City Updates
City Council Meeting | Tuesday, April 6, 2021
 
In the interest of public health, the Columbia City Council will conduct a virtual meeting using video conferencing technology on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 8:45 a.m.
View the meeting agenda: Download PDF Agenda Packet  |  View Web Agenda Packet
Accordingly, members of the public and/or media who want to observe the meetings may do so remotely by watching it on YouTube.
 
The public may stream the meetings through CityTV accessed at https://www.youtube.com/ColumbiaSCGovernment
 
For additional meeting information visit www.columbiacitysc.iqm2.com. You may also register at this site to post comments related to items on the agenda.
 
For questions regarding the meeting portal, please contact the City Clerk at (803) 545-3043 or CityClerk@columbiasc.gov.
 
For City of Columbia information, please visit our website www.ColumbiaSC.gov.
See the attached agenda here.
Planning Commission | Monday, April 5, 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, April 5, 2021 at 5:15 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: 3506
(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 Lucinda.Statler@ColumbiaSC.gov. For additional information, please visit our website at www.columbiasc.net/planning-boards-commissions.
See the attached agenda here.
Design/Development Review Commission | Thursday, April 8, 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, April 8, 2021 at 4:00 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: 7942
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.
See attached agenda here.
City of Columbia celebrates
Community Development Week

Starting the week of April 5-9, 2021, National Community Development Week designated by the National Community Development Association begins to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the 30th anniversary of the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program. The CDBG Program provides annual funding and flexibility to local communities to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing, a suitable living environment and economic opportunities along with the HOME Program that provides funding to local communities to create decent, safe, affordable housing opportunities for low-income persons. Housing discrimination still exists and the need to enforce fair housing laws remains just as urgent today.

This year, City of Columbia Office of Community Development recognizes Fast Forward Community Technology Center as our “Partner in Excellence” and Best Practice for their innovation and immediate to response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a CDBG partner, Fast Forward led the way in protecting clients in the office, expanding services to all people in need of virtual training in light of the Pandemic, and offering new and much needed virtual training to be able to continue to serve our community. Fast Froward also gained National recognition for their COVID Response from the United States Department of Labor VETS.

The City of Columbia urges Congress and the Administration to recognize the outstanding work being done locally and nationally by the Community Development Block Grant Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program by supporting funding for both programs in Fiscal Year 2021/2022; and encourages all members of the Midlands community to work together to stamp out housing discrimination.
Community Development Celebrates National Financial Literacy Month and
National Fair Housing Month
The City of Columbia's Community Development Department celebrates April as National Financial Literacy Month to raise the awareness, highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach individuals how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. Financial Literacy helps Columbia’s residents understand the importance of managing their personal finances in terms of budgeting, credit building and affordable banking products.
 
Also April is National Fair Housing Month to recognize and celebrate the 1968 passage of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act into law, which prohibited discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and handicap continuing to help countless thousands of Americans achieve the American dream of obtaining safe, decent and affordable housing.
New PR Graphic for CityTV

The City of Columbia's Public Relations, Media and Marketing Department will showcase a new graphic at the end of videos on our YouTube Channel. The graphic will give our viewers information on how to contact the City's Public Relations, Media and Marketing Department, as well as providing additional content that may be interesting our viewers.
In addition to the end of video graphic, in the description of our YouTube videos, the public will also find the department's contact information, as well as direct links to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms.
All of this information will be displayed on all future videos produced by the City's Public Relations, Media and Marketing Department, so our viewers can stay informed with the latest news and information in our City.
The public can find our YouTube channel by vivisiting www.YouTube.com/ColumbiaSCGovernment or by searching “City of Columbia” on the YouTube home page. In addition to the YouTube channel, the public can watch City of Columbia videos on Roku, Amazon FireTV and on Spectrum.
To access our streaming channels on Roku and Amazon FireTV, simply search for “City of Columbia SC” and select our channel highlighted by our City of Columbia seal. If you are a Spectrum customer within the City of Columbia limits, you are able to watch our public access channel (CityTV) on channel 1301.
#WeAreColumbia
City’s Pet of the Week: Coco!
(ID# A269135)

Coco is our adoptable pet of the week! This 5 year old shepherd-pit bull mix still has plenty of energy and would love to go for walks but has mostly outgrown the puppy crazies. She has done well with other large dogs but as always, please bring your dog out for a meet and greet before bringing this happy lady home.
This loving “furbaby” has already been spayed, micro-chipped, and is currently ready to meet their “furever” family.
Visit other pets available for adoption at the Columbia Animal Shelter, 127 Humane Lane. Visit www.columbiasc.net/animal-services or call 803-776-PETS for more information. All of our pets need loving homes! To view other animals available for adoption, visit Petfinder.com Please refer to the ID number listed above when visiting the website.
Dominion Energy to Perform Tree Trimming Activities as Scheduled for 2021
 
Dominion Energy will perform tree trimming activities along overhead utility lines in the following neighborhoods for the next two weeks:
Distribution Line Tree Trimming:
Forest Hills Neighborhood
Forest Hills North
Midland Terrace Neighborhood
Pinehurst Community Council
Rochelle Heights/ Victory Gardens

Citizens with specific questions or concerns should contact Forestry and Beautification at 803-545-3860 or Dominion Energy at 1-800-562-9308 to meet and discuss in advance of the work being completed. 
City Video Hub
Find in-depth perspectives from news, updates, and recent events in the City of Columbia.
Columbia Water Resiliency Update
Columbia Water provides an update to all of its customers about some recent national events, as well as what they are doing to ensure the protection of the City's water supply and infrastructure.

For more information about Columbia Water, please visit https://www.ColumbiaSCWater.net​.

Customer Care | (803) 545-3300
Welcome to Marshall Park | City of Columbia Parks & Recreation
Welcome to Fairwold Park | City of Columbia Parks & Recreation
Financial Literacy Month
The Fair Housing Act Protected Classes:
Color
The Fair Housing Act Protected Classes:
Sex/Gender
The Fair Housing Act Protected Classes:
Religion
The Fair Housing Act Protected Classes:
Race
The Fair Housing Act Protected Classes:
National Origin
The Fair Housing Act Protected Classes:
Familial Status
The Fair Housing Act Protected Classes:
Disability
COVID-19 Updates
South Carolina Tops Two Million COVID-19 Vaccinations Given
South Carolina marked two historical milestones this week: more than two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the state, and everyone 16 and older is now eligible to get their shot.
As of today, a total of 2,034,077 doses have been given statewide, with 1,289,672 South Carolina residents having received at least one dose of vaccine.
“Having the COVID-19 vaccine reach the two million mark is a giant step toward ending this pandemic in South Carolina,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “We’re grateful to our local leaders, providers, and community partners for their efforts to get shots into arms as quickly as possible. They’ve not only helped our state achieve this two-million-dose milestone, but they’ve also allowed us to open up vaccines to all South Carolinians 16 and older much faster that we initially anticipated. Now we need to continue this great effort until every South Carolinian has had an opportunity to receive the vaccine.”
While vaccine doses remain somewhat limited, South Carolina and other states are seeing an uptick in the number of doses they’re receiving from the federal government. All three vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen — are available to those aged 18 and older, and, currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine available to those aged 16-18.
“Our new message, loud and clear, is ‘don’t wait – vaccinate,’” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Public Health Director. “While you may not be able to get your shot right away, we urge everyone to continue searching for an appointment. Providers are working to open as many appointments as quickly as possible based on their inventory, and appointment availability will vary each week. For everyone 16 and older: it’s your turn to help us put a stop to COVID-19.”
As of today, 31.4 percent of South Carolinians have received at least one shot, and 17.1 percent are considered fully vaccinated. Herd immunity can be achieved and DHEC advises that certain public health recommendations, like masks and physical distancing, can begin to be relaxed once 70 to 80 percent of the population is vaccinated. Until then, it’s important for everyone to continue to wear masks and physically distance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here's what you can do once you’ve been fully vaccinated.
"The Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen vaccines are all safe and very effective at preventing severe illness and death, and I encourage everyone 16 and older to begin making their appointments and to get whichever brand of the shot they can first," said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “These vaccines truly are the light at the end of the tunnel, and we are indebted to the scientists and doctors across the world who have dedicated themselves to the safe and thoroughly researched development of these vaccines. These vaccines are saving lives and helping the world return to normal.”
To find a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit DHEC’s vaccine locator map or call your provider directly to ask about appointment availability. For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.
FEMA and South Carolina to Open Community Vaccination Center at Columbia Place Mall April 14
 
The White House Coronavirus Task Force today announced a federally-supported Community Vaccination Center will open April 14 at Columbia Place Mall in Richland County. The site, coordinated by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Richland County Emergency Services, will be supported by FEMA with vaccine supplies along with logistics and planning staff.
Beginning April 14, this site is expected to deliver up to 7,000 doses of vaccine per week for eight weeks in addition to the regular vaccine allocations to providers in the state. These additional vaccine doses, supplied by FEMA, are possible due to an increase in production and availability.
“Getting vaccinated is the best step anyone can take to getting past this pandemic,” said Kim Stenson, SCEMD Director. “By choosing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, people are not only safeguarding their own health, they’re also being their own emergency managers and protecting the well-being of their families and communities.”
“Today, more than 2.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered right here in South Carolina,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “Thanks to the support of our federal and local partners, efforts like the Columbia Place Mall vaccine center are helping us strengthen our efforts as we work to ensure every South Carolinian has an opportunity to receive the vaccine.” 
The state’s vaccine task force will continue outreach to underserved communities throughout South Carolina to inform and build trust about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Anyone aged 16 and older will be able to get vaccinated at the Columbia Place Mall site. Additional details and information for this site will be available in the coming days.
Visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina.
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