SPRINGFIELD – A businessman in Springfield says more police patrols are needed in the town at night.
Vic Carson, owner of Carson’s Collectibles and Antiques in downtown Springfield, during Springfield Town Council's Dec. 4 meeting told officials there is a need for a police presence in the town after dark.
“My store has been broken into twice (recently) during the early morning and evening," he said, adding that there are plenty of patrols by law enforcement officers during the day but the town is a “free for all” for those who want to commit crime in the evening.
Asked by Carson how many officers the town has, the mayor said Springfield currently employs two full-time officers and two part-time officers.
Furtick said he and the council will meet with Police Chief Brian Gray to discuss Carson's concerns.
“If the break-ins were to continue, I would be forced to close," Carson said. "I cannot afford to lose something every two weeks.”
Notices were recently placed at various businesses throughout Springfield by the police chief asking for information pertaining to the break-ins and notifying the public that surveillance cameras had been placed in strategic locations in town.
Also during the meeting, newly-elected Councilwoman Beth West was sworn into office, along with incumbent Mayor Edward Furtick and incumbent Council members Olin Williams, Wanda Dandeneau and Lydia Lackey.
Retired magistrate Rita Brown administered the oath of office to the officials.
West, a native of Springfield, is a retired educator who taught at Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Elementary School.
“I just look forward to working with the mayor and other council members in supporting them and making this town the best it can be,” West said.
Furtick thanked her for her commitment to service and also thanked former council member Mitchell Phillips for his service.
In the town's monthly financial report, Furtick noted a reimbursement was received from the Orangeburg County penny sales tax funds for $15,919.08 for work on the No. 2 well and for repairing water line leaks. In addition, he reported that $18,800 was borrowed from the Governor’s Frog Jump Account in early November to repair the Springfield School gymnasium roof. Those funds were returned to the account in late November after the town was reimbursed for the expense via penny sales tax funds.
In other business:
- Bids are still being accepted on the sale of the town-owned building at 381 Barnwell St., it was reported. The deadline for bids is Dec. 31.
- Sylvia Hiers, chairperson of the Springfield School Restoration and Use Board, reminded everyone that the Country Christmas Supper will be held from 5-8 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 9. Grits, sausage, biscuits, liver pudding and desserts will be served, along with coffee and tea. She invited residents throughout the region to attend the popular event. Hiers also noted that the town's annual Bluegrass Jamboree is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 27.
- Hiers asked residents not to forget that the Christmas stars decorating the light poles in town were made several years ago by residents Sonny Phillips, Buddy Williams, Ed Crim and Walter Bonnett. She said their contributions should not be forgotten.
- Council went into executive session to discuss personnel issues. No decisions or motions were made when council returned to open session.