NORTH – North Town Council voted unanimously to approve more than $45,000 for parts and labor to repair a town well at the May meeting.
The action came after discussion of contractual matters with in closed, executive session.
Mayor Patty Carson said that there were $15,400 in preliminary expenses and $29,850 in expenses for a pump assembly and motor approved by council for a contract with Graves Water Service Inc. of Jackson. The town has $120,051 in the water/sewer reserve fund.
When asked why multiple bids weren’t solicited for the project, Carson said, “There are very few businesses that do this kind of work. We have been working with Graves, and they are a very reputable firm – an expert in this line of work.”
“Council was astute enough to establish depreciation accounts for scenarios such as this,” she said.
In unrelated business, Carson discussed putting town money into Local Government Investment Pool accounts for the town, including a savings account for $189,728 and a police reserve account for $77,000. The LGIP accounts were opened due to the better interest rate that they provide.
The total of all accounts for the town is currently $820,946, compared with a total of $179,660 in December 2015, when Carson took office.
Carson said this represents an increase in assets of 356 percent due to strong financial management practices.
In other business:
Carson reported that Councilwoman Jennifer Williams has not completed her State Ethics Commission-required reporting that was due March 30. Williams is therefore in violation of state law, Carson.
“You may continue to serve on council, but this reflects poorly on council, and I recommend that you contact the ethics commission and get this taken care of as soon as possible,” Carson said.
“Okay,” Williams said.
• Carson reminded citizens that they can still make water bill payments at the window at town hall. Citizens can inquire at town hall about the amount they owe as well if they are unable to check it online, she said.
• The North Branch Library of the Orangeburg County Library system will be helping with citizens who need assistance receiving their North town water bill online. The library will offer a course on how to set up an email account and password so that citizens can receive their bill electronically. The classes will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. on three different days: Thursday, May 16; Tuesday, May 21; and Thursday, May 30. Javon Moore of the Orangeburg County Library will lead the classes.
• Police Chief Lin Shirer said his department had 14 arrests during the past month, including charges of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, marijuana and marijuana in proximity of a school, as well as possession of ecstasy. There were also two charges of shoplifting; eight charges of simple possession of marijuana, habitual offender; driving under suspension, third offense or more; operating an uninsured vehicle; and two arrests of suspects wanted in other jurisdictions.
Shirer said his officers will be conducting vehicle checkpoints in the town during the next 30 days.
• Council approved an agreement concerning electric service rights among Aiken Electric Cooperative, Dominion Energy and the town.
• It was announced that the town’s annual drinking water quality report has been posted on the town’s website.
• The S.C. Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department will hold a public input meeting at North Town Hall at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, regarding recreational activities in western Orangeburg County.
• The town will be hold a Fourth of July celebration on the town square. Police officers will be lighting fireworks, and veterans will be served a free hot dog meal.