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Swansea Town Council holds regular June meeting

Swansea SC (Gail Fallaw) – The Swansea Town Council meeting was held on June 18, 2018 at 6pm. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jerald Sanders. Attendees stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, and Councilmember David Martin led with prayer. Councilmember/Mayor Pro-tem Woodrow Davis, Jr. did not attend.

Minutes from the May 14, 2018 meeting were approved. The mayor began by stating that he attended the groundbreaking for Swansea High School’s Performing Arts Center, and that he is confident that the new facility will be a great asset to the town. He further stated that the town has received positive feedback concerning letters sent to area business owners about “coming together.” Mayor Sanders said that they plan to meet with business owners in the near future.

Utility manager Rick Bryan provided information about the town’s water and sewer systems for the month of May. There were DHEC violations; 70 work orders; 48 locates. The town received a letter from the SC Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) asking for the status of a loan the town is requesting. The loan is in connection with a grant for which the town applied in order to make improvements to the water/sewer system. Bryan stated that they have 10 days to respond to the request, and they are planning to meet with the bank again this week. Bryan stated that they are still working to locate a persistent leak that resulted in two million gallons of water lost during May. He said that they should be getting loaner equipment this week from the SC Rural Water Association to assist in locating the leak.

Police Chief Clif Hayes said that the department issued 133 tickets in May. There were five accidents, and four warrants were served. Staff wrote 37 incident reports and made 17 arrests. He told attendees about a couple of chases that took place, one of which resulted in significant damage to a patrol vehicle. Councilmember Linda G. Butler expressed concern about the danger these chases pose to citizens and police staff. Chief Hayes indicated that he is aware of the potential risks, but he feels that having a “no chase” policy, as some agencies do, would not be the answer.

Lexington County Councilman Scott Whetstone attended the meeting and briefly addressed the group. Councilmembers approved the first reading of an ordinance to adopt the Lexington County Storm Water Management Ordinance and Land Development Manual. A second reading will take place Friday, June 22 at 6 p.m.

Mayor Sanders proposed a proclamation designating Sunday June 24, 2018 as Pastor Lucius R. Smith (Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Swansea) Day. Councilmembers approved, and Mayor Sanders will present Pastor Smith with the proclamation at the church at 2pm Sunday, June 24.

Mayor Sanders also introduced Margaret Harvey, the new clerk/treasurer for the town. Harvey joins Swansea after a long career with Wells Fargo and said she looks forward to serving the citizens of Swansea.

Councilmembers voted unanimously to adopt a Mutual Aid Agreement presented by Chief Hayes. This agreement allows Swansea Police Department and other agencies to assist each other when needed.

During open forum, Robert White, president of the Gaston Crimewatch Group, thanked Councilmember Linda G. Butler for attending the May Crimewatch meeting and invited everyone to their cookout on June 21 at 7pm at the Gaston First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. He reminded attendees of National Night Out, which will be observed in Gaston on August 7, 2018. A number of law enforcement agencies, first responders and vendors will be participating.

Also during open forum, a resident expressed concern about speeding on South Lawrence Street. He stated that his concern is primarily for school children in the area. The mayor and Chief Hayes explained that the SC Department of Transportation is in charge of the speed limits and signs, and they will address the matter with them.

Mayor Sanders and councilmembers went into executive session to discuss “Legal Advice and Contractual Matters.” After returning from executive session, Mayor Sanders stated that no votes were cast during the session, and the council meeting was adjourned afterward.

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