LEE COUNTY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING

AUGUST 14, 2018

FAMILY COURT ROOM – SECOND FLOOR OF THE COURTHOUSE

Members present were Travis Windham, Chairman; Gordon Eckley, Vice-Chairman; David Addison, member; Jackie Josey, member; Johnette Caughman, member; Ron Fountain, member. Staff present were Alan Watkins, Administrator; Julie Stokes, Assistant Administrator/Clerk to Council; Michael Farver, Danny Simon, Tim DuBose. Others present were Sandy Jenkins, Carrie Gass, Michael Jonas, Hattie Scott, Patricia Drakeford, Andre Laws.

FOIA

 Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, all individuals requesting notifications were so notified.

OPEN MEETING, INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

 Chairman Windham called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. Vice-Chairman Eckley gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

REQUEST FOR MOTION ON ADOPTION OF RECOMMENDED AGENDA

 Vice-Chairman Eckley made the motion to approve the agenda as mailed. Councilman Addison seconded the motion.  Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried.  All voted in favor.

REQUEST FOR MOTION ON ADOPTION OF MINUTES FROM REGULAR MEETING OF JULY 10, 2018 AND CALLED MEETING MINUTES OF JULY 31, 2018

 Councilperson Josey made the motion to approve the minutes from regular meeting of July 10, 2018 and called meeting of July 31, 2018. Vice-Chairman Eckley seconded the motion.  Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried.  All voted in favor.

APPROVAL TO PURCHASE AMBULANCES FOR EMS

 Mr. Watkins said that this is a part of the bond issuance in which the county is issuing a bond for approximately $900,000. He said this has gone out for bid and September 6 is the closing date.

Page 2, Lee County Council Minutes, August 14 2018

Tim DuBose that EMS currently has eight ambulances. He said that two of them will be coming off and replaced with new ones, with one being a 2004 model and the other being 2008. He said that DHEC is requiring EMS to have a special design track to secure the stretchers.  Mr. DuBose said the cost for the trackers is $13,000, and he said this a DHEC mandate.

Mr. DuBose said the low bid was from First Class Emergency Vehicles. He said this was for two Ford #450V Gas Ambulances at $129,989.00 each.

Councilperson Caughman made the motion to accept the low bid of $259,978, or $129,989 each. Councilman Fountain seconded the motion.  Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried.  All voted in favor.

APPROVAL TO PURCHASE SHERIFF’S VEHICLES

 Sheriff Danny Simon was present to give information on the proposal for the vehicles. He said that as of 2022, he will be ordering SUVs or trucks, rather than cars, because it will be more cost effective mainly for safety features.

He said he currently has 15 deputies with 16 slots and he does not have enough cars for the deputies that he has. He said that a sedan cost from $28,000-$33,000 and has to be equipped with different things. He also said that in 2-3 years, every vehicle will have computers to do E-tickets instead of written tickets.

The proposal was for 2 SUVs valued at $35,399.90 each; 2 Pick up trucks valued at $36,026.98 each; 4 cars valued at $33,291.06 for a grand total of $276,018. He did comment that these vehicles would replace the ones that were purchased in 2012.

Councilman Fountain made the motion to accept the low bid of $276,018 to purchase vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office. Vice-Chairman Eckley seconded the motion.  Chairman Windham called for the vote, and motion carried.  All voted in favor.

REVIEW OF CDBG GRANT APPLICATION TO ADDRESS DELAPIDATED HOMES IN UNICORPORATED AREAS

 Mr. Watkins said that he, along with Kyle Kelly, Chris McKinney, Councilman Addison and Councilman Beasley met to discuss this matter.

He said this a problem in the county in which these houses are not livable and are falling down. He said these property owners do not want to invest in these homes.

Page 3, Lee County Council Minutes, August 14, 2018

Mr. Watkins said that funding would be coming up this fall and we would be concentrating on blocks of areas and would be working with City of Bishopville and would probably start between the interstate and City of Bishopville. He said that hopefully more homes would be done in the future.

He said that the grant application is for $276,000 for the Harlem Blue Pond areas, with 27 homes or structures to consider. He said that approximately $10,000 would be allocated for each property to remove structure.  He said the property owner has to sign off.  Mr. Watkins said the initial application is due Friday, which allows the County to be an applicant.  He said the time limit is 3 years. He also said if they sell the property within 3 years, they will have to reimburse the County for the money that was spent.

Mr. Watkins said the formal application will require further action by the Council. He said that 5% can be in-kind services.  He said that Councilman Addison and people in the community provided a list of homes to be considered.  He said that the City had already compiled a list.

Vice-Chairman Eckley said that if some of the structures are located in the City, then they should share in the cost.

Councilman Addison asked about the overgrown vegetation in the yard, and Mr. Watkins said that he was not sure how far they would be able to go in the yard to clean. Councilman Addison also asked about if old cars could be removed from the yard, and Mr. Watkins said that he would have to check with Santee Lynches.

Chairman Windham said that it is a selling point in which after three years, the person can sell the property and the value of the property will have increased. He said there would be no cost to the property owner.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 HEALTH, EDUCATION & WELFARE

Councilperson Josey thanked Andre Laws and his Council for getting a Dollar General in Lynchburg. She said that it has brought in traffic and was a good thing for their town.

She said she attended Association of Counties in Hilton Head and said it was very educational.

  1. PLANNING, TAXES & PERSONNEL

Councilman Beasley not here

Page 4, Lee County Council Minutes, August 14, 2018

  1. BUILDINGS, LAND & PROPERTY

Vice-Chairman Eckley said that work on the damaged maintenance building at old Bishopville High School was near completion. He said this was being paid for by the insurance company because of the claim filed.

  1. PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilperson Caughman said her committee had no meetings.

Tim DuBose thanked the County Council for the cost of living raise for his employees and the approval to purchase new ambulances.

He said EMS continued to train every month and was doing dispatch training.

He said that his E911 employees were doing emergency medical dispatch training in which they would ask more questions to gather information from the caller and give instructions until EMS gets there.

Sheriff Danny Simon also thanked the Council for the cost of living raise for his employees. He said that he and his department participated in an active shooter training which was conducted by the Chester Sheriff’s Department.  He said that it will be now be required to do two active shooter training every year at every school.

He said that a task force of Chester, Fairfield, Laurens and Union counties have joined together to try to eliminate some of the theft issues taking place since May 1. He said there have been utility trailers and lawn mowers stolen and several church break-ins.

He also reported that it is getting hard to find qualified officers to work now.

  1. RECREATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

Michael Farver said they were in the middle of the interview process and will hopefully interview two more.

He said that football registration is going on now and they were in the process of working to certify existing football helmets and getting rid of those that were not in compliance.

He also reported that his department was working on securing Green Acres park to protect children.

He said the recent job fair was successful. He also said that the Care South back to school giveaway was successful and said that 1500 people came through and they gave away 1000 book bags and also fed the children.

Councilman Addison said that Farver was still a new recruit. He asked Farver how many people currently work for Parks and Recreation and Farver answered that he had 1 full time and 4 part time.  Councilman Addison told Farver that if he needed help, then he should ask for it.  He also told him he was doing a good job.

Bettye Scott said that transportation was doing well. She said that ridership is increasing and they have plans for expansion of routes and they have short term plans and long term plans.

Page 5, Lee County Council Minutes, August 14, 2018

Sandy Jenkins said that Bettye Scott will be attending a conference in which she will be recognized nationally in the area of county transportation. He said the state of Virginia is to consult with Lee County Transit to determine how they started their program.

Councilman Addison said the Transportation Committee needs to give Council a report of the ridership, trips, etc.

Chairman Windham said that it may be beneficial to have the routes posted at each drop off spot and that may increase ridership.

Ms. Scott thanked Council for the present and future support.

  1. WAYS AND MEANS

Councilman Fountain had no report.

  1. ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

Mr. Watkins said that a job fair was held on August 8 and was very successful and was a joint effort between SC Works and the COG. He thanked the Recreation Offices for their assistance. He also thanked the Sherriff’s Office for providing security.  He said approximately 40 businesses participated.

He also said the general obligation bond is out for bid and would close on September 6 or September 7.

Mr. Watkins said he attended a local transportation committee meeting that was very informative. He said that Herb Cooper, the previous C Fund Director with SCDOT, was present and was now a consultant for DOT.  He said that he would help the county transition the C Funds Program to a county level.  He said the state has been keeping 3% as administrative fee, which amounts to approximately $30,000 a year.  Mr. Cooper said that if the county handles the C Funds on a local level, they would be able to keep that money.  He said the county would be audited once a year.

Mr. Watkins also commented that the ESteam Outdoor Festival would be on October 6 and would have interactive displays for science and math. He said that students would be encouraged to attend, especially those interested in pursuing careers in engineering, etc.

He said that all of the schools in Lee County have been invited.

Mr. Watkins also said that Dr. Pate has been welcomed back to Bishopville. He said that his practice with McLeod Health had been closed and moved to Florence.  He said that Representative Wheeler took the initiative and pursued a program for residents through Palmetto Health and MUSC and helped Dr. Pate reopen his practice.  He said that offices have reopened and his equipment has been updated.  He said that rural residents will be working out of this office with Dr. Pate.

Mr. Watkins also commented that CareSouth would be opening a dentist office soon.

Page 6, Lee County Council Minutes, August 14, 2018

PUBLIC COMMENT

None

ADJOURN

The meeting was adjourned at 10:48 a.m. on a motion made by Vice-Chairman Eckley, seconded by Councilman Fountain.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                         VICE-CHAIRMAN

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CLERK TO COUNCIL                                                           MINUTES APPROVED