DENMARK CITY COUNCIL City approves bid for water line replacement

DENMARK – The City of Denmark continues to make improvements to its water system, council reported at the September meeting.

City Administrator Heyward Robinson said a low bid of $332,146.91 from Southern Fiber Construction and Management Company LLC was recommended out of six total bids for water line replacement. Several citizens of Denmark have recently and in the past complained about the aging water infrastructure in the city. Several water line improvement projects, including this most recent one, have been planned and worked on by the city.

Robinson said, “The low bid is within the grant for this project. The grant is for $400,000. The project involves water line replacement on West Coker Street, South Laurel Street, Mulberry Lane and Peach Street”

Council approved the low bid.

Councilwoman Hope Long Weldon said, “We are still under a consent order from DHEC (S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control). We (Public Works Director Charles Michael Shugart and his staff) have eight things we need to get done. We are moving forward nicely on that.”

City resident Jessie Staley said, “You are suggesting that there is nothing wrong with the water, but you are also suggesting running it until it turns from brown to white.”

He said no one wants to bathe in water that started brown and then turned white. Staley said that having to run the water so much until it turns clear causes a hardship because it increases water bills.

Mayor Gerald Wright said he and council would take the matter under advisement.

A citizen sitting beside Staley said that Deanna Berry of Denmark Citizens for Safe Water wanted to be patched in on a cellphone call to make public comments.

Wright declined that request. Citizens, according to city ordinances, usually fill out a form to make public comments and must be physically present during council meetings to make them.

Wright said that council meetings are not the only forums where citizens can meet with town officials and that they can call to set up appointments at city hall.

In other business:

  • Weldon asked City Accountant Rusty Munoz during his report, “Has the $609,000 been paid in full for the city hall?”

Munoz stated it had not .  She also asked Robinson if he had been in touch with the contractor for city hall.

Robinson said he had spoken with the architect, not the contractor, and most recently, cabinets and a water line have been put in place.

“Does Mr. Law, the architect, still has responsibility to Denmark?” Weldon asked.

Robinson said that the architect does still have some responsibility to the town.

Weldon asked Robinson again if he had spoken to the contractor and not just the architect.

Wright interrupted and said that this was a matter best left to executive because it involved a contractual matter.

“I just think the public needs to know,” Weldon said.

At last month’s meeting, Wright said the city was going to meet with the contractor “within the next couple of weeks” but has not yet stated whether the meeting had happened yet.

Weldon said council needs to meet with the contractor and have some itemized lists of things to be completed at the new city hall. She said she is also concerned about the safety of some of the children who walk near some of the construction areas in the city.

  • Police Chief Leroy Grimes said there were 33 new cases the past month. In the fire chief’s absence, Robinson reported that the fire department responded to 13 calls.