City of Sumter to go under nightly curfew following state 'home or work' order


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Getting used to the new normal in a digitally advanced world, Sumter City Council held its first Zoom council meeting on Tuesday in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

During the council meeting, the council members reviewed two emergency ordinances that complemented Gov. Henry McMaster’s executive “home or work” order that was announced on Monday.

The first ordinance is to urge individuals and businesses to comply with the regulations set forth by McMaster’s orders, which are to stay home except for the purpose of obtaining essential goods, providing essential services, engaging in individual outdoor recreational activities that allow for social distancing or engaging in other essential activities.

The second ordinance was to declare and impose a nightly curfew for the next 14 days.

Starting on Wednesday, a curfew will be in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., restricting the travel of individuals with the exception of individuals traveling to and from work and for healthcare. 

During the hours of curfew, individuals are advised to stay in their homes and not travel freely. Any person violating this ordinance is subject to a misdemeanor and can be fined up to $100 or 30 days in jail, the same punishment for violating any of McMaster's virus-related mandates.

Sumter Police Department Chief Russell Roark said the curfew will not require any staffing changes or additional officers during the curfew shift, as the police department made staffing changes prior to the emergency ordinances.

Council unanimously approved both emergency ordinances, which apply within city limits.

Other council news: Sumter receives more community development funding

In other news, council unanimously approved the final readings of two annexation ordinances.

The first was an annexation for applicant Doris Ellen Eber, who is requesting 100% petition annexation of about .44 acres on the south side of the Pocalla Springs development near Masters Drive.

The applicant is seeking annexation to complete the sale of property to Dunlap Properties, which intends to formally combine the property with Pocalla Springs and build residential lots.

The second annexation was for applicant Bradford Meadows Development, which requested 100% petition annexation for 34.64 acres off Camden Highway/U.S. 521.

The applicant is requesting annexation to receive city services required to develop a proposed 54-lot single family residential subdivision on the property.

The final reading of a community development ordinance amending the 2020 CDBG Entitlement Budget, an annual fund Sumter receives from the federal government to improve neighborhoods, was unanimously approved.

The City of Sumter received an additional amount of funding. This year's projected amount was expected to be $306,499, but the city received $312,095. The additional funding is planned to be distributed toward Sumter Family YMCA Youth Services and Sumter United Ministries, and the remainder was split between administration, demolition, housing repair and youth employment projects.

A mutual aid agreement between the Sumter Police Department and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office was also brought before council to authorize two law enforcement agencies in the state to assist one another in providing law enforcement services. Council unanimously approved the resolution.

Council also unanimously approved a resolution to authorize a contract with Watts & Associates Construction at a price of $204,282 for the East Liberty Street Waterline Replacement Project from Harvin Street to Lafayette Drive.