Sumter County Council approved second reading of a ordinance to amend the county's 2017-18 budget to add the purchase of automatic spillway gates for the reconstruction of the dam at Second Mill Pond.
The dam was damaged during the 1,000-year …
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The dam was damaged during the 1,000-year flood in 2015, and the price for the spillway gates was increased from $265,000 to $281,000.
The amendment also includes transferring $500,000 from the county's hospitality fund to go toward the construction of a veterans memorial park on Broad Street Extension adjoining Shaw Air Force Base.
The park will be a joint project between the county, city - which will each contribute $500,000 - and the base.
Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon said the state may also provide about $200,000 for the construction of the park, which will include the placement of a Tuskegee Airmen P-51 plane.
Sumter City Council will soon vote on contributing matching funds for the project, Mixon said.
Coroner reviews first year
Council received an update from county Coroner Robbie Baker after his first year in office since the November 2016 election.
In 2017, the office recorded 719 deaths during Baker's time in office, which includes 10 homicides, 22 motor-vehicle deaths, seven fire deaths, six accidental fall deaths and six confirmed drug overdoses.
Baker also applied for a grant from the Department of Justice for $55,000 to $65,000 to purchase equipment for the county office. This grant - anticipated to be received in September if everything goes to plan - will save taxpayers' money, he said.
And, the coroner's office now has its own morgue, he said, with six refrigerated coolers located on county property.
Baker said he plans to give an update to county council, and the public, every January because he wants the office to be as transparent as legally possible.
In other news, council approved first reading of an ordinance to amend the county's zoning and development standards ordinance to better define the uses, sizes and permitted locations of real estate, contractor, subdivision project and commercial project signs.
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