City sets tennis rates

By Elyssa Haven - For The Newberry Observer
Joe McMorris, with his family, was recognized for his retirement after working for the City for nearly 30 years. - Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer

NEWBERRY — Newberry City Council passed first reading of an ordinance Tuesday night to establish rates and fees for the Oakland Tennis Complex.

With the completion of the Oakland Tennis Complex approaching, Mayor Foster Senn said it was necessary to establish a rate and fee table for use of the facility. The ordinance defines the yearly and daily usage as well as equipment fees.

For use of the complex’s hard courts, there will be no charge and will operate on a first come, first basis. However, the court may be reserved for a fee of five dollars per person (singles) and four dollars per person (doubles). Those prices are also the fees for use of the clay courts, as they require more upkeep, Scott Sawyer, parks recreation and tourism director said Tuesday.

All Court Play passes that will be renewable each July will also be available with pricing depending on the age of the player or if it will be a family pass. Ball machines may be rented on a daily basis or membership club basis.

Sawyer said he and City Manager Matt DeWitt compared prices with nine other complexes and found that the city of Newberry would be considered comparable.

“Some have a day rate before 5 p.m., some have a nightly rate,” Sawyer said. “We tried to make it simple.”

Rates will be listed on site in the pro-shop, Sawyer said as well as on the website and in a brochure that will soon be available.

Second reading for the complex rates will be held next month, Senn said.

First reading was also approved Tuesday of an ordinance to authorize regulation of residential rental properties. Senn said the city has reinstated the rental permitting process that was first established in 2006 and outlined in Chapter 8.5, Article II of the City Code.

After a collaboration with numerous departments and the city attorney, a new set of guidelines pertaining to the regulation of rental properties has been established. Under the new set of regulations, landlords must apply for rental permits and uphold the standard that no more than three citations are issued at the rental unit within 12 months immediately preceding the date of the application for permit.

City staff said they felt these policy struck a balance between the tenants and homeowners. The ordinance will not go into effect until January 2018. DeWitt said he would be available for any landlords or tenants that may have questions throughout the process.

Also under new business, first reading was approved on an ordinance to amend utility rates. Senn said the city’s current residential rate structure for water has far too many levels, with this new proposal simplifying the table by collapsing the residential rate table.

Employee Recognitions

DeWitt and City Council recognized seven employees for their work with the city Tuesday. For her five years of service with the Newberry Opera House, Micah Decker was recognized.

Suzanne Elston and Tina Liptak were recognized for their 10 years of service with the city in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism and Police Departments, respectively.

Three employees were recognized Tuesday by council for their 15 years of service with the city: Corey Shealy in the Public Works Department, Brian Beck with the Fire Department and Benny Havird with the Utilities Department.

Joe McMorris was also recognized on his retirement from the Public Works Department.

Other business

• Under old business, second and final reading was passed of an ordinance to modify the city’s sewer use ordinance. Senn said the process was necessary to comply with DHEC regulations. The state of South Carolina modified their Pretreatment Regulations in 2008 to reflect changes in the federal regulations. DHEC requires the city’s Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP) to be updated every five years.

“It just brings us in line with what DHEC wants us to do,” Senn said.

• DeWitt presented the financial report to council Tuesday and said that with it being the first full month of the city’s fiscal year, there was little activity in the general fund, but things remained steady as projected.

• Permission was granted to the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department to allow beer and wine at the sixteenth annual Oktoberfest served and sold by designated event vendors and venues with proper permitting to use plastic cups to larger than 16 ounces to be taken from designated vendors and venues into the outdoor event area. This allows event patrons to travel the event area with alcoholic beverages of beer or wine only, by foot if they are carrying the allowed beverage in a designated event cup and wearing the approved over 21 wristband.

The event area includes Main Street from Nance to Holman Streets, Boyce Street from Nance to Lindsay Streets, McKibben from Boyce to Main Streets, Caldwell from Boyce to Friend Streets, College from Boyce to Main Streets and Lindsay from Martin to Main Streets, just as in years past.

Joe McMorris, with his family, was recognized for his retirement after working for the City for nearly 30 years. McMorris, with his family, was recognized for his retirement after working for the City for nearly 30 years. Elyssa Haven | For The Newberry Observer

By Elyssa Haven

For The Newberry Observer