
“More inspection and safety requirements require us to be more secure,” Wise said.
Wise said he felt ISE could better develop the property and enhance efficiencies if they could have sole access to the road.
Attorney Robert Lake said the property owner that previously objected to the road closure only did so in part because they didn’t want their property to lose frontage on one side.
The City of Newberry has a water and sewer line, Lake said along Alexander Street so rights of way would need to be obtained to continue utility services.
Lake said a petition has been filed with the common pleas court, and he feels an agreement will be reached on all parties, but as of Tuesday, they were unsure of a time frame for it to be resolved.
The city of Newberry’s accommodations and tax advisory committee (ATAC) met on April 2 to consider applications for state accommodations tax funds. The city then advertised the availability of a tax grant fund, which brought in four application requests.
The Newberry Opera House requested $25,000 to promote downtown Newberry as a destination for dinner, shopping, entertainment, and overnight accommodations.
The City of Newberry requested $20,000 to promote Newberry as a small town tourism destination and to use the consumer spending of these visitors to stimulate the local economy. They also submitted a third request for $10,500 to promote Oktoberfest 2014 in communities that are within a reasonable driving distance of Newberry.
The fourth request for $9,911.80 was submitted by the Downtown Merchants Association to purchase media advertising in the Columbia, Lexington, and Lake Murray areas.
The city had approximately $41,553.04 available this year. The ATAC committee recommended awarding $15,937.50 to the Newberry Opera House, $12,603.02 to the city of Newberry for community promotions, $6,693.75 to the city of Newberry for promotion of Oktoberfest, and $6,318.77 to the Downtown Merchants Association.
This represents about 64 percent of the amounts requested from each.
In other business:
•Charlie Harp, owner of 322 Holly Circle requested to receive out of city water services. Harp agreed to execute an annexation covenant indicating willingness to annex if the property becomes contiguous to the city limits and council determines it is in the city’s best interest to annex the property.
The property is adjacent to an existing city water line and will require no extension beyond a standard tap. Council agreed unanimously.
•Carolyn Robinson’s term on the Newberry Housing Authority’s Board of Directors expired on April 14. Executive Director, Jan Piersol indicated to council that Robinson had been a good board member and desired to be considered for reappointment.
Council unanimously agreed to put Robinson on another five year term, which would expire April 14, 2019.