City
Updates
To find a vaccine location near you, please visit https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov/

For more information, please visit https://resilient.columbiasc.gov/
Public Information Meeting: Calhoun Street Improvements
 
The City of Columbia is hosting two virtual public information meetings regarding the planned improvements on Calhoun Street between Wayne and Harden Streets on Tuesday, June 22nd, at 5:30pm and 6:30pm. These duplicate meetings will include a review the road design and implementation schedule, and will provide an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions about the planned project.
 
About the Project
Improvements to Calhoun Street will occur as part of a partnership between the City of Columbia, the Richland County Penny Tax for Transportation, and Richland County CTC. Improvements will include resurfacing (from Wayne to Gregg), restriping, and bike accommodations. Block-by-block plans are available as follows:
 
Project History/Timeline
2012: Calhoun Street included on Richland County Transportation Sales Tax Referendum (“Penny Tax”)
2015: Calhoun Street identified in the Walk Bike Columbia Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan as a key east-west corridor for the northern portion of the downtown area with future possible linkages to surrounding communities.
June 2018: Public Meetings for Calhoun and Hampton Street improvements were held by the Richland County Transportation Program at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1931 Sumter Street.
November 2018: Second public meeting held for Calhoun Street improvements
2019-2020: Additional funding secured for the project, which allowed for the incorporation of resurfacing from Wayne to Gregg Streets.
June 1, 2021: City of Columbia and Richland County Councils approve an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) which includes the installation of Calhoun Street Improvements.
March 25, 2020: Public Information Meeting (cancelled due to COVID response, carried forward to June 2021)
June 22, 2021, 5:30pm and 6:30pm, brief informational presentation followed by Q&A period: Virtual Public Information Meeting to be held to answer any lingering questions and review construction schedule
Fall 2021: Project anticipated to be bid by the City
Spring 2022: Project anticipated to be installed
 
How to Participate
The public may participate in the virtual meeting remotely via a number of methods:
Live Stream: the meeting will be live-streamed to CityTV at https://www.youtube.com/user/ColumbiaSCGovernment
 
Email: members of the public may submit questions until June 21st by emailing transportationplanning@columbiasc.gov.
 
Phone: The public may participate via phone by dialing 855-925-2801. When prompted, please enter the meeting code: 8104.
Those participating by phone will receive three options on how to participate:
(star one) *1 will allow the participant to listen
(star two) *2 will allow the participant to record a voice mail message with questions, which will be played live during the meeting Q&A session and answered accordingly.
(star three) *3 will allow the participant to be placed in a queue, so they may ask their questions live during the Q&A session when prompted.
 
Questions in advance of the public informational meeting may be directed to the City’s Planning Division at (803) 545-3222 or transportationplanning@columbiasc.gov. For more information, visit www.columbiasc.gov
Mayor Steve Benjamin Attends Expansive
Grand Opening
On June 3, Expansive held its Grand Opening for its new building located on 1122 Lady St. Mayor Steve Benjamin welcomed Expansive to Columbia’s business community. Expansive offers multiple work space options for local business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as, those seeking event space.
Within the building, it has 12 floors based on different private offices and SmartSuites. Event spaces are also available to rent with outdoor patios on floor 3. “The idea is here as your organization grows, we can grow with you,” said Expansive Chief Marketing Officer McKenna Mitchel.

Expansive is the only co-working company with owned real-estate. It has buildings in 38+ different cities and 40+ buildings. By owning the buildings, it provides more flexibility, more stability, and more value to its client base. 
Mayor Steve Benjamin speaking with attendees and staff at Expansive Grand Opening. 
Guests enjoying Expansive outside patio.
City of Columbia Lobbyist Registration
 
According to City Code §2-301, individuals are required to complete and submit a City of Columbia Lobbyist Registration Form, if you are employed or retained, with compensation, by another person or firm to promote or oppose a matter through direct communication with city council members.
 
These matters include:
(1) The introduction or enactment of an ordinance or resolution; or
(2) The awarding of a city contract;
 
Lobbying does not include the activities of a member of city council, city staff or any public official with regard to their public duties.
 
Lobbyist does not include: (1) An individual who receives no compensation from another person to engage in lobbying. (2) A person who expresses a personal opinion, or discusses a constituent matter in relation to city services, or any other matter in which the person is not receiving compensation to lobby. (3) A person who is a full-time, permanent employee of a governmental agency, a not-for-profit corporation, or a company and is lobbying as a result of his or her employment with such agency, not-for-profit corporation or company.
 
Sec. 2-302. - Registration of lobbyists.
(a) Any person who acts as a lobbyist must, within 15 days of being employed or retained as a lobbyist, register with the city clerk. (b) The registration must be in a form approved by the city council that includes only the name and business address of the lobbyist, the name and business address of the person or entity who compensates the lobbyist, and the issue or matter for which the lobbyist has been retained. A separate form shall be submitted for each issue or matter and each person or entity who compensates the lobbyist. (c) Any lobbyist who is employed by the city or has contracts with the city, must seek approval by city council to be a lobbyist for other clients so long as he is employed or under contract.
 
To obtain a Lobbyist Registration Form visit https://columbiasc.gov/lobbyist-registration. For questions, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (803)545-3045 or cityclerk@columbiasc.gov.
Planning Commission | Monday, June 7, 2021
 
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, June 7, 2021 at 5:15 p.m.
 
Members of the public and/or media who want to observe the meetings may do so remotely, by
 
b)     E-Mail: Submit letters and statements to COCBoardMeeting@ColumbiaSC.gov leading up to and/or during the meeting.
c)      Phone: Call 855-925-2801. When prompted, please enter the meeting code: 4423
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.
Design/Development Review Commission | Thursday, June 10, 2021
 
In the interest of public health and authorized by City Council Ordinance 2020-032, the City of Columbia Design/Development Review Commission will conduct a virtual meeting on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
 
Members of the public and/or media who want to observe the meetings may do so remotely, by
 
E-Mail: Submit letters and statements to COCBoardMeeting@ColumbiaSC.gov leading up to and/or during the meeting.
Phone: Call 855-925-2801. When prompted, please enter the meeting code: 4293
(star one) *1 will allow you to listen
(star two) *2 will allow you to record a voice mail message that will be read into the record.
(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.

Please see the attached agenda here.
Advertisement of Vacancies on Various Boards
and Commissions
 
The City of Columbia is accepting applications to fill several vacancies on the following boards and commissions.
 
Climate Protection Action Committee
Seeking to fill seven (7) vacancies (non-voting).
The purpose of this committee is gather and address problems found within food production, consumption, processing, distribution, and waste disposal with the primary focus on finding solutions to problems that promote sustainability, economic development, and social justice in the food system of the Columbia and surrounding areas by educating government officials about issues of the food system, making policy recommendations, research, fostering of cooperation among private, public, and non-profit interests. City Council has the final vote on approval or disapproval of recommendations. Term – 2 years.
 
Transportation Penny Oversight Committee
Seeking to fill two (2) vacancies
The Transportation Penny Oversight Committee will review, comment on, and provide recommendations on the Transportation Penny to Richland County Council. Transportation Penny Oversight Committee members will recommend any reordering of the prioritization (if applicable) of the projects list. Members will review the proposals for the Program Management Firm(s), and will provide feedback to Richland County Council and will provide feedback to Richland County Council regarding the race-and gender-neutral Small Local Business Enterprise program. They will also provide quarterly reports to each respective jurisdiction from which they are appointed. Term- 5 years
 
Deadline –Applications are due no later than June 21, 2021 at 5 p.m.
For applications and more information contact Ashley Jenkins or send a request to Ashley.Jenkins@Columbiasc.gov. You can also visit our website at http://www.columbiasc.net/boards-commissions to download an application. 
Columbia Animal Services Recruiting Foster Pet Parents

As we move into the time of year where puppies and kittens become abundant, Columbia Animal Services is asking the public to consider becoming a foster parent.

Becoming a foster pet parent gives the animals at Columbia Animal Services a chance at a new, fulfilling life. A foster pet parent is a flexible commitment that requires extra time only if you have it. Getting started is easy and Columbia Animal Services provides all the necessary supplies and covers all of the basic medical care.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster pet parent, please note that you must be 18 years of age and have a valid photo ID

For more information, contact Columbia Animal Services at (803) 776-PETS (7387).
City Pools Now Open
 
The recreational swim season for the City of Columbia’s outdoor pools and splash pads/spray pools has begun, the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department announced.
Both Maxcy Gregg Pool and Greenview Pool will open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on opening day (May 29) and from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, May 30. 
Both pools will be open for recreational swimming on the following holidays: Independence Day (July 4) and Labor Day (Sept. 6) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The recreational swim season will remain open until Monday, Sept. 6 (Labor Day).
NO INDIVIDUAL SWIMMING LESSONS
 
Pool Schedules
Maxcy Gregg Pool, 1655 Park Circle
Regular hours for recreational swimming are as follows:
Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fridays Closed for Maintenance 
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.
 
Greenview Pool, 6700 David Street
Regular hours for recreational swimming are as follows:
Mondays Closed for Maintenance 
Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.
 
To accommodate all guests, visitors must observe a two-hour time limit in the pool and water play areas when the maximum capacity is reached. Guests will be given a color-coded wristband before entering the pool area.
The Columbia Parks & Recreation Department reserves the right to initiate a rotation at a minimum of every two hours.
 
Fees (both Maxcy Gregg and Greenview pools)
Per visit: $3 (ages 12 and under), $4 (ages 13 and over)
Season tickets (individuals): $80 (ages 12 and under), $120 (ages 13 and over)
Group passes (church, civic, camps, etc.): $100 (child), $140 (adults)
Splash Pad/Spray Pools Locations (Free and open to the public)
The following spray pools will be open from Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., and closed on Sundays:
 
Lorick Park - 1600 Lorick Ave. 
Pinehurst Park - 2300 Pinehurst Rd. 
 
The following spray pools will be open from Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. and will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays:
Edisto Discovery Park - 1914 Wiley St. 
Emily Douglas Park - 2500 Wheat St. 
Heathwood Park - 800 Abelia Rd. 
Melrose Park - 1500 Fairview Rd. 
Sims Park - 3500 Duncan St.
St. Anna's Park - 1315 Liberty Hill Ave. 
 
The following spray pools will be available upon request:
*Mays Park - 4100 Trenholm Rd.
*Pacific Park - 200 Wayne St.
 
Drew Park splash pad located at 2101 Walker Solomon Way will operate the following hours:
Monday-Saturday from 12-8 p.m.; Closed on Sundays
 
The spray pad at Roy Lynch Park, 900 Abbeville St., is user-operated and is available during the park’s operating hours from sunrise to sunset.
 
*Spray pools located at parks that are unmanned will be turned on and off by on-call recreation personnel upon request. Citizens are asked to call the Parks and Recreation Department at 803-545-3100 on Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to request the spray pools for a weekday or weekend event.
For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 803-545-3100 or visit www.columbiasc.gov.
City Video Hub
Find in-depth perspectives from news, updates, and recent events in the City of Columbia.
This is Your Shot, Columbia!
Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin encourages you to get vaccinated and protect our community for COVID-19.

Find a COVID-19 vaccine location at https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov.
Hyatt Park Public Art Dedication Ceremony

Mayor Steve Benjamin and City Council members, announced the final Public Art Dedication Ceremony, " The Pursuit of Citizenship, Benjamin Mack, Septima Clark, and Listervelt Middleton.”
Valencia Park Public Art Dedication Ceremony

Mayor Steve Benjamin and City Council members announce the Valencia Park Public Art Dedication Ceremony, "The Pursuit of Education, Rosewood Elementary, and School Desegregation."
Woodland Park Public Art Dedication Ceremony

Mayor Steve Benjamin and City Council members announce the Woodland Park Public Art Dedication Ceremony, "The Pursuit of Justice, Sarah Mae Flemming."
1401 Main St. Public Art Dedication Ceremony

Mayor Steve Benjamin and City Council members will announces the first Public Art Dedication Ceremony, "The Pursuit of Opportunity, Celebrating African American Business."
COVID-19 Updates
Both Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and Pfizer Vaccines Now Available
at Community Vaccination Center at Columbia Place Mall
Choose between receiving your single-shot or two-shot COVID-19 vaccine
Beginning June 2, residents can choose between getting the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine or the two-dose Pfizer vaccine at the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at Columbia Place Mall.
The CVC site is a FEMA-supported, large-scale vaccination clinic that's a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), Richland County and the City of Columbia. The clinic opened April 14 and is operating through June 9, making free vaccines available to everyone 12 and older from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. No appointment, insurance, ID, or documentation is required, and individuals can walk-in or drive-through to receive their shot.
The single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is approved for those 18 and older, and the two-dose Pfizer vaccine is approved for those 12 and older. All three of the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available are very effective in protecting individuals from severe illness due to COVID-19, and one vaccine brand isn’t recommended over another. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
DHEC staff at the CVC site are assisting residents who choose the Pfizer vaccine with scheduling their second-dose appointments, so they know where and when to go for their second shot.
DHEC encourages all South Carolinians who have not yet received their vaccination to get their Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna or Pfizer shots as soon as possible. For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit sdhec.gov/vaxfacts.
Have questions about COVID-19 vaccines or need help finding vaccine providers?
Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 
1-866-365-8110 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or visit the SCDHEC website here.
Follow these easy steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

 1.      Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

2.      If soap and warm water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

3.      Clean surfaces frequently with disinfecting supplies (telephones, keyboards, copiers, printers, desks, etc.)

4.      Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other individuals

5.      Do no gather in crowds and groups.
6.      Maximize social distancing among co-workers and the public.

Remember, Safety Starts with an “S” but it begins with “YOU”.
Let’s continue to unite and fight the spread of the Coronavirus. 
City Leaders

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