Bell’s Bits – Anyone else ready for things to get back to “normal”? I hope everyone is staying healthy/safe and practicing their social distancing. My number one priority is to keep our citizens and employees safe. However, I think we are nearing the end of this ordeal. As Governor McMaster continues to reopen segments of the State, we will try to follow his timeline.
Public access to all City facilities is still being limited/restricted to by-appointment only. All municipal court proceedings other than bond hearings have been canceled through June. Contractors needing to acquire permits and/or business licenses are still being asked to call City Hall and have those processed over the phone or online.
While the Fountain Inn Natural Gas billing office on Weston Street is closed to the public, all payments can be made over the phone or online. We will attempt to have the drive-thru window opened back up by May 4th and hopefully the entire billing office will be back open not long afterwards.
While continuing to implement social distancing practices, our plan is to open our outdoor parks facilities by May 4th. We would like to have our outdoor recreation programs start back up by mid-May or beginning of June. We do not have a date in mind yet for senior activities and for reopening the Activities Center. The rescheduled ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony date for Emanuel Sullivan Sports Complex will be announced in the coming weeks.
City Council adopted an emergency ordinance on Thursday, April 9th temporarily waiving late payment penalties for the payment of business license taxes and hospitality taxes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitality tax report forms for the reporting periods of April 2020 and May 2020 are still due on May 20, 2020 and June 20, 2020, respectively, but the payment of the hospitality taxes will not accrue a late penalty until June 21, 2020. Failure to file a timely hospitality tax report form, with or without payment, shall be deemed as a non-payment of the hospitality tax and shall accrue a late penalty. Hospitality Tax report forms that were due March 20, 2020 shall be considered timely submitted if the hospitality tax report form bears a U.S. mail postmark date of on or before April 20, 2020. The business license renewal deadline is April 30, 2020 and just like hospitality tax, the renewal application form is still due by April 30th, but the renewal application payment needs to be submitted by June 20, 2020 so as to not accrue a late penalty.
The Fountain Inn Police Department’s first annual Special Needs Awareness Superhero Run/Walk 5K has been rescheduled for October 31st in downtown. The adult fee is $40, Kids ages 8-12 fee is $15; and kids ages 7 and under are free. This is a certified 5K route and the proceeds promote the inclusion of the Special Needs Community throughout the Upstate. Go to http://www.itsabouttime.run/superheroes5k to register.
This May, our annual Spring Cleaning will still take place. During the month of May only, the City of Fountain Inn will pick up the following items: furniture & household items such as couches, chairs, tables, dressers, box springs, mattresses floor lamps, cribs, playhouses, and carpet; metal items such as washers, dryers, stoves, hot water tanks, bicycles, and bed frames; and up to four tires per household. Items we will not pick up: loose/small items; construction/demolition waste; tree stumps; auto parts; and hazardous materials such as oil, wet paint, batteries, light bulbs, antifreeze, and chemicals. All bulky items must be brought to the curb on your regular trash day. City staff will not assist in carrying items to the curb. All bulky items must be separated from regular household waste. All items must come from the household where they originated. Any items left on the curb after May 30 will be the responsibility of the homeowner to dispose of by their own means. Remember: The City does not pick up these items any other time of the year. Notices and fine will begin in June for violations of our trash pick-up policy. You can always visit fountaininn.org for more information.
For the health and safety of our Public Works employees, we are still emphasizing that all trash must be bagged. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been unable to utilize inmates during these unsettling times so citizens can expect delays.
An estimated 240 million calls are made to 9-1-1 in the United States each year. Annually, the second week of April is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, honoring all the men and woman who dedicate their lives to serving the public as dispatchers in our E-911 centers. It takes a very special personality to choose such a stressful job and they never receive enough credit for all that they do.
Shawn Bell is the City Administrator of Fountain Inn.
For more information, go to www.fountaininn.org,
call 864-862-4421, or email firstname.lastname@example.org■