H. O. WEEKS TENNIS CENTER SUPER SENIOR LADIES 6.0 – Glenn Parker has sent along information about a special group of seniors who have taken their passion for tennis to a whole new level. Captain Cate Cruse, joined by Linda Summer, Ruby Long, Sue Rondeau, Jean McDonnell, Jackie Walker, Phillis Hoy, Robbie Wilson, and Dianne Logan have worked hard and achieved admirable success in the Super Senior Ladies 3.0 Tennis Circuit. They dominated at the state championships--winning 5-0 as a team and 14-1 individually. They next travelled to Columbus, Georgia, and were 4-0 to win that title as well. Three weeks ago, they traveled to Surprise, Arizona, for the USTA League 6.0 Super Senior National Championships. They placed eighth nationally after a good hard fought tournament with an overall 1-2 team record, but a 5-4 individual record. For their persistence and performance under pressure, Mayor Cavanaugh is presenting them with a Character Award, and they will be with us at your meeting to receive the recognition they deserve.
APPOINTMENTS AND DISCUSSIONS TO CITY BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND COMMITTEES. Councilmember Diggs nominated Ben Lott for appointment to the Design Review Board.
FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO SET THE MILLAGE RATE FOR FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2013-2014 – Every year, Aiken City Council adopts a budget for the following fiscal year. By a separateordinance, Council sets a millage rate to ensure proper revenue to meet anticipated budget expenditures.
Our review of projected revenues and expenses shows the proper millage rate for this balanced budget to be 62 mills. Adopting this millage rate will represent 25 consecutive years without a millage rate increase. You last reduced the millage rate in 2011 [from 66 mills to 62 mills] due to reassessment.
We are happy to have been able to control raising taxes, and we contribute the success to the careful stewardship of these funds by Council and staff alike.
FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE FY 2013-14 BUDGET – Council will find in this agenda packet the proposed FY 2013-14 budget. This revised version includes items of interest and comment in our May 1, 2013 work session.
As we have done in past years, our budget consists of three major sections:
Enterprise Fund (Water and Sewer Utilities)
Local Accommodations Tax
Sunday Alcohol Sales Fund
Victim Services Fund
Aiken Municipal Airport
Community Development Block Grant
Ventures Industrial Park
Our total budget expenditures for these funds are $51,707,542. Total expenditures in the FY 2012-13 budget were $52,884,884.
The main increase in this year's expenditures will be $3,860,000 to complete our new water plant on Silver Bluff Road. This project has been on our long-term capital construction list.
We have sufficient holding accounts to borrow funds to cover this expense and then repay these borrowed funds through annual utility system depreciation funds.
The rest of the story; however, is money we will need to spend on mandated items. For example, our remediation efforts at Shiloh Springs will cost about $1,300,000. We will also need to continue our replacement of electronic sender units for our water meters. This project will cost an additional $600,000 to replace more of these units.
Also, as part of the FY 2013-14 goals set by Council at your Horizons Retreat, we will also pursue the timeline for Capital Sales Tax Projects, Second Round [CPST II] which include:
City Recycle Center Redevelopment - $2,700,000
Open Space Preservation - $1,000,000
Stormwater Runoff Abatement - 4421,000*
Eustis Park Senior-Youth Center Site Selection/Preparation - $1,000,000
Total = $5,121,000
* Our Stormwater Utility will pay $281,806 toward these costs, and the balance can be paid out of CPST II funds on hand, and will include work in Edgewood Subdivision.
In addition to these projects, some of our major purchases include:
Nine (9) ADPS vehicles - $253,000
Firefighter self-contained breathing apparatus - $50,000
Leaf Vacuum Trailers - $100,000
Roll-Off Truck - $160,000
Landscaping Equipment - $116,750
Tourism Trolley - $100,000
Virginia Acres Park Walking Track - $175,000
Smith-Hazel Center Roof Replacement - $250,000
Total - $1,204,750
This budget has a 1/2% salary adjustment for all employees and for employees who earn $24,000 or less, per year, an additional raise in salary of $500. Depending on the results of our second quarter review of revenues and expenditures, we will also seek merit bonuses for high-performing staff. Council had asked about our Tuition Reimbursement Program. Documents related to it are included here for your reference. My work session memo and the budget summary from our proposed 2013-14 budget are also included here for easy reference.
ELECTION SCHEDULE FOR NOVEMBER 2013 GENERAL ELECTION - Sara Ridout, City Clerk, has reviewed the ordinance for the election schedule, and has provided the schedule for conducting the upcoming election as follows:
1. Opening of filing for nomination petitions and
entry of candidates for primaries - August 5, 2013
2. Closing of entry of candidates for primaries - August 12, 2013
3. Municipal Party Primaries or Conventions - September 10, 2013
4. Closing of entries for nomination by petition - September 20, 2013
5. Municipal Party Primary Run Offs, if necessary - September 24, 2013
6. Last day for certifying candidates to Election Commission - October 4, 2013
7. Election Day is November 5, 2013
This schedule is presented to Council to give you notice of the election. This year the
election will be for Districts 2, 4, 5, and 6. Council members Price, Ebner, Homoki,
and Merry will be eligible for reelection.
BID APPROVAL FOR SHILOH SPRINGS FILTRATION SYSTEM – Council will recall that we are in the process of remediating the radium in our water supply at Shiloh Springs. As part of this work, we have bid this project. Gene Ray Fulmer is the apparent low bidder to install this equipment for $1.3 MM. We are in the process of receiving approval for a forgivable loan in the amount of $1.0 MM to defray the cost of this installation of this filtration equipment. In order to qualify for this forgivable loan, approval of the bid by the governing body must be obtained. We have funds in our budget for this project.
ROADWAY RIGHT-OF-WAY DEDICATION FROM ACADIA HENDON HITCHCOCK PLAZA – As part of completing the Pawnee-Neilson connector road from Pine Log Road to Dougherty Road, the principals who own additional right-of-way and land adjacent to this project agreed to convey property to the City to ensure this right of way is properly configured. With construction of Academy Sports and Outdoors, we are now best positioned to accept the owners' deed to this real estate.
PETITIONS AND REQUESTS –
REQUEST BY COUNCILMEMBER EBNER TO CALL THE AIKEN CORPORATION NOTE DUE AND PAYABLE – This item refers to the $328,000 Aiken Corporation loan. In June of 2005, the City loaned the Aiken Corporation $67,500 for the renewal and building of new homes in the Chesterfield area. The balance of this non-interest loan remains at $67,500. During the year ended June 30. 2006, the City loaned Aiken Corporation $11,300 for painting of a building at Willow Run Industrial Park and payable upon sale of the building. In addition, during the year ended June 30, 2006, the City loaned Aiken Corporation $270,000 for the renewal and building of new homes n the Toole Hill area. The receivable balance for the Toole Hill project is $170,000. During the year ended June 30, 2009, the City loaned Aiken Corporation $80,000 to further the Northside residential renovations project in place. The loan balance remains at $80,000.
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC FIREWORKS DISPLAY - Coleen Reed will be with us at our May 13 City Council meeting on behalf of Gaston Livery Stable. As part of a July 4, 2013 holiday celebration at the Gaston Livery Stable, a public fireworks display is desired to be featured. The fireworks will be launched on a parcel immediately adjacent to the Gaston Livery Stable. Wacky Waynes is scheduled to conduct this display. Public Safety will be hired under an extra-duty contract to provide fire protection for this event. We also understand that all necessary permits and insurance coverages will be obtained to cover this display.
CITIZENS PARK CAPITAL PROJECT – RESTROOMS/SPLASH PAD INFRASTRUCTURE – As part of our Capital Sales Tax Projects II list, additional parking, a splash pad, and restrooms at Citizens Park were listed. Total funds for all of these related projects is $500,000. Council has previously approved the splash park equipment. With that approval, we have placed it on order. Delivery of this equipment is expected within eight weeks or so. When it is delivered, we will have to plug it into something. Therefore, we have provided here the concept plan for the splash pad and restrooms facility. New Engineering & Utilities Director George Grinton will be using the professional services of Joe Walker of Joseph M. Walker Construction Managers to bid out labor and materials for this installation as well as to oversee this work. With Council review of these materials, we can then proceed to commencing work on what should be a welcome amenity to our award-winning Citizens Park Recreational Complex.
DONATION OFFER BY TOGNUM/MTU – Joerg Klisch, the Vice President of Operations, North America, for Tognum America Inc., has made a generous offer to us. Citizens visiting our new Administration and Finance Building have remarked that they would appreciate a table in our lobby for writing out checks or otherwise organizing their paperwork. Tognum has offered us one of their smallest diesel engines, their 8V2000 diesel engine. In addition, BeSpoke, a local interior design business has generously donated a nine-foot long glass tabletop that can be placed on top of this engine to create the public counter space they have requested. Having the glass top will also allow visitors to learn more about one of our local manufacturing plants and the technology they are using to build massive engines used in all kinds of vehicles, ships, and heavy equipment. Our preliminary research shows the heavy duty concrete floors will supply the necessary support for this heavy installation. It certainly provides a unique opportunity to showcase local industry-- a stated goal in our 2010 Strategic Plan Update: Aiken's Tomorrow.
REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT PROPOSAL – Local Attorney Rob Braithwaite is representing the City of Aiken in a lawsuit in Federal District Court. This case arises from the installation of the Pawnee-Neilson Connector Road. Slopes in the detention area adjacent to the road developed cracks and eroded. Attorney Braithwaite has negotiated a settlement of all claims raised in this case. Under the settlement terms:
1. The Defendants will pay $200,000 to the City of Aiken.
2. The City of Aiken will allow Defendants to participate in the bidding process for City projects.
3. As with all settlements in Court cases, the payment to the City is a settlement of all claims without any admission of liability.
Under our City Code, Council must approve settlement of claims in this amount.
For Council approval, therefore, is settlement of all claims in the Pawnee-Neilson suit on these stated conditions.
ISSUES AND UPDATES:
PREMIUMS REPORT ISSUED FOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND LIABILITY INSURANCE: Our workers’ compensation and liability insurance premiums for calendar year 2013 have been determined. The final billed premium for workers’ compensation is expected to be $53,730.00. Our liability insurance premium is expected to be $470,679.00. Both premium amounts are reduced because we receive participation credits through our insurance group pool.
NATIONAL TAKE BACK INITIATIVE OF UNUSED PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS SUCCESSFUL: Our Public Safety Department recently partnered with Ingate Professional Pharmacy in the National Take Back Initiative. This DEA program combats prescription drug abuse and offers a proper method of disposal. A collection station for unused or expired prescription medications was offered at Ingate Pharmacy. Our citizens brought in over 109 pounds of medication to be destroyed. In South Carolina this initiative resulted in the collection of two and a quarter tons of prescription medications.
AIKEN SAFE COMMUNITIES CONTINUES: During last month’s Spring Break, our Public Safety Community Services Division offered several programs for our young people. Guys, Gals, and Golf, a partnership with The First Tee of Aiken, offered students character education session followed by golf instruction. At Eustis Park, Spring Break Café and Poetry in the Park was attended by 40 people who came and listened to jazz music and heard original poetry from students. The week culminated with a large 3-on-3-basketball tournament at Smith-Hazel Recreation Center attended by over 80 students. After the basketball games, participants, with their families, enjoyed a cookout and participated in an Aiken Safe Communities forum facilitated by our Public Safety Department. Also, a Community Café about education was recently hosted by our Public Safety Department. Former Aiken County School Board member Donna Moore Wesby facilitated a discussion of ways to improve education in Aiken County. Thoughts and ideas were provided by attendees. Categories included Community; Students; Parents; Education System; and Local Government.
SEVERAL PROGRAMS TO ASSIST CUSTOMERS WITH UTILITY BILL PAYMENTS: The National League of Cities recently launched a pilot program in several cities around the country called Local Interventions for Financial Empowerment through Utility Payments (LIFT-UP). Participating cities will allow families with large outstanding utility bill balances the opportunity to restructure their payments. Other components include payment incentives and financial counseling. Participating cities include Houston, Texas; Savannah, Georgia; and Newark, New Jersey. Locally, SCE&G works with various Community Action Agencies on the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help qualified individuals with electric bill payments. SCE&G also offers Project Share through our area Community Action Agencies to aid customers having difficulty in paying their monthly electric bill.
PUBLIC COMMENT OPEN FOR DRAFT PERMIT APPLICATION: SCDHEC has completed their review of a SRS’s renewal permit application for hazardous waste activities. The draft permit’s written comment period is open until June 4th. The application contains proposed conditions for the care of three closed hazardous waste management facilities at M-Area, F-Area, and H-Area. The web address to view the public notice and fact sheet is www.scdhec.gov/environment/lwm/publicNotice.htm.
PIPELINE SAFETY REMINDER: Before we dig on our property, we need to call 811 to arrange for a utility representative to come and mark any utility lines that may exist on our property. This free service will prevent property owners from accidentally cutting utility lines that may be buried on their property.
AIKEN SPOTLIGHTED AGAIN: Web magazine Southwind Journeys recently featured Aiken. Journalist Doc Lawrence previously wrote about his visit to Aiken while participating in our A-List Author Tour held during the annual Juillard in Aiken event. He has written another glowing account of his time in our City. A number of our restaurants and historic buildings are mentioned in this most recent article. In his article, he concludes, “…tourism’s trajectory is soaring in Aiken.”
SUCCESSION MANAGEMENT PROJECT UPDATE: Our 2012-13 Succession Management class has continued to work on the garden at the Golden Harvest Food Bank. Our class has planted onions, tomatoes, squash, green beans, and several types of herbs off of Banks Mill Road at this non-profit facility. Within the next several weeks, harvested produce should find its way to Golden Harvest client tables.
Commercial Projects Update:
Applications for the following commercial projects have been received and are currently under review by our Inspections Division:
Mattress Firm Demolition Permit at 2424 Whiskey Road.
The following commercial permit applications have been reviewed and approved by our Inspections Division:
St. Mary Help of Christians Church, Phase 1, Church Foundation and Structure, at 138 Fairfield Street SE
Family Dollar project at 1103 Richland Avenue East
EconoLodge Roof Remodeling project at 3560 Richland Avenue West
Aiken Collision Addition project at 727 Richland Avenue East
The following projects are under construction after receiving approval from our Inspections Division:
Cumberland Village recreation hall project, on Wise Creek Lane
Sam’s Club training office upfit, at 156 University Parkway
Quality Inn lobby remodeling project at 3608 Richland Avenue West
Sports Plus Physical Therapy at the Woodside Professional Center at 1397 Silver Bluff Road
BID OPENINGS: NONE
TUESDAY, MAY 14TH AT 6:00 P.M.: Our Planning Commission will meet in Council Chambers, on the Second Floor of City Hall for its regular monthly meeting. A work session is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. in Room 204.
SATURDAY, MAY 25TH AT 1:00 P.M. is the 17th Annual Memorial Day parade. The parade route will start at Park Avenue and Union Street, head west on Park Avenue to Laurens Street then head north and end at the intersection of Laurens Street and Edgefield Avenue. For additional information, visit the Marine Corps League web site at www.aikenmcl.org.
MONDAY, MAY 27TH: City offices will be closed in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. There will be no City Council meeting that evening. Offices will reopen at 8:10 a.m., Tuesday, May 28th.
TUESDAY, MAY 28TH AT 5:30 P.M.: Our Board of Zoning Appeals will meet in Council Chambers, on the Second Floor of City Hall for its regular monthly meeting.
TUESDAY, JUNE 4TH AT 6:30 P.M.: Our Design Review Board will meet in Council Chambers, on the Second Floor of City Hall for its regular monthly meeting. A work session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Room 204.
MONDAY, JUNE 10TH AT 7:00 P.M.: Our next regularly scheduled City Council meeting will be held in Council Chambers, Second Floor of City Hall, 214 Park Ave. SW.
For other events and happenings around Aiken, be sure to visit www.AikenIS.com.