City council election date set

Three Barnwell City Council seats will be up for grabs Sept. 10, city clerk Kim Vargo announced at the regular council meeting June 3.
J.T. Atkinson of District 1, Benjamin Duncan of District 3 and Robert Patillo of District 5 are up for re-election this year. The filling period for potential candidates will be open June 24 through July 5. The filing fee is $25.
The election will include redrawn district lines. Council voted last year to have the districts redrawn because of changes in population. Residents affected by the redrawn districts will be notified by mail.
Mayor Edward Lemon asked City Administrator John Zawacki, along with Police Chief Todd Gantt and city attorney Tom Boulware, to review a noise ordinance recently passed by Barnwell County Council. County Council is asking the municipalities to adopt the ordinance.
"Y'all come up with a recommendation of whether or not we want to do this," Lemon said.
The ordinance is much more detailed than the city's current noise ordinance and would require the police to buy equipment to measure volume. Police would also have to be certified to use the equipment.
The county adopted the ordinance in May.
In other news:
• Zawacki said the allowed millage increase for next year is capped at 2.7 percent (1.2 mills). Council will decide whether to increase the millage, presently set at 72.2 mills, during its budget workshop next month.
• Community Development Director Lynn Cox said the annual Independence Day celebration will be June 29 at Veterans Park.
• Council held a special-called meeting May 20 where members approved the city employee medical insurance plan for 2013-14. Members also passed the second reading of an ordinance giving the company redeveloping the old Reid's Plaza a tax credit. Tennessee-based Hutton Growth company will get a tax credit of 25 percent of its total rehabilitation expenses toward its property taxes for eight years. Rehabilitation expenses are projected to be $2.3 million. The credit applies to the first 75 percent of the total property tax amount.