RIDGEWAY — Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring gave updates on merchants, upcoming events and service projects during the Town Council’s first meeting of the year, reporting that merchants hosted their first First Friday and will host an Easter Promenade and a sidewalk sale in April.
Herring also announced at the Jan. 10 meeting that trees will be trimmed away from power lines in February and March. Residents with questions should call J. Brett Wilkins at 803-217-6308.
Herring reported that VC Summer Nuclear Plant will use U.S. 21, Longleaf Road and Coleman Street in April or May to move vessels for new reactors at the plant. Vehicles will be moving about 2 mph.
Under new business, a water authority resolution was tabled as was action on the painting of the Century House, which is were Ridgeway Town Hall is located. Only two bids were submitted and council needs three before it can take action.
The council did pass the Municipal Association Legislative priorities for 2013 which prioritizes the three major challenges cities and towns face and offers immediate legislative solutions to meet the challenges: dilapidated structures, dependable revenue sources, and quality transportation and infrastructure maintenance.
The Municipal Association challenges and suggested solutions are:
• Dilapidated structures offer great challenges to an area. They make it unsafe and create a dangerous environment that often affects economic development opportunities for surrounding areas. These properties also diminish surrounding property values and create a financial and economic drain on community resources.
The solution to this problem that was given by the association was to support legislation that gives South Carolina cities and towns more flexibility in rehabilitating or removing dilapidated structures.
• Dependable revenue sources pose challenges to area residents and business owners in cities and towns who expect services and infrastructure that support a healthy local economy, provide safe neighborhoods and business districts, and offer a positive quality of life.
To meet these expectations, local leaders must have dependable revenue sources to invest in police and fire protection, utility infrastructure, downtown and neighborhood revitalization, public spaces and recreation. To succeed, towns must ensure all revenue collected by the state on behalf of local governments is returned to cities and towns through the statutorily funded Local Government Fund.
• The final challenge is Quality Transportation and Infrastructure Maintenance. Residents and business owners expect cities and towns to provide transportation systems that meet the demands of the community and ensure roads are safe and well maintained.
The solution offered was to bring together local and state elected leaders and experts to develop long-term and stable funding sources for roads, bridges and infrastructure maintenance, improvements and expansion.
Council went into executive session to discuss contractual matters regarding town property, personnel matters regarding town employment, and lawn service.
Following executive session, council made and passed two motions: to continue the contract with the town’s current lawn service and to hire Gregory Miller as a part-time police officer. Council agreed a few months ago to hire an additional part-time officer to increase safety in the area.
The next Ridgeway Town Council meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in the conference room of the Ridgeway Town Hall.