NEWBERRY — Newberry County Council unanimously passed second reading Wednesday of an ordinance to address distracting driving.
County Administrator Wayne Adams reminded council that the Legislature continues to debate measures that would outlaw texting, laws that would supersede a county ordinance.
The county ordinance defines distracted driving and penalties to be handed down to motorists who engage in communication with electronic devices in a manner other than using a cell phone in hands-free mode while driving.
Council voted unanimously to approve a $23,973 expenditure to develop and implement a new county website
County IT Director Dylan Snyder said 15 vendors proposals were considered ranging from $14,000 to $55,000 to redesign.
The main reason for the change, Snyder said, is for security purposes because the county website was last updated in 2007. He said they also have a lack of a mobile presence with the current design though 29 percent of website access comes from mobile browsers.
Snyder said computer users currently make two clicks on the county website and then leave. The problem is, it takes five clicks or more to access heavily trafficked areas of the site such as purchasing or the job postings.
Also, the current website is not ADA complaint per the USDA guidelines.
“As a government website, we should provide (an ADA complaint access) to every citizen,” Synder said.
He said the county calendar has a lack of information on it right now. The new site would have improved content placement and also be a content management system.
County employees could be granted specific administrative privileges, for instance like the clerk to council being able to update the current events calendar and the council minutes, but not, for instance, to change content on the purchasing page of the site.
Sydner said access could be tailored to limit administrative access to even just be able to change the color font on the page and nothing else.
Council Member Les Hipp asked about funding and Adams told him $44,000 was budgeted but the amount needed was well under that amount.
Synder said the new system would save the county $700 per month on software licences as well.
The company Vision Internet said it could complete the project in five weeks but the county is allowing a two week grace period. Synder anticipates an Aug. 1 completion date. Vision designed the website for Rock Hill County which was used as example by the S.C. Association of Counties as an example at a meeting county council members attended.
Council Chairman Buddy Livingston said an updated website could bring in more visitors to the county and generate more hospitality tax revenue.
NCSO Chief Deputy Todd Johnson said he looked forward to the stability a new county website would bring to the system. “Currently the interface we use with the county jail site is so archaic that we can’t find programmers to do it,” he said.
In other business, County Public Works Director Mike Pisano gave an update.
The Berley Road Bridge in Pomaria and the Maybinton ball field are complete. The ball field project included porta johns and equipment to drag the field and to chalk the lines.
The Newberry County Airport apron project is in the bid process. Pisano anticipated a bid being made by end of May and he hopes construction will start later in the summer.
Pisano also talked about a possible change for single stream recycling instead of the four streams system now that is so labor intensive. The four streams are mixed paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum.
Snyder said there are issues with inmates being the main source of labor for daily operations but there are times where fewer inmates are available to work at the facility.
Synder said a single stream of recycling would result in less revenue but would be offset by ease of use.
Adams also mentioned potential benefit from removing some of the bins that currently spread throughout the county at recycling centers. The bins of recyclables under the current form are serviced with a packer truck which would cost $250,000 to replace.
Cost and options for single flow recycling will be discussed more at the June 9 budget workshop.
• Council passed a resolution declaring Foster Care Awareness Week in Newberry.
• Pomaria resident Gernie Stuck concerning road maintenance and a land easement arrangement. Council member Scott Cain who serves on the committee overseeing county road maintenance said the county’s hands were tied in the matter since the road was on private property.
County council meets June 4 at 7 p.m., has a work session June 9 and meets June 18 at 7 p.m.