The Loris City Council meeting was held on Monday, April 1, at 6 p.m. at the American Legion building with Todd Harrelson, mayor pro-tem, presiding.
Present were council members Joan Gause, Lewis Hardee, Terrence Hardee and Mike Suggs. Department heads Damon Kempski, city administrator; Brandon Harrelson, public works and planning and zoning director; Gary Buley, Loris police chief; Lt. Williams; Kenya Wright, city clerk and treasurer; Samantha Norris, Loris Chamber of Commerce and Kenneth Moss, city attorney. Councilwoman Jan Vescovi and recreation director Tom Cocke were not present.
Harrelson opened the meeting with an invocation and pledge of allegiance. The council unanimously approved the minutes of the March 14 council meeting.
A prayer breakfast is Tuesday, April 9, at Dogwood Hill Baptist Church beginning at 7 a.m.
Harrelson addressed the department heads thanking them for their hard work for the city and the employees with the city are appreciated for their dedication to making the city resident concerns a priority.
Norris reported there is a Business After Hours at W. F. Cox Company on Thursday, April 4, as a drop in and visit from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. The Loris Chamber of Commerce is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt at the Loris Nature Park on Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m.
Kempski opened his report to council with another delay of the audit presentation to council and to the public. The audit presentation scheduled for Monday, March 25, was postponed until the April 1 council meeting. He said, “The auditors have requested a brief extension, we will give you a date, it should be within the next two weeks at the most.” He explained that the person who wants to finalize the audit for verification was out of the office on vacation, when they return the audit will be ready for presentation. He reiterated that the audit presentation should be within the next two weeks “max” and would inform the council of the date and time.
Kempski reported for recreation department director Tom Cocke who was at the field preparing for the baseball season. He said that baseball opening day will be Thursday, April 4, with the opening ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the games at 6 p.m.
Brandon Harrelson addressed council about the Hydrology Study. “We are at the same point with a little progress made.” He stated a budget for cost of construction documents is in progress and he is preparing a cost of the construction materials to prepare to apply for a grant. “It is a moving parts here and being worked on, it’s such a large scale that we are trying to take care of what is appropriate with keeping the best interest of the city in mind.”
There were four requests for annexation into the city of Loris and one request for rezoning a district presented to council by Planning and Zoning Commission chairperson Linda Morrison. The readings of the motions were read out loud by Wright. The first recommendation made is Ordinance Number 01-19, an ordinance of annexation of property located east of Highway 701 along Bay Circle Drive and further described as 048-03-02-005. The council approved unanimously the recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Commission. A second reading will be made at the May 6 council meeting.
Approval for Ordinance Number 02-19, an ordinance of annexation of property located on Fox Bay Road and further described as TMS#186-07-02-090. A motion was made to approve, however, through discussion, it was brought to the attention of the council that the property trustee had not signed the appropriate paperwork when the document was presented to council in January 2019. The document was withdrawn at that meeting until the appropriate signatures were acquired to present again to council before going to the Planning and Zoning Commission Committee for recommendation to present to council for a first reading. Suggs said, “The petition for annexation was on the agenda on January 8 and it was tabled because it was not signed.” Moss stated that the signed required documentation was presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission Committee and approved. Suggs continued, “The issue at hand is the ordinance and not following the ordinance.” Harrelson suggested for council to take a vote on the ordinance. Suggs stated, “If we do not follow our own ordinances how can the general public have confidence in what we do.” Moss said he was in agreement with Suggs to send the motion back to the Planning and Zoning Commission Committee to follow proper procedure. The motion was set aside where Harrelson said it can be brought up in the special council meeting they will have in two weeks. The motion to approve was withdrawn and the first reading of the ordinance will be read at the special meeting, a date will be provided. The council decision was unanimous.
Approve ordinance number 03-19, an ordinance of annexation for property located on Suggs Street and further described as TMS#186-02-03-112 was approved unanimously by council.
Approve ordinance number 04-19, an ordinance of annexation for property located north of U.S. Highway 8 Bypass along U.S Highway 701 North and further described as TMS#03900-01-082. The petition for annexation was withdrawn by the petitioner.
Accept recommendation of change in zoning district of property located along Walnut Street and further described as Parcel PIN 17613040036. It is the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission to reassign the parcel mixed use district. A report was just received by council that the property will have to be posted with a notice of rezoning on the property and after a hearing and advertise the rezoning in the newspaper, a rezoning fee is charged to the petitioner.
To present a petition to the council the steps are to submit a petition to the city requesting annexation or rezoning. The petition must be accepted by city council. After the petition is accepted by council it is referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission Committee for zoning designation. The committee makes the decision to either recommend or decline the petition and refers it to council for a first reading of the ordinance to rezone or annex into the city. A second reading of the ordinance is read during the council meetings and council votes to accept or decline the petition.
Elliott Godfrey, a resident on Forest Drive, addressed council about issues of debris and rocks in the ditch that runs behind his home. He thanked Harrelson for providing a backhoe to clear the ditch and mow with the bush-hog to help with water flow in the ditch. His concerns have been addressed and stated that he understands the reasoning of an act of God, but anything the city can do to help is greatly appreciated.
There was no executive session. Council adjourned at 6:35 p.m. A special council meeting will be held within the next two weeks. The date and time will be announced. The next regular city council meeting will be held on Monday, May 6, at 6 p.m. at The American Legion.