City Agrees On Contract To Open Winter Shelter

10:30 PM, Sep 17, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Tuesday night Columbia City Council unanimously voted to approve a contract agreement with Christ Central Ministries to open the winter shelter for the homeless.

According to the contract the emergency shelter has to open before September 30th.

The contract would put a temporary intake location for the homeless to register for the shelter at Hope Plaza which is on Main Street. The shelter is set to open no later than September 30th and close no later than May 30th.

Pastor Johnny Jones who is the founder of Christ Central ministries says they will provide three meals a day and transportation to several agencies for the homeless to get help while in the shelter.

Jones says it will take a lot of work to get the 24-7 shelter off the ground in such a short period of time.

"Just think of the things we have to buy and bring in, buses, vans, security and everything else, then preparing all those things for our guests and preparing the beds for them. It's not going to be an overnight thing but it could happen in the next few weeks if we get past the impasses," said Jones.

Also on the agenda was for council to decide what the mayors salary would be if the strong mayor form of government is voted for by the public.

Contrary to what has been said in the past, the city's attorney said that by state law a strong mayor form of government does not mean that the mayor has to be full time.

Currently the mayor is part-time and receives $17,500 per year. 

Council members said there are a lot of question that need to be answered as to what a strong mayors duties would be and what would happen to the city manager and other staffers

Council tabled their vote on the mayor's salaryl.

Wednesday, council will vote on an ordinance to put the strong mayor vote on the November ballot or for a special election.

Signatures from the petition from strong mayor are still being certified by the county elections commission.

The signatures have to be certified before Friday in order to make the November 5th ballot.



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