What your government is doing: Sumter City Council

Virus education, mask distribution proposed for local CARES Act funding in Sumter


All our coronavirus coverage is free to the public. It’s the right thing to do as a public service to our community. If you find this article helpful or informative and want to support our continued coverage, please subscribe or support us with a tax-deductible donation.

To find all our coronavirus coverage, including helpful local resources and website links, click here.


Sumter City Council returned to conducting a virtual meeting on Tuesday and extended two emergency ordinances, again, as the pandemic is still making an impact.

At the last meeting, council met in the Sumter Opera House auditorium to hold public hearings for several rezoning requests. The council did not hold a public meeting this week.

The first extension allows council to meet electronically through Oct. 4, and the second postpones meetings of city boards and commissions through Oct. 3.

City Manager Deron McCormick said council plans to open the second meeting of the month to the public by holding it in the Sumter Opera House auditorium to address public hearings and open public comment.

McCormick said the planning commission has been the only one to conduct meetings since the beginning of the pandemic, but he could foresee smaller boards meeting soon.

Council unanimously approved both extensions.

City considers use for CARES Act

Council unanimously approved the first reading to amend the Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Budget for the year 2020-21 to include funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act was signed by the president in late March to provide measures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate economic impact, and the City of Sumter received $183,595.

At its last meeting, council held a public hearing to allow residents to give their input on the grant, but Mayor Joe McElveen said the funding is meant to provide help to low- to moderate-income areas and individuals who have been affected by COVID-19, and the CARES Act funding will be spent in those areas.

McCormick said 20% will go to administration to create a COVID-19 education program, including the promotion of health guidelines and ways to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The rest will be put into health services to distribute 6,000 quarts of hand sanitizer and 15,000 masks to households throughout low- and moderate-income areas within the City of Sumter.

City ordinances must undergo two readings for approval.