NEWBERRY — As it looked toward Monday night’s budget work session, Newberry County Council unanimously approved several funding requests Wednesday night, including one for a Whitmire fire station as council accepted a low bid from W.E. Baker and sons.
Whitmire Fire Chief, Michael Thomas said he and other volunteers are looking for the most economical ways to renovate the old furniture store into a fire station, including doing the painting themselves.
Council unanimously voted to accept the bid of $94, 219 and to make up the projected budget shortfall of $7,580 for the project from the county contingency fund.
A third quarter appropriation proviso for $5,625 to fund the Hal Kohn Memorial Library also passed unanimously. Council thanked Library Director Sam Ziady for the job he and his staff are doing.
Ziady said the renovations to Whitmire War Memorial Library have enabled GED classes in the afternoons for 16 students. Ziady thanked council for its support of the library as a hub to connect the town and also promote literacy which impacts a variety of issues from education to economic development potential.
In other funding-related news, Clerk to Court Jackie Bowers discussed funding options for cleaning mold from around 765 volumes of court-related documents.
Council Vice-chairman Kirskey Koon asked about options like microfilm or archived storage with the state archives in Columbia and was assured the most feasible option was having the volumes of deeds, mortgages, liens, financial statements, indexes and other documents cleaned.
Total proposed cost for mold remediation of books ranges from $40,800 to about $41,000.
Bowers requested the balance of 4D funds that Newberry County Clerk of Court office earned would go into the general fund ($80,000-$100,000) and requested any funds left over from book cleaning be applied to court house renovations.
In other news:
• Council unanimously passed third and final reading of ordinance (03-04-14) to amend Chapter 96 of the Newberry County Code of Ordinances relating to Animal Control matters.
• Second reading passed unanimously on an ordinance (04-05-14) to amend zoning to reclassify land from Rural (R2) to General Commercial. Second reading also passed unanimously on ordinance 04-06-14 to change a property from single family residential to single family residential A.
• First reading passed unanimously on ordinance 04-07-144 to which enables to county to levy taxes, receive revenues and, if needed, borrow in anticipation of tax collections by tax anticipation notes, and use those means to provide appropriations for fiscal year July 1 2014-June 30, 2015.
• First reading passed unanimously on an ordinance to provide appropriations for of $403,881 for the library, $397,132 for Piedmont Technical College Newberry campus and $22,606 for Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs.
• Silverstreet resident Charles Allen asked council why Jackson Field Lane, which he claimed had been serviced by the county for the past 20 years, was removed from the county road system. Allen said the road conditions impair his ability to rent trailer lots and adversely affect homeowners, in his opinion. He agreed to meet in person Thursday with County Administrator Wayne Adams to discuss the matter further. Adams said prior to Wednesday night’s public comments, he had not seen documentation to show the road in question was, in fact, a county road.
• Council met in executive session to discuss matters related to the proposed location, expansion or provision of services encouraging location of industry or other businesses in an area served by the public body. Council also discussed employee performance reviews during executive session. No votes were taken after council emerged from the session.
County council’s budget work session is April 21 at 6 p.m. Council’s next regular meeting is May 7 at 7 p.m.