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SANTEE -- The new municipal codes were unanimously adopted on final reading by Santee Town Council on July 5.

“We have been attempting to get (this ordinance) finalized and approved for quite some time,” Santee Mayor Donnie Hilliard said.

The measure updates all municipal codes to bring them into compliance with recent changes in state law.

“We did it in the form of a resolution, but our lawyers said it had to be done in the form of an ordinance,” Hilliard said. “So, this (puts the town in) final compliance with that.”

Council members also approved several new expenditures to improve various aspects of the town’s operations. These included:

  • Authorization of an agreement with Brittingham Group LLP of West Columbia to perform the town's external audits, beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, with an option to renew each year for two consecutive years. The contract will cost the town $16,500 per year.

The Brittingham Group will take over the audit services performed for the town for the last several years by Faulkner and Thompson PA.

  • Approval of an agreement for the detention of juveniles with the Department of Juvenile Justice for FY 2018-2019 at a cost of $50 per day. The contract is renewed on an annual basis.
  • Authorization to purchase a replacement mobile data collector for the radio read system used in water meter reading at a cost of $8,560.

The devices, which Santee will purchase from the firm of Core and Main, are expected to improve the accuracy of water meter readings and reduce the cost of data collection.

  • Approval of a request from CASA/Family Systems for a donation of $15,000 to the Victims of Domestic Violence program.

Council also approved the appointment of Herman Keller as the town's delegate to the South Carolina Rural Water Association Annual Meeting. Hilliard will serve as the alternate delegate to the meeting, which will take place Sept. 10-12 at the Marriott Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach.

Hilliard provided the following information in his monthly report to council:

  • Staffing of the Santee Police Department remains a challenge.
  • Santee officials are beginning the 2017-18 budget analysis. Preliminary results indicate the town did a good job, although several areas will be looked at more closely, the mayor said.
  • The recreation department’s youth baseball season has concluded. Hilliard said the town will invite members of the Holly Hill youth baseball team to an end-of-year celebration as both towns work to expand their youth sports programs.

The mayor thanked James Gordon for his efforts to make Santee’s recreation program a success.

  • A recent report of brown water emanating from the Santee Water System was attributed to recent adjustments in the application of chemicals at the plant.

The mayor emphasized that the situation posed no health hazard to residents.

  • Work is continuing on updating rental agreements for use of the Santee Conference Center. Additional changes are needed because some groups that rent the center continue attempts to skirt existing rules – some of which have the potential to create costly legal liabilities for the town, Hilliard said.
  • Town officials are looking into positioning additional cameras in areas prone to illegal littering and dumping in an effort to identify and prosecute offenders.
  • New lighting is expected to be installed at Santee’s ball field within the next six weeks.

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