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    County Government given clean, unmodified opinion for annual audit

    Sumter County Government was given a clean, unmodified opinion Tuesday evening on its annual financial audit during the regular meeting of Sumter County Council.
    Grant Davis of external auditing firm Mauldin & Jenkins spoke briefly before Council at the outset of the meeting about the audit.
    You can see all the financial documents here: https://www.sumtercountysc.gov/departments/e_-_i/fiscal_affairs/annual_financial_documents.php

    Davis reported on last year’s budget, telling Council members the key outcome of the external audit was a clean, unmodified opinion on Fiscal Year 2022’s finances.
    Council Chairman James T. McCain thanked County Administrator Gary Mixon and staff for their work.
    Sumter City-County Planning Director Helen Roodman spoke to Council about a request to rezone a .22 acre portion of 1700 Peach Orchard Road from Agriculture Conservation (AC) to General Commercial (GC).
    No one spoke during the Public Hearing. Second reading was approved.
    McCain then noted the need for Council to approve the 2023-2024 Standing Committee appointments. The committees will remain as they were after Council gave approval.
    Sumter County Attorney Johnathan Bryan then spoke about an ordinance authorizing the sale of property at 205 and 215 North Magnolia Street to C&C Property Holdings LLC.
    Third reading was approved.
    McCain noted for the public a Special Meeting was held prior to the regular meeting during which the audit was discussed.
    Councilman Carlton Washington spoke about litter and improving road conditions. Councilman Eugene Baten also spoke about roads.
    Mixon reported a Public Works Committee meeting is on tap and will include a thorough report from Sumter County Litter Officer Mike McCoy and Public Works Director Karen Hyatt to speak of the litter programs in place.
    Litter enforcement has been taking place, he said, and a resident was recently arrested and taken to jail following an investigation by McCoy and Sumter County Sheriff’s Office deputies. Additionally, fines and mandated community service are being instituted for those cited for littering. The court system is working with local government to send a message to the community that littering is unacceptable, Mixon said. These issues will be discussed in depth at the next Council meeting, he said.
    During the Public Comments, six residents advocated for improving road conditions and cleaning up litter.
    The meeting adjourned at 6:48 p.m.

     

    Emerging Leaders attend County Council meeting

    A group of Emerging Leaders attended Tuesday night’s County Council meeting to see firsthand their local government in action.
    Erika Williams of Sumter Economic Development and TheLINK told members of Council that seven members of the program’s fifth class were in attendance.
    Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon and City Manager Deron McCormick recently spoke to the students about local government and how it functions, she told Council members.
    “So we just came this evening to observe the process,” she said.
    Over the course of nine monthly sessions, the students taking part in the Ross McKenzie Emerging Leaders Program learn lessons in leadership and earn three credit hours at the University of South Carolina Sumter at the completion of the program.
    Jan 25 2023 Emerging Leaders at Sumter County Council 1

    Citizen participation plan for CDBG-funded projects

     

    1. Sumter County will make this written Citizen Participation (CP) Plan available for public review. This will be accomplished by a public hearing or by a publicly advertised Notice of Availability for Review at a location(s) convenient to residents of Sumter County.  Such Notice will be given to the public at least seven days prior to any public hearing regarding economic development, community development, and housing needs assessments required for participation in the HUD CDBG program.
    2. All notices of public hearings will be published in “The Item” newspaper for general local circulation, at least seven days prior to the date of a public hearing. Such notice(s) will be prominently advertised in the non-legal, non-classified section of said newspaper.  Public notices will include a statement regarding Sumter County’s policy on non-discrimination.
    3. Should a public health challenge, pandemic and/or national emergency be declared, and such circumstances require limiting public gatherings, such as those used to obtain citizen participation, virtual public hearings will be used as the platform for public hearings instead of in-person hearing. The published and/or posted Notices will include a statement regarding the meeting being a virtual meeting to include the toll-free telephone number and participant passcode.
    4. Sumter County will, to the extent determined necessary by its governing body, make direct efforts in soliciting the participation of the residents, particularly those low to moderate income residents, and other interested parties in the area(s) in which CDBG funds, if made available, are anticipated to be expended. Possible methods might include requesting appropriate community leaders and public and private non-profit community service agencies to inform their constituents about the proposed use of CDBG funds; distributing of notices in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, particularly potential project target areas; posting of notices at U.S. Post Offices and neighborhood businesses, and radio or television public service announcements.
    5. All public meetings concerning the CDBG program will be held at times and locations convenient to the citizens of Sumter County, particularly to those who are potential or actual beneficiaries, and no meetings will be held before 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, or 2:00 p.m. on Sundays, or scheduled to begin after 8:30 p.m. The location of such meetings will be accessible to the handicapped or the announcement of such meetings will indicate that assistance will be provided to accommodate the special needs of handicapped persons.
    6. Prior to the development of any application for HUD CDBG funding, the County will assess the community's economic development and housing needs, particularly those of low- and moderate-income residents. The citizens of Sumter County are encouraged to participate in the assessment process and the results of this Needs Assessment will be documented and presented to the citizens of Sumter County at one or more advertised public hearings.  Citizens' comments will be considered in the preparation of requests for HUD CDBG funding assistance.  An Application Public Hearing must be held at least seven (7) days following the Needs Assessment Public Hearing.  An application for CDBG funds should include only those activities which address needs identified in the Needs Assessment.
    7. At the public hearing(s) where the Needs Assessment results are presented and specific activities are proposed in relation to identified needs contained in the Needs Assessment, the County will also present information concerning the current CDBG Program, including the amount of CDBG funds available, the range of activities that may be undertaken with such funds, an amount of funds that may benefit low to moderate income persons, any proposed activities that are likely to result in displacement of persons, and the local government's anti-displacement and relocation plans.
    8. Technical assistance will be provided to the authorized representatives of low- and moderate-income persons that request such assistance in developing proposals for CDBG funding. This assistance shall be limited to the provision of information concerning the current State CDBG program and shall be provided on the condition that the activities to be addressed in the proposal are consistent with identified economic and community development, and housing needs, State CDBG funding program guidelines, that CDBG funds are available for funding proposed activities, and that the governing body of Sumter County gives its approval for providing technical assistance.  Sumter County will consider any proposals developed by authorized representatives of low to moderate income persons, following all the requirements for public participation; however, the final determination to submit the proposal to the State for CDBG funding consideration is the prerogative of Sumter County, since the submission of any CDBG application requires approval by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which the proposed project activity will be located.
    9. After the development of an application for CDBG funding and prior to submission of the application to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, a public hearing will be held to review the proposal and to solicit public comment upon the proposed activities. Public comments, if provided, will be submitted with the application.
    10. If it is determined that 10% or more of the actual or potential beneficiaries of a CDBG project are determined to be non-English speaking, provisions will be made at the appropriate public hearing(s) for translation of comments and documents into the native language of the majority of the non-English speaking residents present. It has been determined that, at present, less than 10% of the residents of Sumter County are non-English speaking and that there are no significant concentrations of non-English speaking residents within the community, based upon the most recent census data.
    11. Sumter County will provide for a timely, written answer to written complaints and grievances concerning the CDBG program generally within 15 working days after receipt of the written complaint. Grievances are to be delivered to the Sumter County Administrator, at 13 E. Canal Street, Sumter, SC 29150, telephone number: (803) 436-2102, fax number:  (803) 436-2108, who will then attempt to resolve the reasons for the complaint.  If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party, an appeal to Sumter County is the next step available to the party.  Complaints or grievances including State law or policy, State CDBG program guidelines, or federal regulations governing the CDBG program shall be directed to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Grant Programs, for review and appropriate resolution action.  Sumter County will then correct the grievance according to the direction of the South Carolina Department of Commerce.  An appeal of any written grievance action to the Division of Community Grant Programs is an option; however, the Division of Community Grant Programs will deny those appeals which involve the consistent application of the Community's local program policies relating to CDBG funds.  Complaints involving local law or program policies will be resolved on the local level.  After the above appeal process has been exhausted, the complainant may seek relief in the appropriate court of law.
    12. Citizens will be provided with reasonable access to records concerning any project undertaken with CDBG funds. These records are available at the Sumter County Administrator's office between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, upon the submission of a written request stating the reason for requesting access to such records.  Confidential information normally protected under the State and Federal Freedom of Information Laws may not be made available for public review; for example, information not normally available to the public concerning personal or business financial statements, earnings, or sources of income.
    13. Upon the completion of any project funded with CDBG funds, Sumter County will conduct one or more advertised public hearings to review program performance and accomplishments. At least one public hearing must be held when all activities are completed and prior to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Grant Programs, closing out of the grant.  Project records will be maintained for at least three (3) years following final close-out.

    Notice of Public Hearing on Feb. 23, 2023

    CITIZENS PARTICIPATION PLAN/NEEDS ASSESSMENT

    Communities anticipating participation in the State of South Carolina’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, Economic Development Program, and the Federal HUD HOME Program must provide for participation of their citizens in the planning and implementation of CDBG, Economic Development, and HUD HOME-funded projects, in accordance with Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended through 1987. Therefore, a Citizens Participation Plan has been developed for Sumter County for the purpose of providing the citizens of this locality with a written, detailed plan for their participation in the planning and implementation of community and economic development projects which may involve CDBG and HOME funds.
    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, on behalf of Sumter County, will hold a Public Hearing in the Louise Brown Room, Recreation and Parks, 230 Purdy St., Sumter, SC 29150.
    The purpose of the Public Hearing is to review and solicit public comment on the afore-mentioned Citizens Participation Plan, and to solicit public input on community needs and priorities for housing, public facilities, economic development, water/sewer facilities, public safety components and job creation with a Needs Assessment Survey.
    The Citizen Participation Plan is available for review at the Sumter County Administration Building, 13 East Canal Street, Sumter, S.C., and the Santee-Lynches RCOG Office, 2525 Corporate Way, Suite 200, Sumter, SC between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Persons with questions or comments concerning the Public Hearing or the Citizens Participation Plan may contact Tammy Smith, Grants Coordinator, Santee-Lynches RCOG, (803) 774-1377.
    Sumter County does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or disability in the admission of, access to, or treatment regarding employment in its federally assisted programs or activities. Marcelina James, Sumter County, has been designated to coordinate compliance with the non-discrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's HUD regulations.

    SwanCon 2023 looking for vendors

    Jan 12 2023 Swan Con save the date

    Register here to be a vendor: https://www.patriothallsc.org/swancon-2023.html

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    Solicitor Finney, Assistant Solicitors sworn into office

    Jan 12 2023 Solicitor swearing in 2_3438
    Third Circuit Solicitor Ernest A. “Chip” Finney III was sworn into office for his fourth four-year term on Jan. 11, 2023, by S.C. Supreme Court Justice George C. “Buck” James Jr. at the Sumter County Judicial Center.
    Finney’s Assistant Solicitors were also sworn into office by Justice James. The Third Circuit covers Sumter, Lee, Clarendon, and Williamsburg counties.
    Jan 12 2023 Solicitor swearing in 6_3450

    Three Council members sworn into office, McCain and Byrd again elected to lead

    Jan 11 2023 Sumter County Council swearing in ceremony 1
    Three members of Sumter County Council were sworn into office Tuesday evening for another four-year term.
    Councilman Artie Baker, District 2; Councilman Charles Edens, District 4; and Councilman James T. McCain Jr., District 6, were sworn into office by S.C. Supreme Court Justice George C. “Buck” James Jr. before the first Council meeting of the year on Jan. 10, 2023.
    At the outset of the meeting, McCain and Councilman Jimmy Byrd, District 3, were both elected by their peers to serve as leaders of Sumter County Council for another two-year term.
    For Chairman McCain and Vice Chairman Byrd, this will be their fourth time serving in those roles.

    Jan 11 2023 Sumter County Council McCain and Byrd 1

    Spring 2023 Softball and Baseball Registration begins on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023

    Registration for Spring 2023 Softball and Baseball begins on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023.
    You can register online here: https://web1.myvscloud.com/wbwsc/scsumterctywt.wsc/splash.html

    You can also register in person on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, at the Recreation & Parks Department, 155 Haynsworth Street.
    All the forms you need can be found on the Sumter County website. On the Recreation & Parks Department page, you will see Recreation Forms on the left side. Just click on that.
    If you’re interested in sponsoring softball or baseball, or coaching either sport, you can also find the forms you will need on our website.
    If you have questions, you can call 803-436-2248 
    Jan 27 2023 Softball dates



    Jan 27 2023 Baseball dates