Manning City Council took care of a lot of business in a very short time at its July 16 meeting.
Manning Mayor Julia A. Nelson began the meeting with the swearing in of newly appointed Municipal Judge, Robert J. Aycock III. Nelson said that Aycock agreed to assist Municipal Judge James Dingle with court duties at the cost of just $1 per year.
“I believe that we can work that salary into our budget,” Nelson said after the ceremony.
Manning City Administrator Pat Goodwin gave council members an update on the status of the city’s sweepstakes ordinance. Goodwin told council members that the city’s attorney, William Johnson, was comparing Manning’s proposed sweepstakes ordinance with ordinances in surrounding counties and municipalities. Once that’s done, Goodwin said that Johnson would be making a recommendation to council.
A public hearing was held for a proposed amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance to remove the fee amount charged for various zoning requests and to refer to the fee schedule approved by City Council. With no one signed in to address council at the hearing, the hearing was adjourned. Later in the meeting, council members voted unanimously to the second and final reading of the amended ordinance.
Nelson presented plaques to several individuals who had served in the past on various commissions in the city, including Willie Sowell, Louise Gamble Murray and James Zimmerman who served on the Municipal Election Commission and Jane Powell who served on the Manning Planning Commission.
Nelson also presented Pete Hipps with the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments with a proclamation and a gift for his 24 years of service to Manning through his position at the SLRCOG.
“It was certainly a pleasure working with you,” Hipps told Nelson and the council members.
Goodwin told council members that a financial report would not be given at the meeting because the city was in the process of closing out last year and the city’s auditors were scheduled to begin work on the books on July 17.
In the mayor’s report, Nelson asked Goodwin to begin looking into dates for a council retreat. Nelson said that their council meetings were too limited in terms of time to follow up on ideas that were gathered at the recent Municipal Association conference in Hilton Head.
Nelson told council members that Monday’s meeting marked her one-year anniversary as Manning’s mayor.
“I want to thank everyone for helping me work through the learning curve,” she added.
In the administrator’s report, Goodwin told council members that Manning was the only town visited by the youth of the Salkahatchie group that parked a vehicle near their demolition site and hauled off the debris at no cost to the group or the city to the county landfill.
“They are so appreciative that they have invited the mayor and council members to have dinner with them when they celebrate the accomplishments they made this week,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin also told council members that the city received a thank you note from Sgt. Sung Jung and Officer Bob Bates who were members of the Law Enforcement United group that rode through Manning earlier this year. Goodwin said Yung and Bates called the welcome and dinner hosted by Manning “first rate” and referred to Manning as a “classy town.”
Community Development Block Grants for demolition and rehabilitation of slum and blighted areas could be available this fall, according to Goodwin.
The administrator told council members he would begin preparing a needs assessment before applying for the grants in August.
The executive session that had been on the meeting’s agenda was cancelled.