Ordinance Vote on Hold

BLYTHEWOOD – Town Council voted Monday night to defer second and final vote on zoning Ordinance 2014.008 because Council failed to advertise the public hearing, which is required to be held prior to the second reading (vote). The ordinance provides that all residential areas in the Town have the same restrictions and be allowed the same amenities.

Council also deferred making appointments to Town boards and commissions because, Mayor J. Michael Ross said, “We weren’t able to contact the people who said they want to serve.”

Cloud Technology for Town Hall

Council approved a contract with VC3, an IT firm out of Columbia, which will provide Cloud management services to the Town.

“With this service,” Town Administrator Gary Parker explained, “Town Hall will connect to VC3’s cloud via thin client hosted desk tops, and we’ll do away with our individual desk PC’s.”

VC3’s service offers several advantages, Parker said. “They will have the burden of maintaining and replacing hardware and software,” he said, “and users will have access to their desktop from anywhere they can access the internet.”

Parker said this would accommodate working from home, and that everyone in the office will be using the most updated version of MS Office. Parker said the Town’s support services would be 24 hours and would include small disaster recovery.

“This is a step up and will take us into the technology of the future,” Ross said. He said the Town would continue to also use the services of its current IT consultant, Kevin Williamson, who had recommended VC3 to the Town.

Final Paving Set for Park

Council approved a motion to request bids for the paving of the final layer for all roadways in the town park. Bids were to go out on Tuesday and are due by Oct. 22. Parker said money is left in the construction budget to cover the paving which is expected to begin the first week in November and end by mid-December.

New Park Events Funded

Booth Chilcutt, Events Director at The Manor, asked for and received approval from Council for funding for several events to be held in the Town’s park through mid-July 2015. Council approved the following: Halloween at the Park ($3,000), Poetry Week ($1,000), Black History Month ($2,500), Fall 2014 Farmers Market ($2,700), Spring 2015 Farmer’s Market ($2,700) and Cinco de Mayo Celebration ($1,500) for a total of$13,400.

Manor Rental Update

Chilcutt also updated Council on Manor rental dates and revenue. While paid events are down 18 percent, Chilcutt reported that rental fees are up 24 percent or almost $4,000 so far in fiscal year 2014.

He attributed the uptick in collected rental fees to the new higher rates. He also told Council that he can see the need for another rate increase soon for Saturdays.

“Our Saturdays are renting quickly, and raising Saturday rates might stimulate rentals on Fridays and Sundays,” Chilcutt said.

He told Council that rates for the Manor are less than those of similar venues in the surrounding area.

Booth added that while revenue for The Manor is still negative by $4,000 – $5,000 each month, “we’re getting closer.”

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