Sumter Veteran Johnny Goodley led the Pledge of Allegiance before Tuesday night’s County Council meeting as part of a new endeavor that will see a Veteran from each council district take turns leading the pledge.
Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr. noted that Goodley served in Vietnam as an infantry sergeant and earned the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, the Parachutist Badge and the Purple Heart.
Goodley retired from the U.S. Postal Service and belongs to the Gen. George L. Mabry Jr. Military Order o the Purple Heart Chapter 817 and the S.C. Combat Veterans Group’s Columbia Chapter.
He and his wife Ella Mae have been married 50 years and have four children and eight grandchildren, McCain said.
Thank you for your service, Mr. Goodley.
Sumter City-County Planning Director Helen Roodman spoke about a request to rezone 2.23 acres of land at 1765 North Main Street from Agricultural Conservation (AC) and Neighborhood Commercial (NC) to General Commercial (GC).
First reading was approved unanimously on this matter as well as:
- A request to rezone 1.99 acres of land at 6815 Claremont Lane from Agricultural Conservation (AC) to Neighborhood Commercial (NC).
- A request to rezone 32.11 acres of land at 950 and 980 Oswego Highway from Light Industrial-Warehouse (LI-W) to AC.
Roodman then spoke about a request to rezone 6.4 acres of land at 1335 Camden Highway from Residential-9 (R-9) to GC.
Third reading was approved unanimously on this matter as well as third readings for:
- A request to rezone .91 acres of land at 5333 Edgehill Road from AC to GC.
- A request to rezone a 2.57-acre parcel at 419 North Pike East from GC to LI-W.
Roodman then spoke about a request to amend the Zoning and Development Standards to allow for the establishment of a small minimum free-standing zoning area when such an area consists entirely of land zoned Neighborhood Commercial (NC) and to make other minor adjustments identified by staff of the Planning Department for consistency purposes.
Third reading was approved unanimously.
REPORTS AND COMMENTS
Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon gave a brief report about the Budget Workshop prior to the regular Council meeting and noted that a preliminary budget has been submitted with revenues of $51,171,709 and expenses of 51,715,024 with a $543,315 deficit. The next Budget Workshop is slated for April 20th. The entire budget process takes a few months, he explained, as the law dictates a balanced budget has to be in place by the end of June.
The next Fiscal Year begins on July 1, 2021.
Councilman Eugene Baten once again advocated for a mandatory mask mandate.
Chairman James T. McCain Jr. noted that he’s in touch with Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital to set up a veterans-only Covid-19 vaccination clinic. He also said there’s efforts to get DHEC to use county community centers for rural vaccination clinics. He also encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.
Mixon said the county has been working hard to ensure there’s access to the vaccine. Prisma Health Tuomey’s vaccine clinic at the Sumter County Civic Center has seen 200 to 300 shots given every day, he said. Anyone can walk in and get the vaccine, he said. He thanked Assistant Administrator Lorraine Dennis and Emergency Management Director Erik Hayes for coordinating that effort and others involving distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Sumter County currently has 31 percent of the population with at least one vaccine shot, he said, as work to increase that percentage has been ongoing.
Regarding recent work by County Government to address some litter hotspots, Mixon explained that an area off Berry Street was used as a testing area of sorts to see which equipment might work best in removing litter.
A large vacuum truck used by the Stormwater Utility Department was able to pull trash from the ditch but became clogged with organic matter. An excavator was able to scoop out trash; a mini-excavator was likely the most successful piece of equipment. Nonetheless, manual labor was still needed, and all of these efforts are being documented, he said.
Contract labor was used to clean entranceways to several recycling centers. There’s no substitute for community engagement and involvement, he said, as he asked for the public to please not litter.
Vice Chairman Jimmy Byrd noted there’s a Sheriff’s Office Litter Pickup slated for Saturday, April 17. There are targeted days for litter cleanups in the coming weeks and months, Mixon said.
Baten thanked Mixon, who said a number of citizens around Berry Street thanked the crews cleaning up the litter.
During the Public Comments portion, Louis Watkins advocated for a central complaint phone line for the public to lodge complaints. He also advocated for more public involvement in governance.
Johnny Goodley advocated for better public notice of Covid-19 vaccination clinics.
Brittany Martin said she and her brother started a non-profit that provides catered meals to churches and helps feed the homeless.
Her brother, Rashad Hilton, said they want to eradicate homelessness.