COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia City Council addressed liquor sales at city events and police pay raises at it's regular meeting on Tuesday, May 3.
Council amended Columbia's code to allow liquor be sold at city permitted events.
Previously, only beer and wine could be sold at city events, but now liquor can be, too. According to Councilman Howard Duvall, a permit from the state Revenue Department will still be required.
“City staff to bring to city council proposals for alcohol events that include beer and wine plus regular alcohol,” Duvall said, reiterating that all events must be approved by City Council first.
Also at the meeting, council discussed implementing what they’re calling a “Step Pay Plan.” This is a separate pay plan for the Columbia Police Department, which will allow officers to get pay increases every year.
The City says the implementation and funding of the final compensation plan recommended by Evergreen Consultants, an outside firm, will help address the challenge of recruiting and retaining quality staff.
The program will also fund a “Take Home Car” program to allow more officers to take home patrol cars, and plans are underway to hire a wellness officer to improve staff fitness.
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Councilman Joe Taylor said this will help to ensure officers stay with the Columbia Police Department.
“Being a policeman today is incrementally more difficult than it was three, four, five years ago," Taylor said. "We’re committed to them, that they have an incomes that they can live on and they have training and the facilities to be as successful as anyone else in the world.”
The plan’s still in the early stages. Taylor said the pay amendments will be included in the 2023 Fiscal budget.