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Introduced to Denmark City Council on Tuesday were, from left, newly-hired Officer Collin Ethridge and Officer Vincent Morris and Charles Shugart, the city’s new Public Works director.

DENMARK – “We received reports from DHEC on our water system … . We can make a single statement based on those for all of those who are concerned. Denmark’s water is safe for drinking and cooking," Mayor Dr. Gerald Wright reported at Denmark City Council's Jan. 22 meeting.

“The water has also been deemed safe by the Safe Water Drinking Act from the EPA, which you have heard so much about,” Wright added.

Copies of the most recent DHEC reports on Denmark's water quality are available to the public at Denmark City Hall or from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, City Administrator Heyward Robinson reminded everyone that the municipal election to fill three seats on Denmark City Council will be held Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Incumbents vying for reelection to new four-year terms are Councilwoman Hope Long Weldon, Councilman Calvin Odom and Councilwoman Bervay Carter. Also filing for seats on council are newcomers Chris Murray and Letitia Dowling.

In other business, Charles Shugart of Monticello, South Carolina, was introduced as the city's new public works director.  

Shugart said he has approximately 24 years combined experience directing public works departments in the municipalities of Chester and Fort Mill and approximately 45 years of experience in working with water systems. 

"I would like to say I was impressed by the knowledge of the (public works) staff and the attention they have paid to the physical chores, routes, office paperwork and all the daily logs at all the facilities," Shugart told the council.

"I found all the facilities, both water and wastewater, to be in good condition. I would also like to thank the people of Denmark for the opportunity to serve the citizens and customers of the city's wastewater system," he added.

Robinson noted that Shugart has A-level certificates in water and sewer systems.

Police Chief Leroy Grimes introduced two new officers who will be attending the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy, Vincent Morris and Collin Ethridge. Morris previously worked with the S.C. Department of Corrections and has had some firearms training, Grimes said. Ethridge has had previous training with a fire department, the police chief noted.

School Resource Officers Robert McGinnis and Quentin Williams are currently being trained at the police academy, Grimes said.

Also, Al Jenkins, a representative from Sen. Tim Scott’s office, asked the mayor and council members if they had any concerns to take back to the senator.

Odom said he would like to talk to Scott about possible funding for some projects, including one involving CRAWL, the Community Rural Arts Work League of Bamberg County.

In other business:

  • The mayor reported  that the large lot near the Brooker Center is being cleared so carnival rides can be placed there during the Dogwood Festival. The previous ride location will not be available this year because the new Denmark City Hall is being built there, Wright said.
  • Robinson gave the city's monthly financial report. He said the city was in the red $52,493.14 in its general fund, but noted that's normal this time of year because all tax revenues had not been received.
  • Council approved the low bid of $443,000 from Palmetto Site Services for streetscapes projects, which are being funded primary through grants, according to the administrator. 
  • Municipal Court will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and Domestic Violence Court is scheduled to convene at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at the Bamberg County Courthouse, it was reported.
  • Council went into executive session to discuss legal matters. No motions or decisions were made when it returned to the public session.

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Contact the writer: rbaxley37@gmail.com.

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