City News
November
2020





City of Columbia Accepting Nominations for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream Keeper Scholarship Awards
 
The City of Columbia is accepting nominations for the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream Keeper Scholarship Awards.
The Dream Keeper Scholarship Awards program recognizes exemplary displays of committed service to the tenets of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
The ideals of social responsibility, political empowerment, diversity, racial harmony, nonviolence, and unselfish service must be demonstrated voluntarily by the nominee in support of his or her community and fellow citizens.
The nominee must be age 18 or younger and enrolled in an elementary, middle or high school with a minimum 2.0 grade point average.
Applications are available online for download or at the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, 1111 Recreation Drive, Columbia, SC 29201.
Applications must be returned by the following methods:
·        By mail to the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: Kevin Crawford II, 1111 Recreation Drive, Columbia, SC 29201. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.
·        Submit completed application as a PDF file to parksinfo@columbiasc.gov.
For more information, contact Kevin B. Crawford II at 803-545-0041 or Kevin.Crawford@columbiasc.gov or visit www.columbiasc.gov/parks-recreation.

see the attached application:

 
Mayor Benjamin Receives Flu Vaccination at City Hall to Encourage Columbia Residents to Protect Themselves for the Upcoming Flu Season

On Friday, October 2, Mayor Steve Benjamin expressed the importance of preventing the spread of the flu in our Midlands communities during this fall season. Mayor Benjamin was joined by At-large City Councilman Howard Duvall.

“Even if you don’t have any chronic conditions or any special risk factors for flu, it is still important to protect yourself, protect your family and your community by getting your flu shot this year,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin.

Mayor Steve Benjamin received his flu vaccination from a representative of Doctor’s Care to lead by example of taking the preventative measures to stop the spread of the highly contagious disease.

Flu vaccinations are available at free or low cost at many pharmacies, public health departments, college health centers, employers and schools.

To stay updated about the upcoming flu season, please visit https://resilient.columbiasc.gov/
Planning Commission | Monday, November 2, 2020
 
In the interest of public health and authorized by City Council Ordinance 2020-032, the City of Columbia Planning Commission will conduct a virtual meeting on Monday, November 2nd, 2020 at 5:15 p.m.
 
Members of the public and/or media who want to observe the meetings may do so remotely, by
 
2.      E-Mail: Submit letters and statements to COCBoardMeeting@ColumbiaSC.gov leading up to and/or during the meeting.
3.      Phone: Call 855-925-2801. When prompted, please enter the meeting code: 7985
1.      (star one) *1 will allow you to listen
2.      (star two) *2 will allow you to record a voice mail message that will be read into the record.
3.      (star three) *3 will allow a participant to be placed in a queue, so they may speak live when prompted
 
As this is an ever-evolving situation, please continue to monitor www.columbiasc.gov for additional information.
 
Questions can be directed to Zoning by calling (803) 545-3333 or by e-mailing Lucinda.Statler@ColumbiaSC.gov. For additional information, please visit our website at www.columbiasc.net/planning-boards-commissions.
 

*Please see attached agenda.
Board of Zoning Appeals | Thursday, November 5, 2020
 
In the interest of public health and authorized by City Council Ordinance 2020-032, the City of Columbia Board of Zoning Appeals will conduct a virtual meeting on Thursday, November 5th, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
 
Members of the public and/or media who want to observe the meetings may do so remotely, by
 
2.      E-Mail: Submit letters and statements to COCBoardMeeting@ColumbiaSC.gov leading up to and/or during the meeting.
3.      Phone: Call 855-925-2801. When prompted, please enter the meeting code: 6776
1.      (star one) *1 will allow you to listen
2.      (star two) *2 will allow you to record a voice mail message that will be read into the record.
3.      (star three) *3 will allow a participant to be placed in a queue, so they may speak live when prompted
 
As this is an ever-evolving situation, please continue to monitor www.columbiasc.gov for additional information.
 
Questions can be directed to Zoning by calling (803) 545-3333 or by e-mailing Zoning@ColumbiaSC.gov. For additional information, please visit our website at www.columbiasc.net/planning-boards-commissions.
 
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*Please see attached agenda.

 City of Columbia to Cancel 42nd Annual Veterans Day Parade
 
The City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department has announced there will not be a Veterans’ Day Parade this year to protect citizens and minimize opportunities to spread COVID-19 in our community.
 
In lieu, we will be having a special observance held on Veterans’ Day to commemorate all veterans.
 
For more information to come, please visit https://www.columbiasc.gov/parks-recreation/news for further details and updates.
 
 


 
Office of Community Development NOFA 2021 Virtual Workshop
 
 
WHAT: City of Columbia Office of Community Development CDBG NOFA 2021 Workshop informing the public of upcoming CDBG Funding and instructions on applying and carrying out projects, during which citizens can ask questions and get answers in real time. Organizations which are not represented at the workshop will be ineligible to apply for funding. This workshop is mandatory for application submission. 
 
WHO: City of Columbia Office of Community Development to host a virtual workshop regarding CDBG Funding for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 projects and how they will be carried out. 
 
WHEN: Thursday, November 5, 2020 2:00-4:00 virtually.
 
                 Meeting ID: 871 3520 8780
 
 
Mayor Unveils 2020 Babcock Center Christmas Ornament

Mayor Steve Benjamin and representatives from the Babcock Center unveiled this year’s “Official City Ornament” at a virtual press conference on October 30th. This year’s ornament depicts the historical 701 Whaley building.

This is the 28th ornament in the collectors’ series. Each ornament is 24-karat gold on brass and comes in a felt case. All proceeds from the sales of the ornament benefit the Babcock Center Foundation, a private, non-profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with lifelong disabilities in Richland and Lexington counties.

Ornaments cost $18 and may be purchased at the Babcock Center Foundation Office at 2725 Banny Jones Avenue, West Columbia and the Columbia Visitor’s Center. Ornaments may be ordered by phone by calling the Babcock Center Foundation at 803-799-1970 or ordered online at www.babcockcenter.org.
Push-In Ceremony for new Columbia Fired Department Truck Ladder 9


Everyone pushing in the New Ladder Truck for the Columbia Fire Department Ladder 9
Mayor Steve Benjamin addressing the press and attendees
Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins
Councilman Will Brennan addressing the press on the new Ladder 9
Feedback from Bicyclists Needed!
 
Do you ride a bike in Columbia, or want to? Are you interested in transportation issues? The City of Columbia recently submitted an application for designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC). The League of American Bicyclists reviews these applications from communities throughout the United States, and your feedback is integral to their review. Please consider taking this brief survey before November 15th to let the League know your thoughts on cycling in Columbia! http://bit.ly/BFCsurveyCola.
 
The City of Columbia has been a bronze-level designated Bicycle Friendly Community since 2008. Communities re-apply every four years for redesignation, providing information about their local approach to infrastructure, programs, engagement and outreach, multimodal safety, and more.
 
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To learn more about transportation planning in Columbia, visit https://www.columbiacompass.org/transportation.html or follow @ColaCompass on Facebook or Twitter.

To learn more about the work of the City’s Bike Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), visit https://columbiasc.gov/planning-preservation/bpac .

To sign up to receive the City’s Walk Bike Columbia e-newsletter, sign up here: http://eepurl.com/gfIG25 .
 
For information on the Bicycle Friendly Community program, visit https://bikeleague.org/community .
City Recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month
 
Last month, the City of Columbia recognized October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
 
Due to the pandemic, the city’s annual Mayor’s Walk Against Domestic Violence was held virtually on Saturday, October 10. Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine hosted the walk for its 14th year. Participants joined in as digital partners and domestic violence ambassadors, sharing awareness posts and messages on their personal social media platforms on not only the date of the walk, but throughout the entire month. By doing so, they helped to educate others and further raise awareness about the problems of abuse and violence taking place in the community.
 
“It’s so important that we continue to spread the message of hope to all of our citizens and reassure them that we’re here for them and we’re ready to help at any moment,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin. “Please know that our efforts don’t just end today or this month. We must continue to fight against domestic violence, and I’m proud to fight along with you.”
 
The city also partnered with two local organizations to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Sistercare and the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) are both taking a stand against domestic violence daily, providing services and support to victims and survivors in South Carolina. For those who are in need of help or know of someone experiencing relationship abuse, call Sistercare’s crisis hotline at (803) 765-9428.
 
In our local communities, both organizations also promote prevention of domestic violence through educating, training and spreading awareness. The SCCADVASA offers statistics and references to inform of domestic violence and sexual assault, in a resource library of over 1400 books, journals, videos and brochures. Information can be found on their website at http://www.sccadvasa.org.
 
All who participated in the virtual walk had the opportunity to pick up a free domestic violence awareness month kit. Items in the kits helped citizens spread the word about domestic violence. The virtual walk was such a success that citizens continued picking up domestic violence awareness month kits even after the date of the virtual walk in order for them to participate throughout the entire month. By doing so, they helped to further increase awareness in the community.
 
“Right now, it’s more important than ever for us to bring light to the issue and support victims of domestic violence,” said Councilwoman Devine. “Because we are in isolation due to this global pandemic, some victims of domestic violence are facing unique circumstances where they cannot escape their abusers.”
 
 

Domestic Violence Awareness Banner displayed at City Hall during the month of October in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Breast Cancer Awareness banner displayed at City Hall last month in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The City of Columbia recognized October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition, awareness banners were placed at City Hall.

City Hall Illuminated by Purple Lights in Recognition of Purple Thursday
Last month on October 22, the City of Columbia recognized “Purple Thursday” during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition, City Hall was illuminated in purple lights to further raise awareness about the problems of abuse and violence taking place in the community.
According to The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), Purple Thursday is a particular day recognized during Domestic Violence Awareness Month meant to honor the community’s hard work to shed light on domestic violence, reduce the stigma, advocate for survivors, and work for greater safety and equity.
All citizens were encouraged to continue to share awareness posts and messages on social media platforms throughout the entire month of October. By doing so, they helped to educate and further raise awareness about domestic violence in the community.

Domestic Violence Awareness Kits Distribution

All Access Columbia Virtual Training
 
 
WHAT: City of Columbia Office of Community Development hosting an All Access Virtual Training on understanding credit and money management

WHO: City of Columbia Office of Community Development to host a Virtual Training with free registration

WHEN: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

 



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Columbia Firefighters Continue COVID-19 Prevention Efforts

City of Columbia firefighters handed out FREE masks and sporting signs to citizens at two intersections of Assembly Street and Rosewood Drive as well ass the intersection of Assembly Street and Gervais Street on Friday October 23rd

This is part of our continued efforts to encourage citizens to abide by protective mask ordinances that remain in place for the City of Columbia and Richland County.

With the threat of COVID-19 still present in our communities, members of the Columbia-Richland Fire Department were out at several area intersections on October 22 and 23 encouraging residents to ‘Mask Up’ !
 
Staff in the Fire Prevention Office held up informational signs and handed out free protective masks at the intersection of Assembly and Gervais streets as well as at Assembly Street and Rosewood Drive. An ordinance adopted in the City of Columbia earlier this year still remains in effect requiring citizens to wear protective masks while out in public places. 
 
Firefighters also held up signs reminding citizens to regularly check the smoke alarms in their homes and businesses. With daylight savings time quickly approaching residents are also encouraged to change the batteries in any alarms that require them.

Fire Education Officer Bengie Leverett and Fire Marshal George Adams were among the CRFD members handing out free protective masks. The masks were donated to CRFD by South Carolina DHEC
– Deputy Fire Marshal Kris Scott holds up a sign encouraging citizens to test their smoke alarms, at the corner of Gervais and Assembly streets
– Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Smith at the intersection of Assembly Street and Rosewood Drive on Friday, October 23. Daylight Savings Time is a perfect reminder to change the batteries in all of your home’s smoke alarms.
Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Willis out on the corner of Assembly Street and Rosewood Drive.  
Election Day
Battle of The Branches Veterans Day Blood Drive!
City Video HUB
Mayor Steve Benjamin, Richland County Council Chair Paul Livingston, 5th Circuit Solicitor Byron Gibson, Sheriff Leon Lott and Chief Skip Holbrook speaking on the assurance of Voters safety during elections.
Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, Councilman Will Brennan, and Mayor Steve Benjamin addressing press and attendees on the new Ladder 9 Fire Truck
COVID-19 INFORMATION
FOR ALL MASK ORDINANCE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PLEASE VISIT: Resilient.Columbiasc.gov
Columbia City Council

Stephen K. Benjamin
Mayor
Sam Davis
Councilman District I
Tameika Isaac Devine
Councilwoman At-Large
Howard E. Duvall, Jr.
Councilman At-Large
Edward H. McDowell, Jr.
Councilman District II
Daniel J. Rickenmann
Councilman District IV
Will Brennan
Councilman District III
Teresa Wilson
City Manager