NEWBERRY – Mayor Foster Senn, City Manager Matt DeWitt and Fire Chief Keith Minick recognized Captain Burt Mohler, Lieutenant Jimmy Bickley and other members of the fire department at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.
The group recognized were credited with the lifesaving effort at a fire at Indian Hills Apartments in February.
“We can’t tell you how proud we are of you all,” Senn said. “It’s a great accomplishment and great teamwork.”
Minick said it was a special occasion to be able to say their training had paid off, that the crew performed and were able to have a safe outcome. The individual that was rescued, Minick said was very appreciative of what everyone did that night to save his life.
Several city staff and volunteers were also recognized Tuesday for their years of service. DeWitt said he felt the city needed to do a better job at recognizing its volunteers for their efforts, rather than solely recognizing full time city staff.
Mayor Foster Senn, DeWitt and Police Chief Roy McClurkin recognized Sam Hunter Tuesday for his 25 years of service with the police department and also for his retirement. Hunter began his employment on February 27, 1993 and held the position of Lieutenant until his retirement.
“Sam has always been a dedicated and hardworking employee,” McClurkin said. “He has worked very hard for the citizens of this city and has a wonderful family who has sacrificed him to the city for many years. We appreciate everything you’ve done.”
City Fire Chief Keith Minick spoke on behalf of several volunteers of the fire department that were also recognized by council Tuesday evening.
Reverend Floyd Sides served as a volunteer chaplain for more than 28 years for the city’s fire department and retired at the end of last year. Minick said Sides had been an asset to the department and he couldn’t thank him enough for his service.
For his service as a volunteer fireman for over 30 years, Minick and council also recognized Butch Price. Price also serves as the fire chief for the Friendly Fire Department.
“I can’t say enough how much he’s meant to me and how dedicated he is,” Minick said. “He’s a quick responder and we really appreciate what he does for the fire service.”
Price said he appreciated the honor of service with the fire department and he would keep doing it as long as he possibly could.
Barry Brown was recognized for his five years of service with the city’s fire department. He is a resident of Newberry and also serves the Lexington County Fire Service. Minick said Brown was a great asset to Newberry.
“He stays busy, but serves us well,” Minick said.
Under old business, council approved second and final reading of an ordinance to provide reimbursement to a residential property owner of development costs associated with water/sewer construction.
Section 4-2 of the City Code deals with the reimbursement by the City of Newberry for certain expenses in connection with commercial, industrial and residential property development.
This ordinance, which will not take effect would be in addition to Section 4-2 which gives the developer a portion of the increase in tax revenue and helps offset costs of roads, curbs and storm sewer and would address the offset costs of water and sewer lines.
Cities with a Commission of Public Works are giving a tax increase split on their general fund side and an incentive on the CPW/enterprise. This ordinance puts the city on a level playing field and makes them competitive with cities that have a CPW or other utilities serving their customers, said City Manager Matt DeWitt.
According to the ordinance, no developer would receive compensation until an electric meter is placed in service.
Under new business, City Council authorized for alcohol in designated event areas of Pork in the Park on April 21. Senn said the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce requested permission to sell and serve alcoholic beer served by designated event venue staff, using pre-approved plastic cups from a beer cart parked on Boyce Street between Memorial Park and the Newberry Opera House and taken from the designated venue into the outdoor event area.
This allows event patrons to travel the event space with an alcoholic beverage by foot if they are carrying the beverage in the pre-approved plastic event cups and wearing an over 21 wristband provided by the event organizers. The event area includes Main Street from Nance to Caldwell Streets, Boyce Street from Nance to Caldwell Streets, McKibben from Boyce to Main Streets and Caldwell from Boyce to Main Streets.
• City Council approved a request for outside water service at 2512 Drayton Street. The property owner agreed to execute an annexation covenant indicating a willingness to annex if the property became contiguous to the city limits.
• Second reading was passed for the approval of council for Senn to renew the City Manager’s employment contract. Senn said DeWitt’s new contract would run from March 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020, a period of 28 months.