Dillon City Council Discusses Many Items At May Meeting

By Betsy Finklea
The Dillon City Council held their May meeting via teleconference on Monday.
In the Mayor Pro-Tem’s report, Dr. Phil Wallace discussed the coronavirus. He said as of Monday, there were 95 cases of the COVID-19 pandemic in Dillon County, no deaths, but one person who was “pretty sick.” Wallace said it was time to return to some degree of normalcy for those who are under 65 and healthy. He said those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, etc. should stay quarantined. He said people need to wear masks and wash.
Wallace said when the economy crashed in the Great Depression, 10 percent of the people who passed away died of starvation. He said opening up the economy is a must and should be done in a safe manner.
He said the Governor will allow the Wellness Center to re-open with restrictions. The Golf Course had record weekends. He said there were lots of families, and it was uplifting to be out there. He noted that the Golf Course was probably as clean as it has been in 35 years.
Wallace said he was a little concerned about the finances. He hopes small businesses took advantage of small business loans.
In the City Manager’s report, Glen Wagner said that as of Monday, May 18th, the Governor was opening some of the close contact businesses which includes fitness centers and gyms. He said 6-ft. social distancing will be enforced as well as a certain number of people per square foot. He said it is 20 percent occupancy in each space. They will open May 18 following the 20 percent rule. The fitness side is opening only. No meetings or events will not be allowed, and there will be no basketball allowed in the gym. He said the facility is clean, and the staff is ready to come back to work. He noted that the athletic fields and playgrounds are still closed under the Governor’s restrictions. He hopes that youth sports will be able to begin in June.
Wagner said the city hall has been closed since March 17th, and the city offices would also open on May 18th.
Wagner said he was planning for an in-person budget workshop in the first part of June.
He spoke briefly on the coronavirus relief fund.
Wagner noted that they had an ad in The Dillon Herald and on Facebook asking for public comments and questions and received none.
Wagner said they had been working on the online payment system.
He then discussed water and sewer. He said they have a total of 160 customers delinquent for payment. This is up about 40 customers from the normal amount who are delinquent. He said if the requirement not to turn off utilities/services is lifted on Friday, they will begin contacting customers and working out a plan with them to pay what they owe. He said hopefully by the end of July, delinquent customers will be caught up.
Business licenses are also coming due.
He said they were working on the budget. They also have been getting some of the employees registered with PEBA.
Finance Director Janet Bethea gave the financial report.
The council passed the second reading of an ordinance to allow the public to vote on whether to allow Sunday Alcohol Sales in the City of Dillon. This is expected to be on the ballot in November. The motion was made by Councilman Tim Cousar and seconded by Councilman James “Bobie” Washington. The motion passed.
Council members then gave their reports. Councilman Johnny Eller said that he would not talk about the golf course until they had an in-person meeting. He asked about the audit presentation and was told it would be made when they had an in-person meeting. He also asked about the recent crime.
Councilman Jay David asked how many cases were pending in court and said he would like a judge to come to a meeting to discuss how the process could be made more efficient.
Councilman Bobie Washington said that the sidewalks were coming along well on Martin Luther King Boulevard. It was stated that they are putting down the storm drainage and waiting on Duke Energy Progress to come put in the underground wires.
Councilman Douglas Jackson had no report.
Councilman Tim Cousar asked about getting lights in some areas and speed limit signs. After the council member reports, the meeting was adjourned.