PROSPERITY — Prosperity residents are one step closer to being allowed to own up to six chickens per family dwelling within the town limits, after town council unanimously approved first reading of revisions to its chapter 92 ordinance related.
The ordinance, a modification of a Cayce ordinance, requires chicken owners to have at least a half acre lot and purchase a $20 permit.The ordinance prohibits residents from owning roosters.
Council discussed the issue, and at the suggestion of Town Administrator Karen Livingston, agreed to grandfather owners in using a current clause that addresses horse ownership.
Council member Robert Martin asked if town police officers had authority to inspect the chicken facilities at any time.
Town Attorney Hank Bufkin told him as long as the chicken facilities were in plain view, officers had legal authority to check them but under the ordinance they had no legal authority to search the premises.
First reading passed with the caveat that ordinance be amended to include verbiage related grandfathering in chicken owners.
Town tobacco Use
Council voted unanimously to pass first reading to amend the town employee handbook’s tobacco use policy.
The amended policy forbids town employees from using tobacco products while on town property.
The policy also applies to citizens and volunteers, such as little league baseball coaches.
After hearing council’s proposed amendments, Bufkin requested clarity about the policy’s scope.
“From a legal standpoint, there needs to be notice that people be notified of the policy and have some choice about (adhering),” he said. “Signs at this point are a friendly reminder of the park being smoke-free, etc. but from a legal aspect there (currently) is no ordinance to forbid smoking if someone complains.”
Council agreed to provide volunteer coaches with written notification of the tobacco-free policy.
Any building owned by the town will have designated areas where tobacco products could be used.
Prosperity Mayor Derek Underwood said this revision is part of the process the Town would need to go through, if it decided pass an ordinance to become entirely smoke-free. However, no decision has been made regarding the entire town and total bans on smoking.
In other news:
• Underwood proposed, and was granted authority, by council to amend the agenda and include discussion of town vehicle usage and the town social media policy. After discussion, Prosperity Council Vice Chair Chad Hawkins reminded council and attendees that the current policy prohibits texting while driving. Council will revisit employee vehicle use with regard to prohibited drivers for reckless driving, etc. and will review the social media policy at the next town council meeting.
• The town and the Prosperity Business Association agreed to wait until after Prosperity’s Hoppin’ Festival to display the Town’s new sign. Delays meant the sign would not be ready by May 3.
• Town council will consider hiring a full-time firefighter where the post will be filled by several employees rotating in shifts similar to town police officers. Mayor Underwood hopes the new position would lower the town ISO rating and thereby reduce resident’s insurance and tax rates. He will investigate to see if a fire fee could offset costs for the additions and if the fees would be less than potential savings from insurance and tax bills.
• The town council meeting with county about rescue squad was postponed until April 24 at 6:30 p.m.
• The town passed a fair housing resolution.
• Council and Police Chief Benji Sease discussed if dogs should be allowed in town parks. Underwood said that item will be new business for the May council meeting when the policy and signage related will be clarified.
• Sease also said his department has had some interviews (for an open position) but will hold off making a decision until the budget preparation workshop next week.
• Council met in executive session and received information about a contractual matter with Duke Power, a legal update on proposed South Carolina legislation regulating dilapidated buildings and an update on police scheduling. According to Town Administrator Karen Livingston, no votes were taken when council emerged from the session.
• Chad Hawkins thanked those who helped show Prosperity-Rikard kindergarten class a mock town council meeting last Friday.
• Town Administrator Livingston addressed complaints about business parking being blocked off during 5K races. She said there was some confusion with communication between the Autism 5K organizers and merchants but that communication was good between merchants and the town regarding races for Prosperity’s Hoppin’.
• Stanley Dominick was recognized by several council members for the work he did during a power outage involving a church and as he did work on a substation that had regulator issues. Ed West who manages the town utility department said, “Stanley is top notch and I’d put him up against any lineman in the state. He’s a great asset.”
• Town council budget work session is April 22 at 6:30 p.m.