City officials hold first public work session

From left: Mayor Lynn Spruill, Ward 6 Alderman and Vice Mayor Roy A’. Perkins, Ward 7 Alderman Henry N. Vaughn and City Attorney Chris Latimer discuss the Board of Aldermen’s future agenda. (Photo by Logan Kirkland SDN)
By: 
LOGAN KIRKLAND
Staff Writer

Mayor Lynn Spruill and the Board of Aldermen held their first work session Friday at City Hall, in a move that is expected to remedy the long board meetings of the past.

Aldermen work sessions are intended to serve as a more informal setting to allow the mayor and board to discuss future topics prior to an aldermen meeting.

Only Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver was absent from the work session.

One topic that sparked engagement from the board came from the presentation that will take place at the next aldermen meeting with SPD Chief Frank Nichols, architect Gary Schafer and their construction representative.

The presentation will provide an update on the construction of the new SPD headquarters, which includes the need to remediate both the drainage and water issue in the basement of the building. The presentation will also project the completion of the building.

The original date for the opening of the new headquarters was scheduled for late last month, but was delayed due to flooding in the building's basement.

Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Alderman Roy A’. Perkins has been vocal about the project in the past and said it continues to be a sore subject.

He said his questions on Tuesday will not be directed to the chief or to the architect but to the contractor as to why this project is not completed.

“The tax payers need an answer,” Perkins said. “There is no excuse.”

Spruill said the best example of how the work session properly worked was the dialogue the aldermen had over the proposed sidewalk project. The aldermen discussed which areas should take priority and future areas that will need attention.

Although the agenda the board addressed was shorter than it will usually see, Spruill hopes the board will grow from this experience, allowing the discussion to become more in-depth.

“Hopefully it’s a good way for us to start,” Spruill said. “Everybody had some input.”

Each work session will be held on the second floor of City Hall the following Friday after a Board of Aldermen meeting. The work sessions are open to the public.

The next Board of Aldermen meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on July 18 at City Hall.

OTHER ITEMS DISCUSSED (NO ACTION TAKEN):

•Implementing newer water fountains in parks due to out-dated models not functioning properly.

•Pushing to complete a sidewalk project before the fiscal year ends in September. This project will help close gaps of already existing sidewalks.

•Implementing an immediate billboard moratorium.

•Limiting travel and travel expenses of Board members. Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk said the city spent $60,000 over a 4-year period last term.

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