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cops investigation LIBRARY

ST. MATTHEWS -- St. Matthews Police Chief Michael Smalls reported at the March town council meeting that the number of vehicle invasions has been increasing over the past three years.

Smalls said there were two in 2016, one in 2017 and 14 in 2018. He said two juveniles were apprehended recently, whom he thought may have been responsible for the recent large number.

Smalls reminded citizens “to secure their valuables out of sight and make sure to lock their vehicles.”

In other police business for February, Smalls reported one motor vehicle accident, two breaches of trust/stolen vehicles, two driving under suspension incidents, two larcenies, 42 traffic tickets, an EMS assist and two assists to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office.

Also during the meeting:

• The fire department reported 12 total calls, three building fires, a brush fire, three EMS assists, a motor vehicle accident and a fuel spill.

• Town Administrator Milton Pope said there have been meetings held on the nuisance and abatement public hearing and the garbage and refuse public hearing. He also said there is a need for a community needs assessment public hearing in order to apply for grants.

Pope said that Ordinance 443 2019, an ordinance to provide for the regulation and enforcement of unhealthy and unsightly conditions of property within the corporate limits of St. Matthews, needs to enacted. He said the enforcement will begin at Highway 601 and Bridge Street, which will include the historic district.

He presented Ordinance 443-2 2019, an ordinance to provide for the amending of regulations relating to garbage and refuse collection within the city limits of St. Matthews. Two readings are required to put pass the ordinance.

A request for approval for the Waste Management contract was tabled until discussion in executive session.

• In the town administrator's report, Pope said the State Insurance Reserve Fund renewal will see a $7,000 increase from last year. The cost will be between $40,000 and $46,000.

He said the water tower roof is leaking and needs a roof replacement. He said that there is no interest from local companies and the town has received no bids for the project,

Pope reported that Dominion Energy, which purchased electric utility South Carolina Electric & Gas, is redefining the boundaries of assigned territory with Tri-County Electric and is requesting the town to approve the boundaries.

• Pope said the town now has its own website. At present, there are still some service issues, but the site will soon be available through Google. On the site, citizens will be able to pay their bills and tickets online, as well as get current updates about the town. Town staff members are being trained to use the software.

• Pope said the town wants to ensure the use of golf carts on public streets is safe and legal. He said that according to state law, a person may only drive golf carts on public streets if in possession of a driver's license, and the top speed in a cart is 35 miles per hour.

• Resident Stack Riley addressed council to say that there needs to be an ordinance concerning the handling of waste management.

• Council voted to enter closed, executive session to consider the upcoming sanitation contract and how it will effect current employees in the sanitation department.

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Contact the writer: 803-874-3276.

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