Council gets update on Upstate Livestock Show, Votes to Change to Plaintiff's Side in PMPA Lawsuit
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, council members were presented with a program and information regarding September’s Upstate Livestock Show, of which the city was a sponsor. Thanks to all the money raised from sponsorships, organizers said every kid, no matter what place they finished, came away with at least a hat, t-shirt, and $20. They ended the show with a remaining balance of $3388.93, which will be rolled into next year’s show. 462 people attended the event. Entrants came from 49 different ZIP codes, only one of which was in Union. 47 were from other places in South Carolina, and one was from Georgia.
In other news, Billy Smith was presented with a retirement award and many well wishes from council members and those in attendance. Smith worked 23 years in the water and sewer division of the city.
Gloria Rogers informed council that the city was honored with the SC Municipal Insurance Trust Risk Management Services Award. Rogers said the city won in its category of 51-150 full- and part-time employees. The award stated that the city continues to reduce the frequency and severity of losses. The city was presented with a trophy and a $2500 check at an awards ceremony in Columbia on November 9th.
The Dixie Youth World Series runners-up were on hand at the meeting. Council members presented each player with a medal for a job well done. Individual council members had supported the players with money for their travel expenses to the World Series this summer, and the city as a whole helped them out with expenses, as well.
Council unanimously voted to authorize City Administrator Joe Nichols to sign a PMPA Letter of Intent of future supplemental power supply. The city had given the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency its ten-year notice of termination of the current agreement, and the city has until 2029 to sign a new agreement for supplemental power supply. A committee will be formed in the next week or so to begin that process, which is expected to last several years.
During the public comment time, Barbara Rippy addressed the council concerning the enforcement of existing ordinances regarding city codes. She praised the council and the city for the work it has done in demolishing dilapidated housing in the city over the past year. She noted particular issues with unlicensed, inoperative cars on properties, as well as tires, yard debris, and other issues, saying she wished the city would do something to enforce those codes that are already on the books.
After an executive session lasting around 50 minutes, council came back and voted on the incentive we told you about yesterday for the city’s full-time and part-time employees, with the money coming from American Rescue Plan Act funds. They also voted to authorize the city’s legal team to continue representing them in the legal case involving PMPA and several municipalities. City Administrator Joe Nichols stated the city is switching to the plaintiffs’ side of the lawsuit, saying the city believes all that is remaining to be decided in the suit is the interpretation of the contracts and the billing from PMPA. He said the city believes those interpretations are correct and how the city is being billed is correct. He said if Rock Hill and Greer were to win, saying that the billing is incorrect, the cost to Union and Clinton for power would skyrocket, as the city would have to go to full ownership of the unit. Nichols noted the PMPA is a very complicated matter, but that is the basics of what is going on with the lawsuit now.