2018-2019 Annual Report February 27, 2020 Mayor William T. Young Mayor Pro Tem Paul Siegel Councilmember Judy Bridge Councilmember James Broderick Councilmember Carl Brown Councilmember Ladson Fishburne Councilmember Greg Pryor Dear Mr. Mayor and Members of City Council: As required by Section 2.101(3) of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Walterboro, I am submitting the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Annual Report. This report provides a detailed account of each departmentâ€™s activities for the previous fiscal year. In Fiscal Year 2018-2019, construction began on Phase 1B of the I-95 Business Loop Project, construction on the Walterboro Wildlife Center and Amphitheater continued and the appearance of the City was enhanced through active code enforcement. In the next year, the City will complete construction on the Mable T. Willis Boulevard Well Project, begin construction on Phase 2 of the I-95 Business Loop Project and continue to seek funding to expand and improve the Cityâ€™s water and sewer systems. As you review this report, if you have any questions or concerns, please call or stop by City Hall. We are committed to providing the highest level of services for the City of Walterboro.
Finance Fire Parks Planning & Development Police Public Works Tourism Utilities
FINANCE The mission of the Finance Department is to provide high quality financial services to all of its customers, both external and internal and to recruit and maintain an able and highly motivated work force and to assist the City government to operate in a financially responsible and fiscally sound manner.
GFOA CERTIFICATE The City received the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (7th year). The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. The goal of the program is not to assess the financial health of participating governments, but rather to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves. Reports submitted to the CAFR program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and the GFOA Special Review Committee (SRC), which comprises individuals with expertise in public sector financial reporting and includes financial statement preparers, independent auditors, academics, and other finance professionals.
SCDOT GRANT The City received multiple grant awards from the S.C. Department of Transportation. The first was a transportation enhancement grant that assisted with the I-95 Loop project in the amount of $400,000. The second was a grant to relocate water facilities on Jefferies Hwy in the amount of $237,712.
USDA GRANT The City was successful in receiving financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the amount of $66,300. These grants enabled the purchase of police vehicles and the replacement of the roof on City Hall.
SCDOC FUNDS The City was successful in receiving financial assistance from the S.C. Department of Commerce with a community facility grant to complete the N. Lemacks Revitalization project. The grant award was $500,000.
RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE The Water Department received a grant award in the amount of $1,000,000 from the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority to assist in constructing a well on Mable T. Willis Blvd. The new groundwater supply well will increase capacity by 8.5%.
FIRE The Walterboro Fire Department is committed to providing the City of Walterboro with the highest level of life and property protection. We will achieve this by providing excellent and compassionate service in an atmosphere that encourages innovation, professional development and diversity. We provide quality service, professional fire protection and life safety to meet the needs of our community.
PAUL SEIGLER Fire Chief
EXTRICATION TOOL The Walterboro Fire Department purchased a Holmatro Combi Tool during the year. This tool is used for the extrication of citizens that are trapped from vehicle accidents. The tool is designed to cut and spread and is battery powered for fast deployment.
150 YEAR CELEBRATION This year marked the 150 year anniversary of the establishment of a fire department in the City of Walterboro. The celebration was a community event geared toward family fun. Kids could test their skills at the Kidâ€™s Firefighter Challenge, have fun on the jump castles and slides, enter a Fire Safety House, and eat free hotdogs and ice cream. There was a chili cookoff with prizes given after judging. Families watched as the fire department performed various jobs used in the fire service. Smoke detectors were handed out and a DJ even played tunes to listen or dance to.
PARKS The Parks Department strives to maintain our parks and various greenspaces to a high-level. Walterboro is blessed with many beautiful natural resources, and it is our duty to ensure they are safe, clean, and enjoyable for all.
IRELAND CREEK MAINTENANCE With the use of the Ventrac Tractor, cleanup of Ireland Creek has become a regular maintenance practice. Prior to obtaining the Ventrac, the Parks Department would arm themselves with different weedeaters and blade trimmers and venture down to the water’s edge and clear the under brush and sapling growth from the year prior. This practice was taxing on staff (required 110 labor hours) and required Mother Nature’s cooperation. With the Ventrac we now have a single employee “tough cut” Ireland Creek requiring roughly 10 total labor hours. We cut Ireland Creek roughly every two to three weeks during the growing seasons. Ireland Creek is now a maintained and highly visible natural greenspace.
SODDING OF CITY HALL During the heat of July, the Parks Department re-sodded the front areas of City Hall along with the Water and Citizen Service Center. The Parks Department decided on using â€œLeisure Time Zoysiaâ€? due to the turfs high rating in shade tolerance, slow growth, and the dense canopy. The site preparation required the use of glyphosate to kill the existing grass and plant material followed by tilling and raking up the plant tissue. The soil profile had a sand content and was in neeed of soil amendments. Topsoil with a higher concentration of loam/clay was introduced along with chicken manure to slow down the leaching of water and nutrients. Once the site prep was complete, the sod was installed. Within the first couple of weeks, the sod was established and provided City Hall with a very attractive and manicured turf.
WASHINGTON STREET FOUNTAIN The Parks Department welcomed the responsibility of the Washington Street Fountain. Weekly inspections and proper filter maintenance are essential to ensuring the fountain welcomes both residents and visitors to Downtown Walterboro.
WILDLIFE SANCTUARY MAINTENANCE Staff decided to replace the failing roof on the covered bridge that leads visitors from Ivanhoe Road to the asphalt path that connects Washington Street and Detreville St. The old shingle style roof was removed, support beams replaced, and a new tin roof was installed. The tin roof has held up very well and has been well received by visitors of the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary. Multiple sections of boardwalk have been replaced; some due to tree damage and others due to the natural rotting of wood. Staff cleans the boardwalk in the Sanctuary 2-3 times a week and keeps a watchful eye to identify unsafe hazards that may exist. Under most circumstances, staff can replace dangerous sections within a 1 or 2 days ensuring the boardwalks are not closed for any significant time. 11
2018-2019 SPECIAL EVENTS
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT Hank Amundson, Assistant City Manager, oversees the Planning and Development Department, Code Enforcement, Economic Development, as well as special projects for the City.
REVIEW OF 2018-2019 In the fiscal year spanning 2018-2019, the Planning & Development Department saw another year of bustling activity. From new shops downtown to another major project at Colleton Medical Center. Working together with USC Salkehatchie led to the opening of more dorms for the athletic students, making Walterboro more of a resident College Town. The Department also oversaw the completion and opening of some major commercial projects such as: Starbuck’s, and Papa John’s Pizza on Bells Highway, and the planning and ground-breaking of Parker’s Kitchen on North Jefferies Boulevard. The I-95 Loop project began this year and, when completed, will make great strides in further beautifying our Downtown area. It includes a new
fountain, more pronounced plazas, new landscaping, oyster shell sidewalks, and large black steel mastarm signaled intersections. All of this will make our downtown an even more special place for many years to come. We look forward to featuring the finished product in next year’s report. The Walterboro Wildlife Center began to truly take shape. The vision that had, for many years, only lived on paper and in the minds of City Councils and various staff is now becoming a reality. We cannot wait for it to be open and launch a new venue for education, entertainment, and help spur even more business development in Historic Downtown Walterboro.
CODE ENFORCEMENT For the past couple of years, the City has prioritized Code Enforcement as one of the most important areas on which to focus. This is done by consistently, yet compassionately, enforcing International Property Maintenance Code. During the past year our Code Enforcement program opened cases on more than 200 properties. The goals of the Code Enforcement program are: to improve the overall appearance of the City, cause owners to secure or repair unsafe structures in order to eliminate potential health risks, and to protect the property values of surrounding and all other properties in the City. This is done through multiple tactics and activities. From phone calls to certified mail, our Code Enforcement Officer, Lee Hanley, works with property owners and residents to
correct issues that range from a simple cleaning and cutting of an unkempt yard, all the way to demolishing unsafe or derelict buildings. Major actions this year include the demolition and removal of multiple derelict commercial buildings on Jefferies Boulevard, as well as abandoned homes in various neighborhoods. It is important to remember that demolition is not the goal of the Planning and Development Departmentâ€™s Code Enforcement program. Our goal is help property owners avoid demolition. In addition to demolition of nuisance properties, the great majority of properties engaged by Officer Hanley, end up being repaired, brought back up to code, making our business corridors and residential neighborhoods better places for all.
POLICE It is the mission of the Walterboro Police Department to provide professional police services to the citizens within the City of Walterboro, while fairly and impartially enforcing the laws of the State of South Carolina, in order to reduce crime and maintain a high quality of life for all citizens.
DEPARTMENTAL RESTRUCTURE This year our department added the Support Service Division and went through a series of promotions for rank restructuring. The Support Service Division is focused on our goal of community policing. Promotions to the department included: Ron Grant (promoted to Captain of Road Patrol, Investigations, and Support Services) Kevin Kinard (promoted to Lieutenant over Investigations), Amye Stivender (promoted to Lieutenant over Support Services), Gean Johnson (promoted to Sergeant over Investigations), Jamie Bloodworth (promoted to Road Patrol Sergeant), and Lindsay Ament (promoted to Corporal over Support Services).
K-9 DIVISION Due to age and health, K-9 Gipsie retired from the Walterboro Police Department and was turned over to his Handler Cpl. Ross Hantz. LCpl. Lee Riley and LCpl. Brandon DuBoise attended the American Canine Society Training in Virginia and were both certified as K-9 Handlers. The department purchased two K-9â€™s, K-9 Hydro (Belgian Malinois) and K-9 Papi (German Shephard), both dual certified in tracking and narcotic detection.
HALLOWEEN DRIVE-THRU The department hosted the first drive-thru Trick or Treat event. All officers who participated dressed as their favorite superheroes and handed out over two hundred flashlights. The event was held the Friday before Halloween. Children were given flashlights to use on Halloween; “Be Safe, Be Seen on Halloween”.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION BUILDING The old Water Department office was allotted to the Police Department and transformed to the Criminal Investigations Division. All Investigators for the department are housed in the building which has a formal conference room and secure interview room. The new building has been used in our mutual agency agreement with several local and state agencies. We have also hosted several meetings for agencies within the 14th circuit.
DESIGNATED TRAFFIC UNIT Sgt. Robert Cook was assigned to the newly implemented Walterboro Police Department Traffic Unit. Over the past few years, our department has seen an influx in collisions, specifically vehicles vs. pedestrians. The traffic unit’s main purpose is to help reduce or eliminate traffic collisions. He is also assigned to tourism related events including parades, festivals, and road closures.
PUBLIC WORKS The Public Works Department is responsible for an array of community services. The department is a combination of several services: Sanitation, Public Works, and Sewer Support. The duties of the department include solid waste collection, maintaining gravity sewer lines, yard debris removal, facilities maintenance, and fleet maintenance.
MICHAEL CROSBY Public Works Director
EQUIPMENT UPGRADES Sanitation recently received a new garbage truck for residential service. The truck is a little larger than the trucks purchased in the past. Extra capacity will benefit our citizens in the event of disasters by keeping the City in service longer without the need to dump as often. Also, adding a back axle helps with advanced stopping power to avoid collisions on the garbage routes.
DOING THE DIRTY WORK The Sewer Support crew is pictured here installing a sewer tap for a new home within the City. The department is tasked with relieving line blockages, making point repairs, and installing sewer taps for new homes and businesses. Someone is on call 24/7 to respond to sewer problems and assist our citizens as efficiently as possible.
TOURISM The Tourism Department oversees the Walterboro Tourism Commission amd the Walterboro Welcome Center. It is a central tourism resource dedicated to increasing the exposure of local tourist attractions in the Walterboro area as well as managing the brand of Walterboro as The Front Porch of the Lowcountry.
GROWTH OF FIRST THURSDAY Walterboroâ€™s Tourism Department is responsible for the planning of our monthly downtown street festival, First Thursday. First Thursday started in December of 2018 and has grown in size and scale in the months since. Each month the City of Walterboro closes East Washington Street to street traffic and provides music and activities for our residents. The merchants and other community partners keep their stores open late and bring items or activities onto the sidewalk. Some months have had a theme including; Games on Main, Shag lessons & beach music, Valentineâ€™s raffles, and even the hosting of the Walterboro Christmas Parade. In the first year of First Thursday, the event has garnered over 1100 Facebook followers, has created a large opportunity for our downtown merchants to gain business, and has given the residents of Walterboro a fun and free activity. A large part of the success of the event
is due to the advertising each month. The event is advertised in both local newspapers, through boosted ads on social media, organic sharing through social media, signage displayed throughout the city, as well as a commercial that is played on Channel 57 during the week prior to each event. The Press & Standard has even created a First Thursday section where businesses can choose to advertise their own sales or merchandise that will be sold during the event. The Tourism Department will continue First Thursday into the next year and plans to further involve our community partners and merchants further by creating a committee to source new ideas for future events.
UPDATE TO BILLBOARDS The Walterboro Tourism Commission oversees the advertising of the city and its attractions and hotels. The marketing strategy for the city includes a series of billboards along Interstate 95 and the major entrances to the city. This year, along with Adams Outdoor, the Tourism Commission updated the billboard strategy to give Walterboro an updated look on the interstate and draw attention to the city’s newest attraction, the Walterboro Wildlife Center. The billboards highlighted the Wildlife Sanctuary, the downtown and shopping corridor, the Wildlife Center, the city’s hotels, and included a branding board featuring a front porch with a red
rocking chair. The Tourism Commission was successful in obtaining a few additional billboards in locations that can be paid for using our Tourism Advertising Grant through SCPRT as well. So far this year, we have had many people stop into the Welcome Center citing our billboards as piquing their interest in Walterboro, and even residents have taken interest in the Wildlife Center citing the boards. I-95 continues to be a steady generator of tourism for the city and the Tourism Commission plans to continue this method of advertising.
CONTENT DEVELOPMENT The Walterboro Tourism Department hosted several groups over the past year including the South Carolina Welcome Center Managers, and group of travel writers that toured with the Lowcountry Tourism Commission, Lynn and Cele Seldon who wrote a piece on the city for their blog. These groups came from all over the state, and in the case of the travel writers, the country as well. They each provided an opportunity for Walterboro’s story to be shared, whether it be in a Welcome Center or via a travel blog. Each of these groups saw a variety of attractions including the SC Artisans Center, the
Bedon-Lucas House, the Colleton Museum & Farmers Market, the big red rocker in the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary, and even Colleton State Park. The Tourism Department coordinated guided tours as well as meals at different local restaurants. The Tourism Department wanted to leverage third parties as social proof of the exciting and visitworthy attractions we have here in Walterboro. By sharing our story in this way, we create opportunities for people to share their experience with potential tourists.
UTILITIES The Water and Sewer departments are responsible for all activities related to providing our citizens with clean, safe and reliable water and the treatment of sewer effluent. In addition to working with contractors to locate the water lines and force mains, your employees check all wells and pumping stations daily, make taps and repairs and read meters. Someone is on duty at all times. We are committed to ensuring the quality of your water.
FIRE SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS During 2019, the City’s Utility Department constructed a water line along Washington Street from Ivanhoe Street to Dowling Avenue. This line extension included the installation of approximately 1,200 feet of new 8” water line. This project was the third and final step taken to increase the fire protection to the downtown area and historical district. Funding for the construction of this upgrade was provided by The Capital Project Sales Tax Program. The City of Walterboro was the first Utility Department in this state to receive funding from the Department of Transportation for the purpose of relocating a waterline in conflict with a road improvement project. The Utilities Department used this funding in 2019 to move an existing 6” main line in conflict with the proposed intersection improvement at Jefferies Highway and Academy Road. The addition of turning lanes at this intersection will require a portion of the road to be widened. The City’s new line was installed outside of the construction area and the City also install additional fire hydrants for this service area.
WAYNE CROSBY Utilities Director
REVIEW OF 2018 - 2019 The City of Walterboro’s Water system covers a service area of approximately 50 square miles. The distribution system extends as far as the community of Ruffin to our northeast, to the Colleton County Commerce Park north and Hendersonville to our south. There are approximately 5,680 water service connections and 2,830 sewer connections. The City’s water supply source is groundwater. Walterboro currently owns and operates 15 groundwater supply wells. This process utilizes 4 different aquafers including the Middle Floridan, Lower Floridan, Black Creek and the Middendorf. Most of these wells are interconnected through the distribution system to provide a redundant source during emergencies. Operation and disinfection vary only slightly from well to well. Four of these wells are operated with timers. These are wells that produce less than 400 gallons per minute and are programmed to be on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours. All of the other sources are controlled with pressure sensors. Each source is disinfected with chlorine gas. All wells are tested annually by SCDHEC and monthly by the City’s own laboratory. A Consumer Confidence Report is generated annually to summarize these sample results. This report can be found on the front page of our City website. The City of Walterboro has five elevated storage tanks with a capacity to hold 1,350,000
gallons. Walterboro has one ground storage tank with a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons. This storage capacity allows the water department to meet peak demands and maintain flow during fire emergencies or major storms. The average daily water production is 1.67 million gallons per day (mgd). The current permit allows the City to pump a total of 4.675 mgd. This buffer provides the ability to meet high demand and to expand the system. The Water Department employs seven operators that are responsible for the day to day maintenance and operation. -These employees check wells daily to record the amount of flow and the concentration of chlorine in order to meet the SCDHEC and EPA requirements. -They install new taps and water lines. -Much of their time is spent repairing lines and meters. -This department reads meters bimonthly. - Operation of valves and flushing of fire hydrants are preformed semi-annually. -The City’s Utility Department is required to locate our utilities for other utility contractors that may be in conflict with the distribution and collection line locations. - Installation and maintenance of all fire hydrants are part of the duties of the Water Department
City of Walterboro 2018-2019 Annual Report