DENMARK – At December’s Denmark Town Council teleconference meeting, two council members said they heard many gunshot rounds fired in their area and wanted Police Chief Leroy Grimes to deal with the issue.
Councilman Calvin Odom mentioned a dozen rounds were fired in his area.
“They were sporadically going around,” he said.
Councilwoman Bonnie Love stated that she heard them near her home as well.
Grimes said that the area mentioned was under Bamberg County’s jurisdiction and that he would discuss the gunshots with the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office.
Mayor Gerald Wright asked that the police indeed meet with the sheriff’s office about these issues in the future and that the jurisdiction of such streets as Cotton and Wheat streets needed to be discussed.
Wright gave first reading to amend a zoning ordinance to establish an I-R2 zone in regard to a present request and all future requests. This will enable two mobile homes in an industrial area, for example. The first reading was seconded and approved.
In conference call on Monday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m., the city will hold a public hearing to accept comments on the proposed amendment for the city zoning ordinance. The amendment establishes a new zone for one area of the city.
The new zone is designated I-R2 and permits industrial as well as residential housing, including mobile homes, in the zone. The zone is bounded on the north by Voorhees Road and on the south by an area approximately 800 feet south of Mayfield Street. The zone is bounded on the west by the former Seaboard Railroad tracks and Locust Street and the east by CSX railroad tracks. The area is currently designated as industrial. A copy of the proposed ordinance is available at Denmark City Hall. Citizens may also view the proposed zone on the official zoning map at city hall.
Citizens may access the public hearing by dialing 701-802-5200, and when prompted, enter access code 7949856.
City Administrator Heyward Robinson requested the authorization of a transfer of $100 in funds which were used to set up an account to accumulate USDA grant funds for the furniture for the new city hall. He stated that the $100 was not used and was being requested to be placed into the general fund. Council seconded and approved the motion.
Wright next introduced first reading of an ordinance related to the recovery of collection costs as part of delinquent debts collected pursuant to the setoff debt collection act.
Robinson said, “When we turn in debt to the Municipal Association of South Carolina, they handled this for us.”
“The MASC charged the debtor an extra $25 fee,” Wright added.
Robinson said, “If someone had not paid the city for something, the MASC would help collect on it.”
Robinson said that they had this arrangement in previous years but that MASC is asking for a renewal. The first reading was seconded and approved.
Robinson gave the public works report and said there were eight leaks repaired in the city during the past month and a liner at the holding pond was also repaired. He also mentioned general cleanup of some of the properties.
Rusty Munoz, city accountant, said that there were some unexpected contractual waste water repairs, but everything was pretty much as planned.
“Revenues and expenses are pretty much as expected,” he said.
Councilwoman Hope Long Weldon mentioned that a vagrant was using foul language, showing aggressive behavior, was littering and may have personal issues. She and several council members expressed concern during this meeting and during a past meeting about his behavior.
Wright stated they may have to apply ordinances dealing with littering and vagrancy and that there may be a potential arrest of the individual.
Weldon said she had also spoken with the family members of the vagrant.
“The city will deal with this without exceeding our authority,” Wright said.
Weldon said she would be donating some masks for him to protect the safety of those the vagrant confronts and the safety of the vagrant himself.
The mayor and council later discussed having a socially distanced, drive-up employee appreciation dinner with to-go dinners and bonus checks given out instead of the usual in-person gathering.
Wright asked that the city administrator and staff work on a plan for this.
He also thanked everybody for their efforts with the ribbon cutting for the new city hall,
“I want to express my appreciation to council members and city employees involved with the Denmark City Hall ribbon cutting ceremony,” he said.
Wright added that he had received a lot of positive comments about the event.
Grimes said that during the past month, the Denmark Police Department had 19 new cases, including simple assault, aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, shoplifting, purse snatching, vandalism of property, motor vehicle theft, trespass, larceny, disorderly conduct, driving under suspension, traffic collision and more.
Municipal Judge James Spellman’s next court is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m.
Robinson said there were 16 calls for the Denmark Fire Department in the past, month with seven volunteers per call with 26 total in membership.
Odom mentioned the great progress on a city garden planted by his committee.