City Council hears from public on comprehensive plan

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The Manning City Council met Monday at Manning City Hall and conducted a public hearing concerning the 2017-2027 Comprehensive Plan.

As explained in the plan, a comprehensive plan is adopted by a local government as the basis for zoning ordinances and land-use decisions. A comprehensive plan documents current physical, social and economic characteristics of a community and provides a vision and series of goals and objectives to guide community development.

City Administrator Scott Tanner said the comprehensive plan for Manning has not been updated since 1996 and the new plan prepared by planners in the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments in a very thorough and professionally prepared document.

"It runs the gamut from inventorying the assets that Manning has and how to design our planning and zoning ordinances to complement those assets," he said.

Mayor Julia Nelson said the plan is something council should take very seriously and suggested council table adoption of the plan so they could have more time to study it.

After the public hearing on the comprehensive plan was closed, council moved on to its regular meeting.

Council presented a proclamation to coaches and players on the Manning High School junior varsity basketball team, which finished its season 21-1, losing only to Sumter High School. The team's coach, Orlando Shuler, said he will be coaching the varsity team next year, and the varsity will include many of the same players.

Council tabled an ordinance to adopt the comprehensive plan for more study as the mayor had suggested earlier.

The first reading of an amendment to the ordinance to raise and levy taxes for the City of Manning was approved, as well as the first reading of an ordinance to rezone property at 106 Boundary St. from office commercial to general commercial.

Council also approved the purchase of properties located at 14 N. Mill St. and 16 N. Mill St. for $90,000. Tanner said the property is located behind Manning City Hall and will be used for expansion.

In the city manager's report, Tanner said the Mill Street streetscaping project is beginning to move forward.

"We are finally having a preconstruction meeting," he said.

Tanner said the streetscaping will only be done on one side of Mill Street because of the cost.

He also said the City is looking at a way to provide free Wi-Fi at the Gibbon Street Park and possibly other parks as well. He said there is a way for the City to monitor its use to block websites so it remains "kid friendly."

Mayor Nelson announced the Red White and Blue Celebration would be on July 3.

"We expect it to be a good event," she said.

A discussion followed about the problem of litter after events, such as the Striped Bass Festival, and ways to deal with the problem at future events.

Councilman Julius Dukes said the mosquitoes are "getting kind of bad," and inquired about what the City could do.

Director of Public Works Reubin Hardy said the City must have an applicator's license to apply pesticide and hopefully a city employee could take the test soon.