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Sumter residents make requests made for community development funding

Also during meeting, new litter officer position for city, county detailed

BY SHELBIE GOULDING
shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 11/21/19

Sumter residents requested portions of 2020-21 annual federal funding to the city be considered for community development opportunities during Tuesday's Sumter City Council meeting.

The Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Budget is an …

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Sumter residents make requests made for community development funding

Also during meeting, new litter officer position for city, county detailed

Posted

Sumter residents requested portions of 2020-21 annual federal funding to the city be considered for community development opportunities during Tuesday's Sumter City Council meeting.

The Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Budget is an annual fund Sumter receives from the federal government and is used to improve neighborhoods and make life livable for the city's residents.

Last year, Sumter received about $306,000, and this year's projected amount is $306,499.

Mayor Joe McElveen said this money is highly regulated, with 20% spent through administration and 15% on public service. He said city council is taking the public's input into consideration for its annual action plan for the citywide budget.

There have been four community meetings where city residents have given input for how to use the CDBG funding.

Three people spoke during the public hearing for the proposal to request a portion of the allotment.

Mark Champagne, executive director for Sumter United Ministries, requested $24,500. He said this is the ninth year Sumter United Ministries has requested funds from the CDBG, and it helps the nonprofit repair homes in the community. Sumter United Ministries does not receive any automatic federal funding and relies on donations from the community and allotments such as this to operate.

Derek Burress, community outreach coordinator for the Sumter Family YMCA, requested $2,500 for children's camp and after-school programs. The money would be used for scholarship assistance.

A third speaker requested $10,000 for her building's exterior renovations on the outskirts of the Downtown Historic District. She said she plans to rent space in the building to other business owners and wants to bring more businesses to South Sumter, but renovations need to be done to draw interest to the building.

Veterans Administration clinic proposed

A request was presented to rezone a residential multi-family property at 235 N. Bultman Drive to a professional office property to turn it into a Veterans Administration Community Outpatient Clinic.

Council unanimously approved the first reading of two needed to pass the rezoning request.

Planning commission disapproves of general commercial at Wall Street property

Council heard a request to rezone property at 320 Wall St. from professional office and residential to general commercial, but the planning commission recommended denial of the request unless it is changed to neighborhood commercial.

Applicant Miles Hodge said he wants to revise the rezoning request to neighborhood commercial.

Two residents addressed council during the request's public hearing and said they do not want commercial property in the area. Council did not take any action.

Street closure passes 1st reading of 2

Council also unanimously approved the first reading of two to permanently close Brown Street between Stark Street and West College Street to public use. The closed portion of Brown Street would be owned by Morris College.

New litter officer position can give tickets

Councilman Steven Corley said there is a litter officer position for the city and county now available to help reduce litter throughout Sumter. The job will be a class three officer, meaning he or she can give out tickets for littering. Council members are looking to publish the open position soon.