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Minutes Regular Meeting 09/25/12

Sumter County Council
Regular Meeting
September 25, 2012 - Held at 6:00 p.m.
Sumter County Administration Building -  County Council Chambers
Third Floor -- 13 East Canal Street , Sumter, South Carolina



  1. Chairman Eugene Baten, Council District #7
  2. Vice Chairman, Larry Blanding, Council District #6
  3. Councilman Artie Baker, Council District #2
  4. Councilman James R. Byrd, Council District #3
  5. Councilman Charles T. Edens, Council District #4
  6. Councilwoman Vivian Fleming McGhaney, Council District #5
  7. Councilwoman Naomi D. Sanders, District  #1





Mary W. Blanding, Clerk to Council

Lorraine Dennis, Assist. County Administrator

Pam Craven, Finance Director

George McGregor, Planning Director

The Honorable Carolina Richardson

Johnathan Bryan, County Attorney

Two Sheriff Deputies

Keysa Rogers, Budget Analyst






Approximately 26 members of the public were in attendance.



CALL TO ORDER:  Chairman of Council, Eugene R. Baten, called the meeting to order. 

INVOCATION:  Councilwoman Vivian Fleming McGhaney gave the invocation. 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:  All in attendance repeated the Pledge of Allegiance.    

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:  Chairman Baten asked the Clerk to Council if there were any adjustments to the agenda.  The Clerk stated that there were no adjustments to the agenda; therefore, the Chairman called for a motion to approve the September 25, 2012, agenda.    

ACTION:  MOTION was made by Councilman Baker, seconded by Councilwoman Sanders, and unanimously carried by Council to approve the September 25, 2012, agenda as presented. 

MINUTES:  REGULAR MEETING HELD ON September 11, 2012:  Chairman Baten stated that he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes of Sumter County Council’s Regular Meeting held on September 11, 2012.  

ACTION:  MOTION was made by Vice Chairman Blanding, seconded by Councilman Baker, and unanimously carried by Council to approve the minutes of the regular County Council meeting held on September 11, 2012, as presented.


Development/Rezoning Request –

  1. Request To Amend Sumter County Zoning Ordinance To Add Mobile Vendors As A Temporary Use In Certain Zoning Districts

The Planning Director, Mr. George McGregor, presented this proposed ordinance amendment to Council for third reading approval.Council and other staff members along with the Planning Director met earlier during the Fiscal, Tax, and Property (FTP) Committee meeting.During the FTP meeting, the Planning Director explained to Council that the Mobile Vendor Ordinance amendment is a Temporary Use in certain zoning districts and that the Produce Sale Ordinances is a separate venue than the Mobile Vendor Ordinance.However, during Council’s last meeting (September 11, 2012), Council voted unanimously to remove the word “produce” from the Mobile Vendor proposed ordinance amendment.Since that time, the word “produce” has been reinserted in the ordinance so that it would be included in the ordinance at third reading.Mr. McGregor reminded Council that the ordinance includes language which increases the size of signs for the Mobile Vendors.This was included at second reading.

After all discussion on this matter, Council took action on third reading of this ordinance as amended.

ACTION:  MOTION was made by Councilman Byrd, seconded by Councilman Edens, and unanimously carried by Council to grant third reading and adoption as presented

Street Name Change – None

Grant Awards --

(1)   Update On Grant Awards and Submissions – Ginny Yonson

Ms. Ginny Yonson, Sumter County’s Grants Administrator, presented this update to Council.  She stated that since the last grant awards update, Sumter County has received the following grants. 

  • South Sumter Youth Build Grant – Funder – Department Of Labor -- $700,000 (Lana Odom). 
  • Continental Project -- $7,500,000 – Funder – SC Department of Commerce -- (Economic Development)
  • Land Acquisition Phase II -- $155,957 – Funder --  FAA (WK Dickson)
  • Greenhouse grant submission through the Department of Health and Human Services has not been received. 

ACTION:  Received as information. 



(1)   12-777 – First Reading -- An Ordinance Authorizing The Transfer Of Property Near Lesesne Drive, Sumter, SC

Mr. Johnathan Bryan presented this proposed ordinance to Council for first reading consideration.  He stated that this is an ordinance which involves property that is jointly owned by the City and County; the property is approximately 1,358 square feet which would provide this gentleman and his family with a squared piece of his overall property.  After all discussions, Council took action on first reading. 

ACTION:  MOTION was made by Councilman Baker, seconded by Councilman Edens, and unanimously carried by Council to grant first reading approval. 

Proposed Ordinance

WHEREAS,     Sumter County and the City of Sumter currently own a parcel of land measuring approximately three acres in size identified as TMS number 228-01-01-017; and

WHEREAS,     Midge Avin owns the land and home located at 205 Lesesne Drive, identified as TMS number 228-01-01-027; and

WHEREAS,     Midge Avin has erected a fence, cultivated landscaping, and she has essentially maintained a small part of the City and County property through misinformation and inadvertence; and

WHEREAS,     Midge Avin could use the property described herein so that she does not have to tear down and re-construct her fence and disrupt her backyard; and

WHEREAS,     Neither Sumter County nor the City of Sumter needs the property described herein for any public purpose;


That the Sumter County conveys to Midge Avin its interest in the parcel described as follows:

All that certain piece, parcel, or lot of land located on/off of Lesesne Drive, containing 1,368 square feet, (0.03 acre), more or less, shown and delineated on a plat prepared by Louis White Tisdale on June 14, 2012, and recorded in the Office of the Register of Deeds for Sumter County in PB2012 at page 202;

                 The Chairman of Sumter County Council is authorized to sign the Deed conveying the property to Midge Avin.

(2)   It May Be Necessary To Hold An Executive Session To Discuss A Personnel Matter, Receive A Legal Briefing, Or Discuss A Contractual Matter And Appropriate Actions May Be Required And Taken Thereafter

No executive session was held during this meeting. 


(1)   12-­­­­776 – Second Reading -- An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance No. 04-550 To Change The Appointing Organization For One Board Member Position On The Sumter  Development Board.

The County Attorney presented this proposed ordinance to Council for second reading approval.  He stated that the change in this ordinance would allow for (1) one additional member for the Sumter Smarter Growth, (2) one less appointee for The Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce, and (3) an increased term limits from two three-year terms to three, three-year terms. 

After all comments, Council took action on second reading. 

ACTION:  MOTION was made by Vice Chairman Blanding, seconded by Councilman Byrd, and unanimously carried by Council to grant second reading approval of this ordinance as presented.   


(1)   Public Utilities Committee Meeting To Be Held On Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. In Sumter County Administration Building, County Council’s Conference Room (Edens McGhaney, and Baten -- All Council Members Are Asked to Attend). 

The Chairman of the Committee, Councilman Edens, presented the report and recommendations from the Committee meeting.  He stated that several years ago Council passed an ordinance through mandates by the State of South Carolina and Federal Government to develop a Stormwater and Sediment Control Department and Council enacted fees to implement the department.  The fees included per property for residential ($15), commercial ($45), industrial ($90), and $35 for nonprofits.  It was also listed in the ordinance that Sumter County Council would review this matter after two years due to the lack of time to assess each property prior to implementation of the ordinance.  Since then, the Stormwater Department has reviewed the non-profit, commercial, and industrial property throughout the unincorporated area of Sumter County to assess each parcel and its impervious surface.  The Ordinance that the County enacted two years ago stated that Council would review this with the commercial and industrial properties; therefore, the ordinance does not need to be changed for these properties. However, the Committee recommended that the nonprofit agencies should also be included in the formula base for the impervious surface.  This would be the recommended change to the ordinance. 

Committee Chairman Edens stated that the recommendation is to include the nonprofit agencies in the formula for the impervious surface pertaining to stormwater and sediment control.  The County Attorney would develop an ordinance pertaining to this matter if the recommendation is approved by Sumter County Council. 

ACTION:  MOTION and second were received from the Committee, and carried by Council to approve the recommendation from the Committee to revise the existing ordinance which would allow the ordinance to be amended to include non-profit agencies in the stormwater and sediment control formula for impervious surface calculations in the unincorporated areas of Sumter County.   Council members Byrd and McGhaney voted in opposition.  The motion carried. 

NOTE:  The Attorney asked Council for clarification on the implementation date for this ordinance.  However, the ordinance will be ready for first reading at the next meeting of Sumter County Council with an effective date of July 1, 2013.

(2)   Fiscal, Tax, and Property Committee Meeting To Be Held On Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. In Sumter County Administration Building, County Council’s Conference Room (Baten, Blanding, and Edens -- All Council Members Are Asked to Attend). 

The Chairman of the Committee, Chairman Baten gave the following report and recommendations from the Committee. 

1.    Executive Session –It May Be Necessary For Council To Hold An Executive Session To Discuss Economic Development Matters; Receive A Legal Briefing, And/Or  Receive Information Concerning Other Matters Deemed Appropriate for Executive Session

Jay Schwedler, the CEO for the Development Board, gave a presentation to the Committee during executive session concerning potential contractual matters; no action was taken. 

2.    Discussion And Possible Action Concerning Planning Approach To Highway 521 South Corridor.  The Planning Director, George McGregor, and Jay Schwedler, CEO for the Development Board, gave the Committee a briefing on the need to develop a plan on the approach for development of the Highway 521 South corridor.   It is recommended by the Committee to direct the Planning Director to develop a proposal and bring it back to Sumter County Council for review. 

ACTION:  MOTION and second were received from the Committee, and unanimously carried by Council to approve the recommendation from the Committee to direct the Planning Director to develop a proposal and bring it back to Council for review and possible action. 

3.    Discussion And Possible Action Concerning Language For “Mobile Vendors.” This matter was discussed in the Committee; thereby, action by Council during Land Use Matters and Rezoning requests handled this matter. 

4.    Continued Discussion And Possible Action On I-95 Interchange Project.  The Committee recommended that Council amend the budget ordinance to secure up to $80,000 from the reserve fund to use a match for the grant proposal. 

ACTION:  MOTION and second were received from the Committee and carried by Council to approve the recommendation from the Committee.  Councilman Edens voted in opposition. 

Councilman Edens asked for this project to be elaborated on for the public’s benefit especially for transparency purposes.  Councilwoman McGhaney gave this briefing.  She stated that for the sake of the public, for so many years, I-95 has been a part of Sumter County.  She also stated that for year’s Sumter County has not “acknowledged” I-95 as part of our County. The State will provide $400,000; the Sheriff of Sumter County provided funds for the conceptual work to be completed. 

She presented that the County has made a request through South Carolina Department Of Transportation for a beatification project for the three interchanges on I-95 in Sumter County (Highway 378, Highway 341 and Highway 53).  Councilwoman McGhaney also stated that the window of opportunity is here now through this grant program which would allow Sumter County to fund only a portion of the development.  It was also noted that the County would be responsible for the maintenance of the sites once they are developed. 

(3)  Information Only:  Forfeited Land Commission (FLC) Meeting To Be Held On Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. Or As Soon As Practicable After Council’s Fiscal, Tax, and Property Committee Meeting Scheduled For 4:30 P.M. September 25, 2012, In Sumter County Administration Building, County Council’s Conference Room -- All Council Members Are Members Of The FLC).

The Chairman of the Committee stated that the action taken by the Forfeited Land Commission from executive session was to direct the County Attorney to follow up with a potential purchase concerning negotiation on property owned by the FLC.  No further action is required by Sumter County Council. 

(4)   Report From Council Members On Other Meetings, Trainings, And/Or Conferences

  • Vice Chairman Blanding thanked Chairman Baten for attending the South Sumter Town Hall meeting held on last week.  There were approximately 250 people in attendance at the meeting.    


  • Institute of Governments for County Officials – October 18, 2012
  • County Council Coalition will be held on October 19, 2012
  • Historical Commission
  • Sumter County Millage Sheet – 2012-2013
  • Grand Opening for the Bethel Fire Station at 5:00 p.m.; Nettles Road.


Mrs. Lorraine Dennis, the Assistant County Administrator, stated that there is no report other than informing the public that Mr. Gary Mixon, the County Administrator, is not present during this meeting due to the death of his mother, Mrs. Travis Jeanette Mixon.  Mrs. Mixon will be funeralized on September 27, 2012.  Please keep the Mixon family in your prayers. 


The Chairman asked if anyone wished to speak during public comment; the following person spoke. 

(1)   Comments From Mr. James Johnston -- Crest Haven Drive:  Mr. Johnston thanked Council for the opportunity to speak at Council’s meeting.  He stated that many of his neighbors are in attendance at this meeting.  They are in attendance out of frustration.  They have tried to have the road maintained properly; when it rains it washes out.  He added that he has called the Public Works Department, but he has been put off, put off, and put off.  Several other neighbors have also called Public Works, and some of the neighbors have damaged their cars because of the road conditions.  Also, Mr. Johnston stated that he has to sandbag his driveway when it rains in order to keep his driveway from being washed out.  All of this is because the road is improperly maintained.  He provided a copy of a petition, which was given to Mrs. Dennis.  Mr. Johnston asked Council to consider paving the road.  He also gave pictures to Council to show how the road is being washed out during a heavy rain. 

(3)   Gardner Gore stated that he lives in Sumter and he has a short statement that he would like to read to Council.  “Mr. Baten with all due respect, all that you said as Chairman about James Davis and myself is false.  (The Chairman asked Mr. Gore to refrain from talking; however, Mr. Gore continued.) During the last Council meeting, you violated James Davis’ rights by intimidating him and threatening him.  On behalf of the citizens of Sumter County, I respectfully ask that you resign from the Sumter County Council.  Sumter County desires better.  (The Chairman thanked Mr. Gore for his comments.)

(4)   F. D. Schmidt stated “Mr. Baten, Council” a couple of things I would like to say with regard to Mr. James Davis.  I was here when he gave that talk about the “Baby Tax” and I do not think anyone knew what he was talking about, and yet Mr. Baten you wrote a letter saying that he was advocating a five cent tax increase, which was not so.  She further stated that she did talk to Mr. Davis; what he was saying was that, in his own way, is that Council is coming up with a tax for us, another tax.  “First, that is what I want to get out of the way about James Davis,” per Ms. Schmidt.  Next, she stated that the stormwater, she would like to know why and where does it come from on this stormwater runoff.  Why is the entire State, and maybe the whole United States coming up with this law?  Where is it coming from; or is Council just blindly following?  Ms. Schmidt also said that if it is coming from higher, why don’t we just ignore it and let them put us in jail, they cannot jail everybody.  With the problem that we (Sumter County) has been having with draught, we usually pray for rain, but she stated that she guess with this stormwater, we are going to have to start praying that we have more draught.  Thank you very much.  (The attorney was asked by the Chairman to brief Ms. Schmidt and others on the Stormwater Ordinance after the meeting.)

NOTE:  The Chairman also stated that if anyone has any questions about the “Baby Tax” you can refer to County Council’s minutes of August 28, 2012, and it will explain to you what happened during that session. 


There being no further business for Sumter County Council, and no additional comments from the public, the meeting was adjourned at 6:39 p.m. after a motion by Councilman Byrd, seconded by Councilman Baker, and unanimously carried by Council. 

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