9/11

SFD and SPD will be memorializing the anniversary of 9/11 today, as they did last year, with fire trucks and police cars at the interchanges of I-385 @ West Georgia Rd and Fairview Rd. They will begin at the time of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers and ending at the time the last plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Simpsonville Fire Department is participating in the Memorial Stair Climb at Fluor Field, along with many other departments across the upstate.

FD Burned Children’s Fund

☑️ Exercise.
☑️ Simpsonville Farmer’s Market.
☑️ Fire Department.

Remember: the end of curbside recycling is not the end of recycling in Simpsonville. There are drop off locations throughout the city. And you can take aluminum cans to your local fire department to double the benefit by supporting the SC Firefighters Burned Children’s Fund.

All funds go directly to help to ease the recovery process for MUSC’s pediatric burn patients and their families. Between 2017-2018, our FD raised $10,000 for the fund. In 2020, they saw a dip in donations to only $6,800. Please join me in helping them raise even more over the next year by dropping your aluminum cans off at one of our stations. It’s a really easy way to make a BIG difference. #SimplyRecycle

Meeting Updates

ICYMI: here are some updates from last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting:

Public Works

  • All temporary easements have been sign and work will soon begin on the sidewalks in Woodside Mill area.
  • Engineering work has begun on the headways in Hunters’ Hill road and Powderhorn Dr.
  • Street crews have cleaned 60 storm drains to allow for quicker removal of standing water in roadways.
  • Creek crossing at Grandview repairs are underway. We only have one remaining in Poinsettia.

Police Department

  • Police Department has renewed their traffic safety grant in the amount of $62,000.00. The grant funds the position and benefits for this program.
  • A replacement traffic counter has been ordered to allow us to finish the traffic study in Hunters Woods.

Fire Department

  • Progress is still being made on Station Five.
  • Fire Department personnel will be participating in Fire Safe SC held by the State Fire Marshal Office to address reducing fire deaths within the State.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Rec have cleaned up the plaza area on North Main Street in front of Shortfields and will continue on South Main in the following weeks.

Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber has requested they be allowed to submit a monthly report as other departments within the City in lieu of appearing monthly. Staff have suggested that they appear quarterly, and they were receptive to this.

Administration

  • Planner I, Ben Hyde’s first day was the day of this meeting: September 26th. We look forward to having him on board and are excited about what he can bring to Simpsonville.
  • We have made some office changes at City Hall to allow for a conference room.
  • Interim City Administrator, Chief Wesley Williams, will be attending the Greenville Administrator meeting on September 20th.

Other new hires for August were:

  • Brandon Davis – Police
  • Diane Kennedy – Police
  • Michael Milam – Fire
  • James Mosley – Police
  • William Preston – Fire
  • Travis Tarrant – Recreation

We welcome these new employees to Team Simpsonville!  It takes all of us working together–One Simpsonville–to make Simpsonville the best it can be!

Fire Safety House/Modern Woodmen of America Partnership

This is such a great example of the true One Simpsonville spirit. Mr. Stephens of Modern Woodmen of America contacted me early this year about ways in which his organization might partner with the city. I spent some time learning about him and his organization and talking with Ms. Tiffany Cherry, our Community Relations Specialist, Mr. David
13177472_1708838509392773_2008053661691080840_nDyrhaug, our City Administrator, and Mayor Curtis. Then, in one of our budget workshops, we heard about a Fire Department “want:” a fire safety house (read more here). This was something that we obviously were not going to be able to budget for, given our vast number of critical needs. But it sounded like an excellent opportunity to partner with an organization like Modern Woodmen. So we took the idea to Mr. Stephens, who did some research, and determined that he had a matching funds program that we could take advantage of for this project. And so we took it to Council, who (after some initial objections) unanimously voted to move forward on the project. Once approved, the work began to plan a special fundraising event to raise our match to obtain these funds. But here’s the really wonderful part: once the public heard about our efforts to fund fire safety education through private partnerships, people started calling to find out how they could help. Individual citizens wanted to know where to send money. Business owners wanted to know how they could help raise awareness. Bethel Trails Farm, a local business that operates at our Simpsonville Farmer’s Market, offered to host a fundraising event at their farm—and they wanted to donate a whole pig to entice people to come and give. And it worked. We raised over $1,800.00 that night. But that’s not all, the Farmer’s Market itself offered a significant monetary donation AND volunteered to raise money over the course of the summer, keeping a “Loot for the Boot” collection boot and encouraging customers to donate. At the end of the summer, they’ll donate it all to the fund. And finally, this October, we’ll be holding a Stop, Drop, and Run 5K (stay tuned for more details) to wrap up our fundraising efforts. This event is made possible through a number sponsorships from businesses and citizens. This whole project illustrates the One Simpsonville spirit very clearly. In this venture, we have truly united our city—its citizens, its businesses, and its government—working together for continuous improvement.  Plus, we now have a partnership with Modern Woodmen of America that we expect to last well beyond this project.

Fire Safety House

If you’ve reviewed the most recent agenda, you will notice that one of the items on which I’ll be making a motion is Funding for Fire Safety House.

Here’s the motion I’ll be making:

motion on fire safety house

Here’s the background information:

The Fire Department has listed an inflatable fire safety house in the amount of $10,250.00 as one of its “wants” for the next fiscal year.  However, given our vast number of critical needs, it is unlikely to get funded through the city.

We were approached by Mr. Stephens about partnering with his organization, which is starting a chapter here in Simpsonville. Modern Woodmen of America is a member-owned fraternal financial services organization. They secure futures with financial guidance and products. Since 1883, Modern Woodmen has brought people together, supported families and strengthened communities nationwide. As the Simpsonville representative, Mr. Stephens would like to help us in fundraising for the inflatable fire safety house through his Matching Funds Program. Mr. Stephens has already secured $3,000.00 in matching funds, and is working on an additional $2,000.00.  That means we’re almost halfway there.

Purchasing the fire safety house would allow the Fire Department to increase its efforts to provide training to children within our area on how to be safe and what to do if their home catches on fire. On average, our firefighters attend 7-8 events per month throughout the community to teach fire safety.  In 2015, they taught fire safety to over 6,000 Simsponville children. They receive regular requests for events that use a training tool like the fire safety house. In fact, they’ve had a 39% increase in such requests over the last 5 years. These requests include special events at Heritage Park; station tours;
various types of programs at the local elementary schools (i.e. – Open House, Field Day); daycare facilities (i.e. – Safety Day); and churches (i.e. – Family Fun Night); Grand Openings and special events at local businesses; and programs provided by civic organizations (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Make A Wish Foundation).

Yet, we do not have our own fire safety house.  While our Fire Department has often been able to borrow one from a neighboring department, it is often unavailable due to requests from other departments, or it is being used by the department that owns it.

The FD has applied for a number of grants through the years with no success. They are now requesting funding for a fire safety house through our budget process. We may not be able to provide the funds through taxpayer dollars, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t support their efforts to help educate our children on fire safety.  As I said throughout the campaign, “We need to unite our city—its citizens, its business community, its non-profits and other community partners, and our city government—and work together for continuous improvement.”  A vote in favor of this motion would allow us to do just that.

I am so excited to bring this opportunity for the city to work together with Modern Woodmen of America and our community to the next Simpsonville City Council meeting.  This kind of working together is what One Simpsonville is all about.