DENMARK CITY COUNCIL: Councilor wants to discuss use of US relief funds | Government and politics

RON BAXLEY JR. T&D correspondent

DENMARK – A member of Denmark’s city council, during the January 2022 teleconference of the January meeting rescheduled for Tuesday after the MLK recess, challenged the lack of information on his additional budget planning request with $700,000 in American Rescue Act funds by the city in December 2021 minutes.

Councilor Hope Long Weldon said, “This was my fourth time asking about American Rescue Act funds.”

Weldon said she had asked four times since last month if the board had a budget plan for the funds and her mention at the December meeting was not recorded in the December minutes.

Rusty Munoz, an accountant for the city of Denmark, had mentioned at the December meeting covered by The T&D that the city had received about $700,000 in US bailout funds and had spent $112,805.60 of the funds so far. ‘now. No detailed listing was available in the budget on how these funds were spent and it was not discussed.

DENMARK CITY COUNCIL: City receives $700,000 in federal rescue funds

Weldon said at the December meeting that the board is expected to hold a meeting soon on how those funds are being spent. Mayor Gerald Wright said last month they would have to skip the December and New Year holidays before meeting.

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Wright said: “We plan to meet the second week of January (for a budget meeting) to discuss US relief funds and their use. It will be announced. »

“It will be at consensus or at a convenient time for the council,” he added. He said he would speak with council before and/or after the next vacation about a good day and a good hour.

The Board, however, did not meet about American Rescue Act funds at the Jan. 18 meeting.

A motion was moved by Councilman Bonnie Love to approve the December minutes as written, but with the necessary corrections to indicate that Weldon had requested a meeting on the American Rescue Act funds. The motion was seconded by Councilman Calvin Odom and was approved.

Weldon then asked Wright at the January meeting, “It was stated… ‘When will we have a meeting on the American Rescue Act funds? When do you think it will take place?

Wright said they haven’t decided. City Administrator Heyward Robison said, “We have proposed preliminary numbers for the American Rescue Act, but they are not finalized yet.” He said he would soon have reports for the mayor and council members on this. No date for a meeting to discuss the matter has been set for Tuesday.

Robinson had said at the December 2021 meeting that renovations to the old City Hall building for a new police department were continuing.

“We have announced the appointment of a construction manager to help estimate the cost of the renovations. The goal is to renovate without exceeding the $400,000 under the Capital Sale Act,” Robinson added.

Robinson said at the January 2022 meeting that they now have a construction manager to help them.

“We only have $400,000. We can’t do everything we want to do. A construction manager will give us estimates and help us,” added Robinson.

Robinson said: “We are going to put a roof on the building that will last a long time. This is an ongoing project and we are working on it. »

Councilwoman Rosa James, at another point in the meeting, asked Police Chief Leroy Grimes about a shooting on Friday, January 14. Grimes said she is still under investigation.

Grimes said in his report that the police department created 37 new cases, including: common assault; blows and wounds; burglary; domestic violence; property vandalism; motor vehicle theft; trespassing on real estate; weapons law violations; disorderly conduct; driving under suspension; traffic collision, etc. He added that City Judge James Spellman will hold court Thursday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m. at Brooker Center.

Wright later said in his report, “We are in the new calendar year and planning for the new fiscal year. We can talk informally for a while and then we want to talk about things that will make Denmark better for its citizens.

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“The fiscal year starts in months, but we want to start planning soon,” Wright added.

• Robinson, in the absence of Munoz at the January meeting, presented the financial report and stated that the town’s revenues exceeded expenses by $458,000 and that the water fund was on schedule.

• Robinson gave the January fire department report and said they had 13 fire calls. At the December meeting, Robinson said work on the new fire truck was continuing. “The manufacturer has supply chain concerns and the contract has been extended by the Department of Commerce. We expect to have a completed fire truck by the end of 2022,” Robinson added.

• Odom said the test and vaccination event the city helped MUSC and family health centers outside of the depot with on Jan. 8 went pretty well. Odom said, “It didn’t go as well as expected, but it still went well.” He said they had about 70 people there for testing. “We also vaccinated between 45 and 50 people,” he said. He added that they had prizes at the event and he hopes this will encourage more citizens to attend the next event. Odom said he plans to hold another vaccination event on Saturday, February 5. Contact the Danish Town Hall for more details.

• According to minutes of the November 2021 meeting, which The T&D did not attend, Councilor Bervay Carter proposed a second reading to pass a revised Business Licensing Ordinance in accordance with the Standard Licensing Act commercial. The motion was seconded by Odom, the vote was unanimous and the motion carried. Carter also moved a motion to give second reading to a proposal to rezone the property from R-1 to R-2. The motion was seconded by Odom. This vote was also unanimous and the motion carried.

• Also in November, there was a discussion on litter and the need to install cameras to catch litter. Grimes said the cameras were already set up.

• Laura McKenzie of Keep Bamberg Beautiful called in the November teleconference, according to the minutes, and thanked the 131 volunteers who helped pick up trash during a Bamberg County-wide cleanup event.

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