By Lucas Vance Staff Writer
September 18, 2013
RIDGEWAY — During a recent Ridgeway Town Council meeting, council delivered the first readings of ordinance amendments that prohibit certain animals from being kept within town limits and adds fines for certain disorderly acts and prostitution within town limits.
Concerning ordinance 6-1001, council agreed to add horses and goats to a list of animals that are prohibited from being kept within town limits. If violated, the amendment also stated the fine would not be less than $100, more than $500 or imprisonment for not less than 10 days and not more than 30 days.
Ordinance 8-1006, an ordinance to prohibit certain disorderly acts or other acts in public places or on the streets in the town of Ridgeway, was amended include a fine not more than $500 or imprisonment for no more than 30 days — within the discretion of the council or municipal judge.
Lastly, the fine amount for Ordinance 8-1002, an ordinance prohibiting prostitution within the town of Ridgeway, was increased to no more than $500 or imprisonment for no more than 30 days.
The Merchant’s Association presented council with an economic development report, in which they discussed the need for additional parking space in the downtown area. Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring believes that is a good sign.
“That is a good problem to have ,” she noted. “There is a need there for more parking because of the number of people who come downtown to shop.”
The Community Action Committee also announced that it will hold a “Gang Violence and Prevention Awareness” meeting at the Century House at 6 p.m. Oct. 3.
Sgt. Steve McDonald will speak at the meeting about the danger of gangs and how to prevent their spread.
“This meeting is being held to let the community know what to look for,” Herring said. “We just thought that from time to time you will signs of gang activity and we want to make our community aware of how they can help young people.”
Belva Bush, committee member and councilwoman, also informed council she was writing a grant to secure trees that are better suited for planting along roads off S.C. 21.
In new business, Carolina Creative representative Randy Looper presented council with a plan for the first phase of the town’s redesigned website. Herring said the new website will be more interactive with social media.
“It will allow us to have more of a presence on Facebook and be overall more interactive,” she noted. “People come to Ridgeway for events and we want them to continue to come. This is a way for our town to be more personal with visitors.”
Carolina Creative will work with Ridgeway’s public relations chair Darlene Embelton.
According to the timeline, the first phase should be completed in the next 30 days.The first phase includes loading new pictures to the website and connecting the website to social media.
Council went into executive session to discuss a contractual matter regarding the Old Town Hall Restaurant, which is being rented by Vesha Sanders. Following executive session, council voted 3-1 to allow Sanders free rent until Nov. 1
Sanders has had to push the opening of the restaurant back due in large part to passing criteria from the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Herring said giving Sanders free rent would allow her to generate revenue after spending unexpected monies to bring the building up to code.
The building had been unused for over a year and DHEC rules had changed. According to Herring, DHEC requirements were much stricter than before, mostly concerning the ventilation system.
However, the restaurant has passed DHEC requirements and held a soft opening this past weekend.
Hours of operation are 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays. The restaurant is closed Sundays and Mondays.
The next Ridgeway Town Council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 10.