Council spreads cheer, talks water

First Byline: 
David Purtell - Staff Writer

Barnwell City Council handed out some holiday cheer during its regular meeting Dec. 2.
Council voted unanimously to approve the annual bonuses for the city's firefighters - a total of $5,760.
The money was split between 31 firefighters, most of them volunteers. Firefighters get $5 for each drill they attend and each call they respond to. Blake Towne responded to 108 calls, the most among the volunteers.
Council also voted unanimously to allow the city to go into negotiations with a property owner to purchase a lot between the city water tank and parking lot at Lemon Park. The price tag will likely be around $4,000.
City Administrator John Zawacki said the property would be a "great asset" to Lemon Park and that it is currently an "eyesore." Purchasing the property would allow the city to expand the parking area for Lemon Park.
The current property owner does not live in Barnwell and has been in discussions with the city about the sale for over a year.
In other business:
Council approved the 2014 holiday and council-meeting schedules. City Hall will be closed New Year's day.
Zawacki said, "Everything the city had connected to the Milliken facility is now disconnected."
The city capped two water wells at the site - and is waiting on a quote to have another one capped- and will keep two others on standby for the city's potable water system.
"We are in super shape as far as potable water wells," Zawacki said. The city has four wells running continuously and three on standby including the Milliken wells.
Last week, the water tower at the Milliken plant was demolished and taken for scrap by a private company at no cost to the city. See photos on page 3A.
Zawacki said he is still waiting for the Lower Savannah Council of Governments to send the environmental report for the Hagood Avenue water project to the state Department of Commerce, which won't release the funds for the project until it gets the report. As of Tuesday morning, LSCOG was waiting for a letter from the U.S. Fish and Wildfire Department before finishing the report, Zawacki said.