• Sumter County Council's Aug. 9, 2022, meeting

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    Sumter County Council’s Tuesday evening regular meeting lasted about a half hour as land use matters and more were discussed.
    Sumter City-County Planning Director Helen Roodman spoke first about a request to rezone 2.35 acres from a 29.12 acre-tract of land from Agriculture Conservation (AC) to Limited Commercial (LC). The applicant, Patrick James, wishes to move his funeral home business, she said. Councilman Charles Edens said he was opposed. First reading passed with Edens and Councilman Carlton Washington voting against it.
    County Attorney Johnathan Bryan spoke next about an ordinance to convey property at 645 Manning Avenue to the City of Sumter so it can be used for an Art Park.
    No one spoke during the Public Hearing and second reading was approved.
    Bryan spoke again about an ordinance to convey property at 538 South Sumter Street to the Sumter County Community Development Corporation. The property was given to Sumter County, he said.
    No one spoke during the Public Hearing and second reading was approved.
    Councilman Edens reported on an earlier Land Use Committee meeting during which information was given about flood maps from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Flood Mitigation Program’s Mapping Specialist, Jessica Artz. It was a good meeting, Edens said, and was to gain information. No action was taken.
    Clerk to Council Mary Blanding and County Administrator Gary Mixon both spoke to Council about the Summer Youth Employment and Mentoring Program, which had its closing ceremony on Aug. 8, 2022, at Patriot Hall. The students ranged from 14 to 17 years old and exhibited leadership skills and strong work ethics. Students worked part-time for 4 weeks in various County Government departments; students hailed from all over the county and all Districts were represented.
    Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr. noted he spoke to the students and found them very well behaved, attentive, and curious about local government.
    Mixon noted that Human Resources Director Keysa Rogers helmed the program and did a great job. The students were impressive, he said, and their parents should be proud.
    Rogers gave a brief synopsis of the program, which returned from a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic. She noted that students worked 16 hours a week and each Friday was a mentoring session. Students learned about their County Government and heard from representatives from USC-Sumter, Central Carolina Technical College and Morris College. Students also got a tour of the Sumter County Judicial Center and Summary Court and learned about how those courts work. Dr. Jessica Greene, a former participant in the program, spoke to the students, as did Kimberly Diamond and Santana Gee, who spread their message of positive affirmations and empowerment. The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office also hosted the students, who learned about the various departments and careers in law enforcement.
    Mixon reported to Council that he’s been appointed by the President of the S.C. Senate to the S.C. Opioid Recovery Fund Board. The board’s function is to distribute funds won from a settlement with manufacturers of opiates.
    No one spoke during the Public Comments and the meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.