FEMA violations concern Shady Cove

February is one of TV’s “sweeps” months; keeping with that theme Shady Cove City Council’s Feb. 4 study session and meeting was one exciting episode of “Law & Order: SCU” (Shady Cove Unit). The voice over at the start of the episode would be something like: “In Shady Cove FEMA offenses are considered especially heinous. The dedicated folks who investigate these violations are members of an elite squad – these are their stories.”   
The study session was dedicated solely to an in depth discussion of 8 outstanding violations from 2002. Unresolved issues ran the gamut from freezers remaining below the flood plain to homes which need major construction work to become compliant. The council as a whole felt significant follow up needed to be done on each of the 8 homes. Councilor Gary Hughes noted emphatically that if they allowed an issue as minor as a misplaced freezer to linger for years they would never be able to bring the city into compliance. With well over 100 homes left to be inspected it was mutually agreed the follow up process needed to be tightened up.

It was also agreed that reasonable time will be given to those who have very costly issues to tackle, but progress must be shown on a regular basis or fines will be levied and/or lawsuits filed (note: two suits have been filed and one is “on deck”).

Issues of finance were also discussed – for now the City will keep its contract with Public Works Management and see how the new retainer system goes. However the future may see homeowners paying a portion of the inspection costs and/or a new company hired for all issues FEMA.

The evening meeting continued in the Law & Order vein. First up was “law” with the presentation of awards of service to the City’s former police personnel: Julie Denney, Scott Waldon, Candace Waldon, Andy Bratton and Anthony Russell. The Mayor and each Council member gave heartfelt personal thanks best summed up by Councilor Leith Hayes saying they are “The finest officers I’ve ever dealt with.”

Following lots of applause, well wishes and expressed hopes that the officers can return to Shady Cove as Sherriff’s Deputies came the “order” portion of the evening. There was an introduction and first reading of two street ordinances. Changes to the ordinances consisted of clarifications re: developer’s responsibilities regarding off-site street improvements as well as changing warranties on such improvements from one to two years.

Public Comment brought one final note of order: Lalah Davis advised the Council that there is a rumor about town that the contractors who did the landscaping at City Hall are not licensed and folks feel if the City hires unlicensed workers – why should they get licenses?   
In response George Bostic and Dale Shaddox advised that the first low bidder they were going to hire for the job was not licensed. Therefore they had switched to the second low bidder who is licensed. On that note council reminds that anyone doing business in the City must have a SC business license – or SCU will find them.

By Christy Pitto
Of the Independent

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