Chapin Town Council Action, Feb. 6, 2018
Posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 at 5:45 am.


The Chapin Town Council Tuesday voted to purchase a police vehicle and lights, putting to use most of a $50,000 donation to the Chapin Police Department by Bob Brandi, former owner of The Pitt Stop convenience stores.

The quote for a 2017 Ford Explorer is $27,933. An additional $8,330.65 will be spent on new lights for the vehicle, plus removal and installation of existing equipment from an older vehicle, including the radio system, antenna, in-car camera system, radar, rifle rack and flashlight.

In other business, Council approved a technical assistance agreement between the Town and Central Midlands Council of Governments to provide planning services through June 30 for $2,500. The Town’s Planning Director Chris Clawson resigned in January to accept employment in Winnsboro. Central Midlands will perform those duties while Council considers hiring an employee to take over those responsibilities.

Central Midlands (CMCOG), which performed similar duties for the town prior to the creation of the Director of Planning Position by the previous town administration, will provide zoning permit compliance reviews, and development plan and plat reviews for the Town Planning Commission. A CMCOG representative will attend Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board meetings as needed and will advise town council and staff, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals.

Council split on a 3-2 vote, approving an updated $22.6 million long-range capital improvement plan through fiscal year 2025 as recommended by Utilities Director Andy Metts, and as outlined during a Council work session in January. Voting in opposition were council members Preston Baines and Kay Hollis.

Metts noted that a Capital Improvement Plan was developed in 2015 and modified in 2016 to include projects based on “the best information available at the time.” He said, “With the development of the hydraulic model, greater detail is now available and problem areas are easily identified. Projects to address the problem areas have been developed and a cost estimate prepared.”

The 2018 Capital Improvement Plan is a working document used by the Utility Department when preparing budgets for future years. Also, projects for which the Town seeks funding assistance most often are required to be included on a Capital Improvement Project List. “In addition, projects on the list may be projects where the Town requires developers to participate in the construction in order to obtain sewer service to portions of the Town’s sewer service area,” Metts noted.

The plan is not the final approval for any of the projects on the list. Council would be requested to approve each project individually as the need arises and funding is identified.

Council gave final approval to an ordinance amending the date and time for regular Town Council meetings to 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.

Action was deferred on a request presented by Police Capt. Ray Craig to issue an abatement on property at 214 Woodthrush Road. The property has been the source of complaints over the past five years about public safety and nuisance issues.

First reading approval was given to an ordinance which officially separates the clerk/treasurer position into two positions – a Municipal Clerk and a Director of Finance.   These positions were created by the previous Mayor. The ordinance will amend the Town Code to reflect the current operation.

Council also gave first reading to an ordinance clearing up conflicting code sections relating to town purchasing practices. Under the proposed ordinance, department directors are authorized to approve purchases which have been specifically itemized in the current budget up to $25,000 without further Council approval. The Mayor (Purchasing Agent) and Finance Director (Assistant Purchasing Agent) will be authorized to approve budgeted purchases up to $50,000. Any purchases over $50,000 must be approved by Council, as well as all requested non-budget purchases in any amount.

An exception to this: The Utility Director would be authorized to make immediate purchases as emergencies occur if deemed necessary to minimize environmental pollution and to protect public health.

Following an executive session, Council voted to publicly advertise for a contracted position of Town Attorney. Chapin did not have a Town Attorney under the previous administration.

Also following executive session, Council approved payment of attorney fees of $2,053 to Andy Syrett, who represented members of Council who ultimately prevailed in a lawsuit against former Mayor Skip Wilson over whether special meetings could be called and agendas set by three members of council.