NORTH -- Youth will now be participating in planning and implementing new town initiatives in North.
Mayor Patty Carson announced the formation of the Mayor’s Youth Council at North Town Council's Oct. 9 meeting. The council is made up of six North High School seniors, she said. Five of the those students -- Zack Edmund, Breanna Byrd, Da’Quil Houser, Narianna Fields and Patrick Mack -- introduced themselves to the council during Monday night's meeting.
Carson said all of the participating students are members of the National Honor Society and are class leaders. Several of them serve as tutors to younger students, she noted.
Also during the meeting, Councilwoman Deborah Cook reported she applied for a grant of up to $25,000 to improve the buildings in the North business district.
The North Planning Committee has scheduled an Open House so realtors and other interested parties can view vacant commercial buildings at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, Cook announced. She said all building owners are asked to allow prospective buyers/renters to view the buildings on that day.
Those wishing additional information about the Open House are asked to call North Town Hall at 803-247-2121.
North Police Chief Lin Shirer reported the police department will work with Dover Elementary School during Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-27. Red Ribbon Week is dedicated to helping school-aged children refrain from using drugs/alcohol, Shirer said. The department will also work with North Middle/High School during this campaign and offer strategies for recognizing and dealing with bullies.
Also, Shirer mentioned that shoplifting had become a daily problem in North, and he warned that the town has zero tolerance for shoplifting.
Officer Jim Thorpe, who was recently hired as a full-time officer in North, was introduced to council. Shirer reported that Officer Chris Sandifer had recently resigned.
In addition, the police chief reported that 90 percent of the Victims' Assistance funds received by the town must be spent prior to the end of the fiscal year. He said some of the money had been used for training purposes for the North Police Department and that $2,500 had been given to CASA Family Systems, which serves domestic violence victims.
“If we don’t use the money, the state will confiscate it,” Shirer said.
He also reported that the North PD received a new patrol vehicle and that the police equipment would be installed in it this week. Shirer said he is hopeful another new police vehicle will be obtained through a grant in the first part of 2018.
He said his department would be monitoring the North High School Homecoming Parade, which will begin at 4 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 13. The route of the procession will be the same as the Christmas Parade, Shirer said.
Suzanne Reed gave an update on the 2017 North Christmas Parade, which will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, and the Tree Lighting at 5:30 p.m. The theme for the event will be “Christmas at the North Pole,” she said. Reed said applications for vendors, sponsors and parade units are available at North Town Hall, at the website ChristmasattheNorthPoleSC@gmail.com or from committee members Suzanne Reed, Daniel Jackson, Bridget Salley and Clarence Donaldson.
The Christmas festival will include a raffle (beginning in November; tickets are $5 and $1), a Letters to Santa mailbox (beginning Dec. 1 at town hall), a Pet Photo Contest (deadline Dec. 1) and games, crafts, food vendors, pictures with Santa, ornament decorating and entertainment on Dec. 9. Also featured that day will be a Fire House Exhibit, Reed said. She asked for volunteers and donations of small new or gently used items for children’s free raffles throughout the day.
Reed also announced that North will hold a town-wide Yard Sale from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Pavilion. Sellers must bring their own tables and pay a $5 fee to participate, she said. The Christmas Parade Committee will be selling $5 breakfasts (grits bowl or a sandwich and beverage) beginning at 7:30 a.m. the day of the Yard Sale, Reed said. She said sponsor and memorial signs may be purchased and will be displayed around the Christmas festival area on Dec. 9.
In other business:
- Council approved the town's September financial statement. Carson noted that the checking balance for the August statement was $236,000 and the balance had dropped for in September statement to $187,000. She said funds had been moved to the reserve accounts for the police department and the water/sewer department. The mayor added that the town's penny sales tax money from the county would soon be deposited into the general account, bringing the balance back up.
- Carson announced that since only incumbent Council members Julius Jones and Jeff Washington had filed as candidates in the Nov. 7 municipal election, the town wouldn't need to hold an election since Jones and Washington would automatically be re-elected.
- It was announced that St. Peters AME Church will offer free turkeys (on a first come, first served basis) to area citizens at the Pavilion in North from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12.
- Carson said she is available for “Coffee with the Mayor”-type meetings with civic leaders and groups. To arrange such a meeting, call the town hall for an appointment, she said.
- The mayor announced that the town received eight new trash cans through a Palmetto Pride grant. They were placed along U.S. 321 and at the ball field, she said.
- Carson announced that Mary Stack had resigned from the North Election Commission. She asked Jones to recommend another individual for the position.
- Council went into executive session to discuss proposed contracts for elevated tank maintenance, research regarding allegations of misconduct and a proposed contract for well/pump maintenance.