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Grants and savings equal city improvements

Posted: February 17, 2012 8:36 a.m.
Updated: February 20, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Just recently, I was talking with a group of local citizens when someone mentioned the new street lights. In the past three years, the City of Camden has received and utilized grants in excess of $3 million for several improvements. A combination of grant funds and some tax dollars has been spent to move many electrical lines underground:

• Sandy Springs Drive/Popular Lane

• Johnson Lane

• Palmer Place Apartments

• Carriage House Lane

• Kershaw County Library - Camden Branch

• Laurens Street Undergrounding

• New Transformers, DeKalb Street Substation

• Lyttleton Street Undergrounding

• DeKalb Street Undergrounding

• Turner Glass Company Undergrounding

• Commerce Alley Undergrounding

These capital improvements would not have been possible for many years to come if the city had not qualified for grant dollars. In addition to the visual improvement, this investment offers other tangible savings: reduced maintenance, improved reliability, improved public safety and improved property values. The city will continue to seek funds to augment your tax dollars for capital improvements. As the weather improves, I encourage you to walk or ride around our city and see your money at work.

The financial stability of Camden continues to open additional doors for funding, reduced interest rates and savings. The staff recently brought before the council a renegotiated bond rate which will save the city $534,679  in interest. This renegotiation work takes the existing interest rate from 5 percent to 2.107 percent. This is a savings that will be applied to additional capital improvements.

From tree presentations to economic development, from business licenses to green waste removal, from fire and police to council recordings, the city staff is continually seeking and implementing improvements and savings for us. I hope you will join me in commending all the members of our city staff for their outstanding work.  When you next encounter one of our local staff members, please tell them thank you.

About six months ago, I instituted regular office hours for a "Moment with the Mayor.” Each Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., I am at City Hall. You can just stop by or you can make an appointment, if you desire. Some good conversations, some clearing of misinformation and several valuable suggestions have surfaced during these regular Thursday meetings. I hope you will stop by soon.

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