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Used Municipal Justice Center furniture headed to Pageland PD

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By Denyse Clark

 Denyse Clark

dclark@thelancasternews.com

Lancaster City Council heard numerous requests at its Tuesday, May 27, meeting,  ranging from giving furniture to a neighboring law enforcement agency to a chance for local residents to become homeowners.   

Police Chief Harlean Howard approached council with a request to transfer used furniture from the Municipal Justice Center on Arch Street to the Pageland Police Department.

“The (replacement furniture) will be like the Taj Mahal to them,” she said.

Council unanimously passed the request.

Also at this meeting, Councilman John Howard gave a brief update on the state of the city’s finances saying everything was “good this year.”

“Everything’s falling pretty much in line,” Howard said. “The best things are the business licenses.”

Howard said the city makes a bounty of money through business license transactions which annually average $1.7 million. 

‘Careless Driving’ rescinded                     

Council also passed second reading to rescind the “Careless Driving” ordinance by a 6-1 vote with Howard opposed.

 The careless driving violation does not apply points against drivers and imposes a lesser penalty than other charges. In the city of Lancaster, the careless driving violation carries a $190 fine that drivers may opt to pay. In 2013, city police officers wrote 161 tickets for careless driving.

During its May 13 meeting, council discussed the ordinance in depth and afterwards passed first reading to rescind the charge from its code of ordinances. That vote was 4-2, with Howard and Councilwoman Jackie Harris opposed at that time.

The council had initially discussed the local ordinance because recently, Danny Crowe, chair of the S.C. Bar Dispute Resolution Section Council and former general counsel for the Municipal Association of S.C. said careless driving ordinances are illegal.

Crowe wrote a letter on behalf of the municipal association which stated that “local moving violation ordinances that impose fines higher and lower than those allowed by state law would likely be in conflict with state law and void.”

Also, a 2013 attorney general’s opinion notes “local ordinances regulating traffic are void if they conflict with provisions in the state Uniform Traffic Act.”

Council approves resolution

Teresa Meeks, support services director for the city of Lancaster, urged council to approve a resolution to participate in the Catawba Regional Partnership, telling them this was their opportunity “to express interest to join.”

Just before they voted unanimously to approve the resolution, Harris shared a reason why council should seriously consider the request.

“This is an opportunity for citizens to become homeowners,” she said.

 

Contact reporter Denyse Clark at (803) 283-1152