SANTEE -- Santee's new police chief received high praise from Municipal Judge J. Frank Quattlebaum who officially administered the oath of office to Joe Serrano during Santee Town Council's April meeting.
Serrano replaces the late D.C. "Bing" Jones as the town's police chief. Jones died in January following a bout with cancer. He was 71.
“It is an honor for me to swear Chief Serrano in,” Quattlebaum said. “I’ve known him a long time and not only do I think he’s a good police officer, I think he’s a good man with a good heart.”
“It’s not often that we get the opportunity to thank the judge and the chief of police in the same setting,” Santee Mayor Donnie Hilliard said. “We thank both for their labor for the town of Santee.”
Also during the meeting, the council approved an expenditure of $21,134.38 to procure a replacement pump for the wastewater pump station behind the Quality Inn.
“(The pump at that station) has been laboring for many, many years, and it’s now reached the end of its journey and we have to replace it,” Hilliard said. “We want to let council know that this is the amount that the contractor has projected. But we know that when you go inside of things, sometimes they find something else. They don’t think they will, and we cross our fingers they won’t.”
Hilliard said the town will soon discontinue the practice of naming pumps according to location. Instead, officials will soon implement a numerical system of identifying pump locations.
He also reported that the town received a $100,000 grant from Orangeburg County to assist with the purchase of a lighting system for Santee’s baseball fields. The mayor thanked County Councilman Johnny Ravenell for facilitating the grant award. The town is already considering ways to come up with the additional funding it will need to get the lights installed this coming season.
In other business, Hilliard reported the budget process was running three days behind. However, he said he expected the staff to get back on schedule within a week.
Also, the mayor reported the town is continuing to collect applications from youth who want to participate in recreational activities this spring and summer. Applications are available at town hall, he said.
In addition, Hilliard reported the Santee Police Department continues to seek and accept applications as the town works to build a full staff complement.
The mayor also noted that replacement members are needed on the town's planning board and accommodations tax board. Santee residents who have an interest in serving in one of the positions should contact town hall, he said.
The mayor also reported the more than 40 children attended the town's annual Easter Egg Hunt and enjoyed their time “having fun and jumping around." The painted eggs at the event attracted a great deal of attention, he said.
Santee Town Council's next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2.