Lucas Vance Staff Writer
December 18, 2013
RIDGEWAY — For the second time in as many meetings, Ridgeway Town Council tabled a vote on three bids received to set up a camera surveillance system in the downtown area.
Councilman Donald Prioleau stated he would like council to target funds for the police department before buying surveillance system.
“I think we need to focus on finding revenue to fund our police department first,” he said. “I don’t think we’re at the point where we need cameras.”
Mayor Charlene Herring said the one-time occurring cost of a surveillance system could help deter crime in the area.
“I think it (surveillance) would buy our merchants and residents another level of security when police are not around,” she noted. “Security and safety is the town’s responsibility.”
Councilman Russ Brown, who is also a merchant downtown, recommended merchants absorb some of the cost responsibility if a camera system is put in place. He also advised council to inquire about some of the possible upkeep costs.
Council approved Herring permission to investigate laptop prices for the police department. A new laptop would allow the police department to access SLED reports and conduct training online.
In new business, council approved the lowest bids for two jobs to repair two town properties. On Judy Miller’s home, council approved $258.50 to repair the front-door frame. Regarding a broken back door to the Century House, council approved $410 to replace the frame.
The funding for the repairs will come from the town’s CD’s.
Following an executive session about personnel matters, council went back into open session and unanimously voted to pay town employees an annual bonus in the same amount as last year. Full-time employees will receive a $350 bonus and part-time employees will receive a $150 bonus. The Town of Ridgeway has four employees.
Council also unanimously accepted the financial report as information.
With permission from council, Herring said she would like to apply for a rural infrastructure grant searching for sources of water in Ridgeway. The grant’s application date is set for Feb. 3, 2014. The grant would pay 100 percent of the construction costs, with the town paying for non-construction costs including engineering fees.
Next month, Herring also will begin the application process for town signage on interstate exits and the Ridgeway Visitor’s Center (a.k.a. Century House). She told council each sign costs $450, and she hopes Fairfield County or the Chamber of Commerce will fund part of the cost.
End of year highlights
Ridgeway’s 2013 year in review saw many citizens and merchants receive awards including:
• Entrepreneurs of the Year: Denise Jones and Jennie Price of the Cotton Yard Market
• Fairfield County Business of the Year: Tina Johnson of Over the Top
• Pig on the Ridge, South Carolina’s largest barbecue cook-off
• Three new businesses opened in Ridgeway, Ridgeway Old Town Hall Restaurant, Antiques and Oddities and The Station
• First annual Christmas on the Ridge festival
• Citizen of the Year: Phyllis Gutierrez
• Adoption of Ridgeway’s new slogan: “Where History Still Lives”