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Chapin town council holds regular June meeting

Chapin, SC (Connor Radtke) – On Tuesday night, the Town of Chapin held its regular town council meeting at 7 p.m. Councilmember Preston Baines gave the invocation, and the pledge of allegiance was led by Sgt. Shaffer with the American Legion.

The meeting began with several reports. One item of note was that the town has recently changed the hours of its Chapin Downtown Farmers Market from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month after talking with and hearing from vendors and guests. This has resulted in double the number of participants and an increase in guests.

Then the financial report was given. Overall, this fiscal year’s revenue exceeds expenses which means that as of now the town is currently operating in the black. When it comes to the number of business licenses held the town is at the exact same amount as last year although the revenue from these is significantly less,hovering around $141k and some change below last year’s mark at this point. The town believes this is a result of many of the under-construction neighborhood building contractors finishing their work as those projects build out and those tradespeople no longer need a business license in the town (i.e. Eagles Nest). Overall, the town’s finance director believes the town will be able to eventually make up for this short fall.

The police report was given by Chief Zeigler. The town PD experienced a growth in calls for service with 443 requests for some interaction with the PD last month taken through their call center. Chapin PD has also increased the number of DUI arrests they’ve made year-to-date, and if things continue on this path, he expects a significant overall increase by year’s end. In 2017 the town made a total of 18 DUI cases, 10 more than the year before. As of last month’s end, the town has already made 16 cases this year, including five just in the last month. Zeigler said Tuesday that his officers are doing, “Good old fashion police work.” He said they know what to watch for and always have their eyes and ears open for anyone who may not be living up to the expectations of the community. Chief Zeigler made it clear that his department is not operating with the purpose of writing a large number of tickets; The number of speeding tickets issued has fluctuated very little from the past. The department’s purpose is to get people to voluntarily be safer on the roads. The police department is accomplishing this by being visible in areas where accidents and traffic violations have been known to occur.

Chief Zeigler also said he believes that some of the success in making Chapin’s streets and community safer is a result of the “war on drugs” that the community has waged. They have seen an overall decrease in cases where drugs were found. Chief Zeigler said he knows that you can’t simply arrest your way out of a drug problem and attributed much of that success to community partners like Dr. Akil Ross, former principal of Chapin High School. Ross was a leader in this area organizing community meetings and making it a top priority. A large part of those efforts dealt with educating parents and the community as a whole on what to look for regarding drugs and how to get help if they find a problem.

Following the police report was the utility report. Here the town discussed the progress on its new WWTP (Water Waste Treatment Program). So far in construction they have encountered zero incidents where they have lost time. They are up to approximately 140k man hours on site and 155k total hours. The current value of work is at 1.2 million. Since they have received zero-time loss their initial date of completion has remained the same at September 5th, and they plan to have their first major concrete pour on June 21st. This brought the “Reports” section to a close and the town council moved onto their next subject of discussion.

Following the reports, the town of Chapin gave 2nd reading to three procedural ordinances, all of which were approved. Following the readings, the council introduced a new proclamation naming June 5th the “Chapin Day of Champions.” Each year, this will be an official day to recognize and congratulate all the recent students and athletes who have brought championships home to Chapin over the previous school year. The mayor called those students who had won championships either individually or as a team to the front of the room one by one along with their coaches or adult advisers and presented them with a certificate on behalf of the town.

The council members then went into an executive session with their attorney where they discussed a few things among themselves. They took no action coming back into open session and adjourned the meeting.

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