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County Council, August 18

Discussion of lane closure on Legare Bridge deferred
More information sought on Community Investment Program allocations
Warwick Jones

The closure of a traffic lane over the Legare Bridge to make way for a bike and pedestrian lane is still unresolved. City Council voted in favor of the closure about a month ago. The County has yet to approve the move and the issue was up for discussion at today’s Finance Committee meeting.

Although no vote was planned at today’s meeting, the presentation by staff and subsequent discussion was deferred. Council member Pryor said that he had spoken to Mayor Tecklenberg and there were legal issues that Council should be aware of. He also noted that Chairman Summey was absent today and any presentation should await his presence. Council voted unanimously to defer discussion until the next Finance Committee meeting.

The Finance Committee also agreed to defer discussion of allocations under the Community Investment Program. Some months ago, Council agreed to distribute $300,000 a year from the General Fund under this program. Staff was asked to design a system similar to that for allocation of the Accommodation Tax. This they did, and today it presented its recommendation for Fiscal year 2017 allocations. Twenty- five organizations were on the list with YWCA of Greater Charleston receiving the top allocation of $15.709.

Council member Pryor spoke first to the issue and asked for a deferral noting that some of the proposed recipients were religious organizations and should not be included. He wanted Legal to review the list. He also said that some of the proposed recipients received funds from the Accommodation Tax. This was not right and no recipient should be on both lists. Council member Schweers and others went further. Staff may have been diligent in its allocations, but Council had little idea as to the criteria it used in making determinations. Staff is to make a presentation at a future Finance Committee meeting as to the process and scoring.

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