NINETY SIX — With eyes toward the town’s future, Ninety Six’s town council met Monday evening with a representative from the state municipal association to set goals for 2020.
Jeff Shacker, of the municipal association, guided the council as they pitched ideas for what they’d like to accomplish in the coming year. He offered insight and advice where he could, but let the council members take the lead on what they thought was most important for the town.
Councilman Charles Stevens started by saying he’d like to see the town revive the Ninety Six Chamber of Commerce, which has been on hiatus because of lack of involvement for years. He kept his focus on finances, by also suggesting that the town make a plan for the county capital projects sales tax funds that will eventually come in for the town park, as well as a plan to address underutilized properties downtown.
Other suggestions also focused on funding, like Councilwoman Bridget Porter pitching that the town look into facade grants for the downtown area, or adopting a new model for issuing business licenses.
Council’s newest member, Kellar Rogers, said she’d like to see the council focus on increasing resident engagement by being more transparent and better-informing the public of what council is doing. Mickey Goodman wanted to explore participating in programs like Main Street South Carolina, and finalizing design and bid specifications for the upcoming CPST stormwater system improvements.
Mayor Mike Rowe pitched what would become council’s top priority: building better relationships with third-party groups, especially the Greenwood Partnership Alliance. As council prioritized suggestions, next on the list was reviewing, codifying and publishing the town’s ordinances online. Engaging residents and developing a business recognition program were next up on the priority list, with facade grants, the chamber of commerce and talking with Ninety Six CPW about its relationship with the town being the last things to make the cut.
While this meeting wasn’t a strategic, detailed plan, Rowe said it serves as a guideline for what council wants to accomplish, as well as a way to hold them accountable for what they said their priorities were.
“I think it’s important because I don’t think we’re always able to express the ideas we really need to in a regular meeting,” he said. “We’re able to set goals for ourselves here, and I think that’s so important.”