Landrum city council discusses audits, PARD grant and depot rental rates at January meeting

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, January 14, 2016

By Michael O’Hearn


Landrum city council members met on Jan. 12 to discuss items including a new audit process, a Parks and Recreation Development (PARD) grant and changes to rental rates for the Landrum Depot.


The board’s work session began with the review of the city’s financial statement and revenue intake comparison.


City Clerk Shelly Spivey lead the discussion with the board members, noting additional funds for the months of January and February will come from taxpayers.


Spivey also mentioned the Landrum Business Association reported a good holiday season and told board members if they looked at the statements between November and December, they will be “pleasantly surprised” because “restaurants are doing consistently better and are growing.”


Audit packages were distributed by Spivey to the board members during the work session. Spivey explained she had asked close to 10 firms to perform an audit for the city, but only four firms created packages for their bids.


These four firms and their packages were received by the board members during this time.


Spivey asked the board members to review these packages for the February board meeting.


The Operation Hope Parking Lot contract was also discussed. The contract was classified as old business and no action was taken on the item during the January meeting.


Council members then moved to council chambers.


A PARD grant was discussed to potentially add public restrooms to the parking lot across from Landrum City Hall during Tuesday’s meeting. According to Mayor Robert Briggs, the grant would be for $60,000 and Landrum’s portion would be $11,000 should the development project begin.


Council members Jon Matheis, John Carruth and Joyce Whiteside were sworn in for an additional four-year term.


Mayor Briggs and Police Chief Tim Edgens swore in Michael Stoneman as Landrum’s new police officer. Stoneman comes to Landrum from Spartanburg.


The council also made the motion to approve new rental rates for the Landrum Depot. Beginning Jan. 1, the Depot had to change the rental rates to break even. Currently, the Depot is $500 in the deficit.


To alleviate this issue, the council made the motion to increase the half-day and full-day rental rates. Patrons can now expect to pay $60 for a half day and $120 for a full day. This is compared to $50 and $100 in the past.


Mayor Briggs noted most of the patrons to the Depot are nonresidents, and stated that although he doesn’t want to make money from the Depot, it is necessary in order to avoid losses. He added it is still the cheapest facility to rent around compared to places like Harmon Field in Tryon.


The Landrum police and fire chiefs were on deck to discuss their reports for the month of December. Police Chief Tim Edgens reported 28 incidents, stating the holidays typically drive incidents down for the month.


Fire Chief Warren Ashmore, reported that he and his team received 10 calls during the last month of 2015.


President Shawn Evans of the Landrum Area Business Association expressed his sentiments regarding the holiday season, stating people were happy although the rainy season was sketchy.


He also noted he no longer notices any ‘for sale’ signs in any of the businesses downtown, confirming the increase in success for downtown business owners.


Evans also mentioned the cruise-in car show the business association began planning at their January meeting, saying he hopes it will be a replacement for the horse parade if it is successful.


Landrum Library’s treasurer, Anita Briggs, was also present to share the new things being introduced this year at the library, including yoga and “crafternoons” for children on Tuesday afternoons.


Council board member Jon Matheis noted how successful Briggs will be with the yoga sessions on Monday nights, stating folks who want to get in must get to the library early, as it could only hold a limited capacity.


Additionally, the library has now made it free to attend those sessions, as opposed to a $2 entry fee in the past.


With no further business, the council board members adjourned at 6:37 p.m.