Councilwoman Annette McCaskill said she had been contacted by several residents complaining about various properties in Whitmire that seemed to violate the ordinance on unsightly properties either due to overgrown grass or too many junk cars in the yard.
Other Council members including Councilwoman Cassie Fowler and Councilman Dwight Lane raised similar concerns about property owners parking construction equipment or commercial vehicles in residential areas.
Mayor Tim Carroll said that Whitmire needs zoning to address some of these issues and that the ordinance did not address the construction and commercial vehicle issues. The council passed a motion to hire a part time employee to assist the city in identifying and notifying property owners in violation of the ordinance.
Part time police officers
Whitmire police officer, Shane Harris, is currently serving in the military and is expected back in November. In his absence, the city has been using part-time police officers to cover his shifts.
Budgetary concerns primarily related to overtime led Carroll to ask the part time officers to turn in their equipment. The council was adamant that no decision had been made regarding the officers employment and that all hiring and firing issues would be handled by the council.
One of the part time officers said that they were needed because the county could not always provide timely response providing coverage if Whitmire did not have a city officer on duty.
The officer said that at night, the county normally had only three or four officers covering the entire county and that their response time could be as great as 30 minutes to Whitmire.
Whitmire Police Chief Jeremiah Sinclair said that he was always available in emergencies, even if he was off-duty.
The council met briefly in executive session and then decided to keep things as they are, with part time officers being used at least through the rest of the calendar year.
"It’s always covered at night," said Carroll of the town’s police coverage.
Lane brought up an issue with a large dog that was continuing to cause problems for a constituent. Carroll was aware of the problem and said that a larger trap was needed and that he would get one from Rock Hill.
Problems with potholes on city streets are going to be addressed as soon as the city dump truck gets repaired. Carroll said he hopes to get the vehicle back this week.
The mayor was excited about two grants, one that has already been awarded for streetscaping and sidewalks with work beginning later this month, and another grant for the library.
The grant for the library has been submitted and if the city is awarded the money, the library will receive a 1,600 square foot extension with a classroom and new computers. The bathrooms would also be upgraded to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Sinclair reported that there had been 32 incident reports and 27 citations in the last month. Some of the department’s calls included burglary, assault and battery, larceny, forgery, vandalism and possession of methamphetamine.
Residents to receive letter about drinking water
The Whitmire water system recently violated a drinking water standard and residents will begin receiving letters on September 15 to notify them.
The system failed to meet drinking water standards for their total organic carbon (TOC) removal ratio.
Whitmire Water Plant Chief Operator Synthia Sinclair said that there are no health effects due to TOC and that residents do not need to boil their water or take any other corrective actions.
TOC is the total amount of organic matter found in their water source (the Enoree River). The presence of TOC can lead to disinfection byproducts, but these byproducts were not found in high levels in Whitmire drinking water.
The city is working to determine the cause of this isolated fluctuation in TOC. For more information, contact Sinclair at 694-3568.