RIDGEWAY — Several positive economic events were celebrated at last week’s Ridgeway Town Council meeting including Arts on the Ridge turning a profit for the first time despite a low turnout due to bad weather.
Councilman Russ Brown said it was nice to walk around and see people enjoying themselves and he thanked the committee for hosting such “a classy event.”
Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring said she is thankful people give back to the community, such as Phyllis Gutierrez and Darlene Embleton who donated untold hours to Arts on the Ridge.
“The child art show was a big part of the success and it showcased positives about the Fairfield County School system,” said Councilwoman Belva Bush.
Herring thanked all council members for showing up at the event in support of the community.
Also at the meeting, following an executive session, council granted the opportunity for Besha Sanders to do a lease in Ridgeway for the old town hall restaurant. Sanders has owned two restaurants prior to moving to this area. She currently operates a catering business in Blythewood called Eating Event Planning.
She has restaurant experience in New Orleans, La., Jacksonville, Fla. and in Arizona and plans to bring country cooking with a Cajun flair to Ridgeway.
Hours of operation will be Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the restaurant will serve lunch and dinner. It will be closed Sundays and Mondays. Among its offerings will be Southern cooking, Cajun food, fish and seafood.
In other business:
n Denise Jones and Jennie Price with the Cottonyard Market were recognized as Entrepreneurs of the Year.
n Second and final reading passed unanimously on a zoning ordinance that changed the definition of Section 201.128 Residential Detached Dwellings.
n Second and final reading passed unanimously on a zoning ordinance amendment changing the usage classification of manufactured homes. Herring also noted that after talking with County Administrator Phil Hinely that if the town passes the same ordinances as the county with regard to zoning, that Ridgeway and the county could team up with code enforcement.
n First reading passed 5-0 on the 2013-14 budget. Herring noted an increase being passed on to water customers from the Town of Winnsboro due to increased expenses for maintenance, repairing lines and end points and painting water tanks.
Herring said it appears the upcoming budget shows the town of Ridgeway has increased revenue but also that it has increased expenditures. A public hearing on the budget will be at 6:15 p.m. prior to the June Ridgeway Town Council meeting.
n First reading passed unanimously on an ordinance to amend sections of the water and sewer ordinance of Ridgeway to modify the cost of service to all classes of customers.
n Herring recommended that Ridgeway institute a community service week similar to what Columbia does right now. Residents would help clean up the town and volunteer to help with existing community programs.
n Herring recommended they use a weekly or monthly update of events in Ridgeway using e-blast email technology to reach people either on a Friday or on a Monday. A comprehensive list of emails would be provided by the public relations committee, by business owners and by residents. Councilman Brown suggested the town website be used for e-blast update registration, an idea that was taken under consideration.
n Council members were supportive of a community watch in Ridgeway as a way to help law enforcement in the area. Mayor pro tem Donald Prioleau offered, “if we do (community watch program) it would be best to start in the fall because that is hard to do in the summer months.” Council agreed.
n Council will explore the feasibility of allowing Ridgeway residents to pay tax bills online. Of concern is the small volume of online transactions in Ridgeway. Council noted that Kershaw County offered online services but this year began charging $2.50 per transaction. Council said that residents could use First Citizens Bank to draft straight from their bank account and automatically pay bills through online banking there as another option.
n Herring gave council highlights from the county’s recent intergovernmental meeting, including Rep. MaryGail Douglas letting county government know that at the state government level the county has an issue with being perceived as lacking collaboration among its governing bodies.
n Prioleau said they had not received a schedule for when equipment will be passing through Ridgeway on its way to the nuclear plant construction site. That equipment would travel about two miles per hour and cause traffic delays.
n Herring said the town might apply for Community Development Block Grants depending upon the match required of the town. She has hopes the Assisted Rides Volunteer Transportation program could apply grant funding to residents in rural Ridgeway to transport them to the doctor, grocery store, etc. just as those services are offered in Columbia now.
n An ammonia feed changeover is in progress. Extra notification was sent to nursing home residents and to dialysis patients who would need extra filters on their water.
n A Walk on Faith for Pastor Marcello Wheeler will be May 18. The walk will be 1.5 miles in downtown Ridgeway, ending at Bethlehem Church. It will raise funds for Miller who needs a liver transplant.
n Councilman Brown brought up the need for fencing to protect Ridgeway Town Hall’s driveway and the HVAC units. He said that by using thin cable wire and wood slats that security could be had at a minimal cost of about $400. The motion passed 5-0.
Contact Kevin Boozer at 635-4016 ext. 14 or email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @kevinboozer.