February 2019 Council Highlights
- We are happy to report that the City of Sumter’s annual audit has been completed and our 3rd party (external) auditor has presented us with the highest unmodified opinion that an entity can receive, further stating that “the City of Sumter has a very healthy unassigned reserve, that our finances are well controlled and that we are spending wisely.” A copy of the auditor’s full report is available on our website.
- Council approved the annexation of a 0.8 acre parcel, located at 1280 Alice Drive, at the entrance to the Gateway Plaza. Annexing this parcel will allow for more efficient service delivery and allow for growth to occur where infrastructure is already in place. This is commercial property that was requested by the property owner.
- Council approved a mutual aid agreement between the city police department and the Lake City Police Department. These types of agreements are required to be proactive, and provide our Police Department with additional aid, as needed, for various public safety situations, including transportation, pursuits, investigations, natural disasters, and many other situations. It’s also a requirement of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Act.
- Council approved a resolution that authorized the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, on City property, at several annual events, including Untapped, Fourth Fridays, Derby Day, Microbrew, Taste at the Gardens, Fall Feast, Oktoberfest, Porches, Downtown Market, Zombie Fest, and Sip & Stroll.
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
- The City of Sumter Utility Billing Office will be opening our new facility at 130 South Harvin Street, beginning mid-March 2019. All in-person and drive-thru account services (water, sewer, sanitation and stormwater) will be accepted at this new location. If you need additional information or account services support, please contact our Utility Billing Office at (803) 436-2541.
- With the recent fire and toxic gas related deaths in our state, the City would like to reiterate the importance of carbon monoxide detectors in your home or place of business. It is also the most commonly inhaled poisonous substance, symptoms can be headaches, confusion, sleepiness, nausea, dizziness and more and people can easily confuse these symptoms with the flu. If you suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning, move everyone to an area with fresh air and call 911. For more details and a link to the state DHEC and Poison Control offices, download and read the Fact Sheet on our website www.sumtersc.gov/fire/education.
- Streetscape revitalization continues with the North Main and Manning Avenue project. The project is currently in the middle of engineering and right-of-way process with SCDOT and will extend from downtown Sumter north to Hwy 378, then south to Hwy 15. This drawing shows how the street will look, once complete. More details are forthcoming but the entire project will take multiple years to complete. Also, once complete there will be a new community park installed on Manning Avenue.
- We would like to thank everyone who visited downtown over the past few weeks to participate in the Central Business Districts public vision planning process. That process is ongoing and we would like to hear from the entire community, in fact, we also have an online survey available, visit www.downtownsumter.org and click on the link to help us guide this visioning process. The link will be open throughout March 2019 as well.
- Our Wayfinding Project is underway! Look for new guided signage throughout Downtown Sumter, with more signage being planned throughout the entire city. Wayfinding is important because when you have a great experience in an unfamiliar place, chances are you were able to navigate your visit easily without much frustration. When you enjoy the experience, you will find yourself wanting to frequent that destination more often, and venture out into new places. It also improves efficiency, accessibility and safety.
- On February 7th, RKG Associates presented its initial existing conditions data during a public meeting at Swan Lake.
RKG identified several demographic trends in the City.
- Slow population growth
- Aging population
- Moderate increase in incomes
RKG identified recent household trends.
- Rise of the smaller household
- Increase in 1 and 2 person households
- Significant supply of approved but un-built units in active subdivisions
- Strong growth to the west, but declining housing activity in the central city.
- Significant impact of Shaw AFB on the market, both single family and especially rental
RKG identified gaps in our market.
- Unmet demand for affordable units
- Insufficient diversity of housing types
- Areas of vacancy and blight
- Large percentage of renters “overburdened” by housing costs (more than 30% of income)
RKG will continue full analysis of this data and will provide a series of recommendations (both policy and regulatory) in the coming months.
- The Palmetto Tennis Center will be hosting their annual Court & Chili Competition this Friday, February 22 from 6-8 PM. Time to cook up your favorite chili recipe to enter the cook off. $5 entry fee for cook off, play for free. Doubles round robin format for all levels of play. Prizes. For more info, call 803-774-3969 or visit www.sumtertennis.com.
- Help Sumter Green by purchasing a ticket to the upcoming Untapped: Food Trucks and Craft Beer event on March 2. All funds stay local and help with things such as Earth Day activities, signage around the City, flower and shrub road median plantings and other efforts to keep our community green! Tickets for sale at Swan Lake Iris Gardens Visitors Center and online at www.sumtergreen.org. March 2, 2019 from 12-7pm at the Sumter County Fair Grounds. General Admission tickets are just $5 in advance ($10 day-of) and the Craft Beer Tasting is $35 in advance ($40 day-of) including access to the food trucks.
- March 2nd is a big day to kick-off the Spring event season in Sumter with the following in addition to Untapped:
- Kiwanis Pancake Day, 7-10:30 AM and again from 5-8 PM, ADMS
- Mini Backcountry Day, 10 AM-1 PM, Sumter Count Museum
- Sumter Geek Expo, 10 AM-5 PM, VFW Post on Gion St.
- Reading in the Park, 1-4PM at Memorial Park
- 7th Annual Step Off, 2PM, Sumter High
- 1st Annual Doug Mathis Memorial Car Show, 3-7 PM, Cut Rate Soda Fountain
- Columbia City Ballet’s Off the Wall & Onto the Stage, 7:30-9:30 PM, Patriot Hall
- 6th Annual Farm to Table event will be held on March 21. This annual event brings together the community and local farmers, local food producers and local chefs who are experts in bringing the freshest ingredients to the table in creative and unique ways. This event not only benefits our community by encouraging local food production, but the Rotary Club also donates all net proceeds to local charities, including 4-H, United Ministries and the Warm Heart Fund at Shaw AFB. Tickets are $30 in advance and this includes all food and beverages.
- Annual Kite Flying Festival will be held at Patriot Park on Saturday, March 23. Nine different contest categories but each kite must be registered to win. Free event. Additional Information at the Sumter County Recreation Department 803-436-2248.
- Regular City Council meetings are held in the Council Chambers on the 4th floor of the Opera House. City residents are encouraged to attend. Next month our meetings will be on March 5th at 1 PM and March 19th at 5:30 PM.