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North will look into applying for FEMA grant to purchase generator for water system

Tue, 10/16/2018

By RON BAXLEY JR. T&D Correspondent

NORTH – A generator is needed to operate the town's water system in the event of storm-related power outages, Mayor Patty Carson indicated at North Town Council's October meeting.

Carson asked Councilman Julius Jones to check into the possibility of the town securing a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant for the purchase of a generator.

Just before Hurricane Florence impacted the state, North overfilled its water tank to make sure citizens had enough water during the storm. However, the mayor noted that having a generator would better facilitate pumping the water to citizens should the power go out during a major hurricane or storm.

Jones agreed to research the possibility of the town obtaining a FEMA grant to pay for a generator.

Also during the meeting, council approved a recommendation from the town's auditor to set a capitalization threshold of $1,000 for equipment purchases and a capitalization threshold of $2,500 for major repairs.

“For example, we bought a new trailer for Public Works. It was $1,100 and was an equipment purchase of over $1,000. The auditors recognize the asset and the expense over a longer period of time,” Carson said.

Council also approved second reading of the proposed ordinance authorizing the Municipal Association of South Carolina to collect debts owed to the town via creditors' Department of Revenue refunds.

The mayor reported that she drafted a revision to the utility payment plan agreement at the request of the council.

The proposed revision would stipulate that if an applicant is not a property owner, the payment agreement will be disclosed to the property owner. Carson, however, said she would like to have an attorney look at the proposed addendum before pursuing it further.

In addition, the mayor talked about the need to enforce the 2004 ordinance requiring property owners to keep sidewalks adjoining their property free of grass, weeds, trash and garbage. Carson said she and several council members have observed sidewalks that are impassable.

Councilwoman Deborah Cook said council needs to set fines for violations of the ordinance.

Action was tabled until further research can be done with the municipal judge and the police chief.

In other business:

  • Carson announced she is working on a Veterans Memorial Park plan for North.
  • The mayor reported the town did not receive an industrial hemp permit it requested to grow hemp at its wastewater treatment plant.
  • Carson gave litter bags to all of the council members as a challenge for them to participate in the Orangeburg County Clean Where You Live Initiative that began Oct. 13 and runs through Oct. 20.

“I am going to ask all council members to pick up six bags apiece," she said.

  • Councilman Jeff Washington said Jackson Huffman, a young man who has been cleaning up around the town, should be recognized. He suggested the town give Huffman a reflective vest.
  • Washington reported that as of Nov. 4, Golden State Food Foundation would cease to exist and he would no longer be able to get school supplies for local students from the foundation as he has for the past seven years. 
  • Cook reported that due to the recent hurricane, the town was given an extension until Oct. 15 to apply for an economic development grant for $25,000 to improve the facades of buildings in North.
  • Cook noted that a new sandwich shop had opened in town.
  • Jones reported the S.C. Department of Transportation had placed speed limit signs in some residential areas in North, but he said he is not pleased with how high the speed limits are in some of the areas.
  • North's Halloween Trick-or-Treat hours on Oct. 31 will be 6-8 p.m., it was announced.
  • In the absence of Police Chief Lin Shirer, the mayor introduced the North Police Department's newest officer, Anita Chestnutt, a former Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
  • Suzanne Reed of the Christmas at the North Pole Committee said the group's next fundraiser will be Family Movie Night at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the North Ball Field. The movie will be “I Can Only Imagine.” Popcorn and drinks will be on sale. Reed said the movie will be free, but there will be dollar raffles for people to win chances to sit in VIP seating provided by North Furniture. No coolers will be allowed in the ball park.
  • Reed announced the 1972 North Eagles State Champion football team will serve as the grand marshals of this year's Christmas at the North Pole Parade.

Town of North

9305 North Rd

North, SC 29112

P: 803-247-2101

F: 803-247-3351