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April 2019

Community Corner provides residents with information about upcoming events, City meetings, City recognition, fostering animals and the Columbia City Council Vision Statement.

In case you missed any City events in the past month, Community Corner gives a little insight on past events to give you an opportunity to stay connected with the City of Columbia.
Upcoming Events

April Council Open House | April 10 

Councilman Sam Davis and Councilman Howard Duvall, Jr. will host an April Council Open House on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at City Hall, 1737 Main St. from 5 - 7 p.m. 
 Citizens are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with Councilman Sam Davis and Councilman Howard Duvall, Jr.
An appointment must be scheduled to attend. Call (803) 545-3061 for information or scheduling purposes.


 Fish Passage Tuesday 

On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, the City's Parks & Recreation will host a Fish Passage Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Riverfront Park (north), 4122 River Dr.

Learn about the species including American Shad that make the journey from the North Atlantic Ocean into the Broad River, and look for fish as they swim past the observation window of the passage built to accommodate this migration.

Guests should meet at the Canal Headgates at Riverfront Park North.

For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 803-545-3100.


City of Columbia to host 
Lunch with a Planner

The City of Columbia is hosting “lunch with a planner” discussions throughout the year as part of Columbia Compass, the ten-year update to the City of Columbia’s comprehensive plan. Your input is vital as we seek to define a vision for Columbia, and identify the policies, programs and infrastructure investments necessary to make that vision a reality. 

The lunch with a planner will be held on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at the 
Riverfront Park Amphitheater, Three Rivers Greenway, Columbia, SC 29201

 from 12 - 1 p.m. |more|

Office of Business Opportunities to host Government Contract Readiness Workshop

City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities will host a government contract readiness workshop in collaboration with the SC Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a part of the SC Small Business Development Center. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at Earlewood Park Community Center, 1111 Recreation Drive Columbia, SC 29201 at 6 p.m.

The Government Contract Readiness Workshop is free to attend, but registration is encouraged. Please register at
For additional information, please contact the office of Business Opportunities department at (803) 545-3950.


Columbia Water at Soda City

Columbia Water will be at Soda City on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at the corner of Main and Lady Streets from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. The first 100 people get a FREE water bottle. 


Rain Barrel & Compost Bin Spring Sale

Columbia Water will host a Rain Barrel & Compost Bin Spring Sale on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Edisto Park, 1914 Wiley St. from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.


Columbia to Host National Youth Violence Prevention Week Youth Symposium

In recognition of National Youth Violence Prevention Week, the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department and the Columbia Police Department will host a Youth Symposium to bring the community together in the fight against youth violence.

National Youth Violence Prevention Week, which is recognized as April 8-12, 2019, was created to raise awareness and educate students, teachers, school administrators and staff, school resource officers, parents and the public about effective ways to prevent and reduce youth violence.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Youth Symposium: “What I Want to Say Is..”
6-8 p.m. | Busby Street Community Center, 1735 Busby Street
Join us for an informative night focusing on the dangers of social media, depression, bullying and sex trafficking.


Join The City of Columbia’s Team for the Midlands Heart Walk

WHAT: The public is invited to participate in the FREE Midlands Heart Walk to help and support the women affected by heart disease, the number 1 killer of women.  This year’s Heart Walk will be held on Saturday, April 6th, 2019.

Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine has started a team listed as, City of Columbia Roster. Join our team as we encourage awareness of this issue and take action to help save lives. Both men and women are encouraged to participate in the walk. You can join our team by registering |

WHERE: Colonial Life Arena, 801 Lincoln St, Columbia, SC 29201

WHO: The public is encouraged to join the team

WHEN: Saturday, April 6th, 2019. The Check-in starts at 8:00 a.m. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

Register for the City of Columbia's Team here

Minority Business Opportunity Conference (Minority BOC) 

The Office of Business Opportunities (OBO) will host its Minority Business Opportunity Conference (Minority BOC) on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Senate’s End, 300 Senate Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Participants can register at for additional information, please contact Kalenna Ginyard at (803) 545-3960 or email


Columbia Parks & Recreation Offers Free Spring Teen Retreat 

The Columbia Parks & Recreation Department will offer a free Spring Teen Retreat for children ages 13-17.   

The Spring Teen Retreat will be held April 15-19 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Katheryn M. Bellfield Booker Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center, 2611 Grant. St, Columbia, SC 29203.

The retreat will include field trips, guest speakers and teen talks. Meals will be provided.

Space is limited. To register or for more information, visit the KMB Booker Washington Heights Cultural Arts Center or call 803-255-8161.


City's Community Development Celebrates National Community Development Week 

Community Development will celebrate National Community Development Week from April 22 – April 26, 2019. During the week the Community Development department will be hosting different activities to recognize all of the programs and projects that were made possible by the Community Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, as well as provide information on current programs that the City has to offer.

The City’s Community Development department will host its first-ever Community Development Week Conference on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St.


Community Development Department to host Community Block Party  

 The Community Development Department will close the celebration of National Community Development Week with a Community Block Party on Friday, April 26, 2019, at Community Development office, 1225 Lady St. Parking lot area from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

The Community Block Party will include free:

  • Food
  • Games
  • Music
  • Door Prizes
  • City Department Vendors

Curing Kids Cancer Fire Truck Pull Moves to Lady Street
The Fire Truck Pull looks to grow at a new location next to Soda City Market.

 Curing Kids Cancer and the Columbia Fire Department are teaming up with Mayor Steve Benjamin for the sixth annual Fire Truck Pull. The Pull will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 6 at 1200 Lady St., rain or shine.
Teams of 10 to 12 people will race to pull a 35,000-pound fire truck for 50 feet. Each team will pull in honor or memory of a child affected by cancer, and will dress up to show the child’s interests or hobbies. These groups not only compete during the pull but they also compete to receive the most donations. The team that raises the most money will receive a one second advantage.


Upcoming Meetings
Please click on the boxes below to view the
upcoming meetings for the month of April.
Board of Zoning Appeals Meetings Dates
Columbia City Council Meeting Dates
Design/Development Review Comission Meeting Dates
Planning Commission Meeting Dates
City Announcement

City Offices to Close in Observance of Good Friday  

City of Columbia offices will be closed on Friday, April 19, 2019, in observance of Good Friday.
Emergency police, fire and rescue services may be reached by calling 9-1-1.
Recycling, garbage and yard waste will remain on regular schedule for Good Friday.

Mayor Benjamin and City of Columbia announce
Columbia Youth Commission election

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and the City of Columbia are relaunching the Columbia Youth Commission program and will hold an election for students in Richland and Lexington counties on May 7.

“Relaunching the Columbia Youth Commission with this special election makes it an incredibly unique, exciting and influential program for young people in our city,” said Mayor Benjamin. “I look forward to the leadership exhibited by our youth through the programming, policies and innovative ideas they bring forth over the next year. It’s imperative for us to not only converse with our youth but to keep them engaged in our governmental processes.”

The Columbia Youth Commission is a program for local students to provide leadership and improve services for youth in the City of Columbia. The group of young leaders will work to bridge the gap between adults and youth, fostering a greater sense of unity, communication and partnership throughout the city.

Over the past few years, the activism and civic engagement in Generation Z (people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) has been evident, particularly in movements such as The March for our Lives. To better leverage the energy, ideas and voices of young people in our community, programs like a Youth Commission are not only beneficial but are imperative for cities that want to more intentionally engage with youth and understand their needs as a demographic.

Roles and responsibilities of the Youth Commission will include:

  • Commenting on legislation and policies that impact youth
  • Creating public service programs that improve the lives of youth
  • Monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of youth programs and policies
  • Coming up with program evaluation measures that consider aspects of a program that matter most to youth.
  • Partnering with other youth organizations on shared issues
  • Preparing peers for leadership roles, postsecondary education and career.

The City of Columbia will hold a city and counties-wide (Richland and Lexington) election, similar to how typical municipal and county elections are held. One youth commissioner will be elected from each city district, with three at-large representatives from Richland County and two at-large representatives from Lexington County. There will be a total of nine (9) people on the Youth Commission.

Eligible candidates are students ages 14-18. High school seniors graduating in June 2019 will not be eligible for elected office.

This election will be unique in that all 14-18-year-olds in Richland and Lexington counties will be eligible voters. Youth commissioners will campaign to voters just as an adult candidate for elected office does.

The application for the Youth Commission is open and will close on April 8. The application can be found online at (please note the is case sensitive).

For information, contact Lauren Harper at

Columbia Water's partnership with Blue Granite Water
ends discharge into Saluda River

Blue Granite Water Company and Columbia Water announce a major step forward for water quality protection and the continued health and vitality of the Saluda River.  At 2:30pm on Friday, March 29th, Blue Granite successfully interconnected its Friarsgate Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) to Columbia Water’s wastewater treatment system. As a result of this regional treatment connection and the cooperation and collaboration of the parties, treated effluent is no longer being discharged from the Friarsgate WWTP into the Saluda River.

In November 2017, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) notified Blue Granite of the availability of a regional connection for the Friarsgate WWTP with Columbia Water.  Thereafter, Blue Granite and Columbia Water worked collaboratively to negotiate and execute a wholesale interconnection and treatment agreement.  This agreement was approved by the South Carolina Public Service Commission in October 2018. DHEC also worked with the parties to promptly review and approve construction and operating permits needed to make the connection.

“The connection of the Friarsgate WWTP to Columbia Water’s facilities is an example of how constructive working relationships and proactive implementation of regional water quality management plans can benefit both utility customers and the environment,” said Michael Cartin, Blue Granite’s Director of External Affairs.

“We are pleased to achieve this milestone with Blue Granite Water Company and believe it will benefit water quality in the Saluda River and economic development in the Midlands for many years to come,” said Assistant City Manager, Clint Shealy. “This is yet another example of Columbia Water fulfilling one of Envision Columbia’s focus areas of enhancing our communities through innovative solutions.”

Blue Granite will continue to work over the next several months to complete the decommissioning of the Friarsgate WWTP.  Additionally, Blue Granite is actively working with the support of the Congaree Riverkeeper to seek a connection of its Watergate Waste Water Treatment Plant to the Town of Lexington’s regional facilities. Blue Granite is committed to complying with regional water quality management plans and ensuring the compliance of its treatment facilities with applicable laws and regulations.

To learn more about the City of Columbia, visit or Blue Granite, visit

City Recap
11th Annual Together We Can Read Press Conference

In recognition of the 11th year partnership between the City of Columbia and Richland County School District One, both groups came together on Monday, March 25 to celebrate the anniversary of the Together We Can Read initiative with a kick off press conference at City Hall.

Elected officials, City of Columbia staff and community leaders volunteering as guest readers participated in the event that also revealed the name of the book for this year's event. “Fire and Forgiveness” by Martha Dunsky and illustrated by Monica Wyrick. In 30 elementary schools in Richland One, nearly 2,000 third grade students heard the story of Fire and Forgiveness on Tuesday, March 26 during the reading day. 
Together We Can Read Press Conference
Mayor Pro-Tem
Tameika Isaac Devine,
City of Columbia
Commissioner Jamie L. Devine, Vice Chairman of Richland County School District One
Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Superintendent Richland County  School District One
Mayor Pro-Tem Tameika Isaac Devine and Councilman Howard E. Duvall, Jr. presented Richland County School District One with a proclamation.
Together We Can Read Reading Day
Pictured above
Councilman Sam Davis reads to 3rd graders of Edward E. Taylor Elementary School
Pictured above
Mayor Pro-Tem Tameika Isaac Devine reads to 3rd graders of Logan Elementary School
Pictured above
Councilman Moe Baddourah reads to 3rd graders of Meadowfield Elementary School
Pictured above
Councilman Howard E. Duvall, Jr. reads to 3rd graders of Satchel Ford Elementary School
Pictured above
City Manager Teresa Wilson reads to 3rd graders of A.C. Moore Elementary School
Columbia Parks & Recreation, Law Enforcement Agencies Held Community Forum at Benedict College

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department partnered with several law enforcement agencies and Benedict College to host a free community forum to kick off the City’s recognition of National Youth Violence Prevention Week on Wednesday, March 27.

The forum focused on policing in our city and addressed ways law enforcement and the community can build stronger relationships. Speakers included Mayor Pro Tem Tameika Isaac Devine; Chief Kevin Portee of Benedict College; Sgt. Darring Hicks and Lt. Ron Felder of the Columbia Police Department; Lt. Brittany Jackamonis and DS. Donny Ray Campbell of the Richland County Sheriff's Department; Lt. Everick Patterson of SC Highway Patrol; and Kassy Alia Ray of Serve & Connect. Jean Porter served as the forum's moderator.

National Youth Violence Prevention Week, which is April 8-12, 2019, was created to raise awareness and educate students, teachers, school administrators and staff, school resource officers, parents and the public about effective ways to prevent and reduce youth violence.
City Recognized A.J. Lewis Greenview Elementary School during National Reading Month

On Friday, March 22, 2019, A.J. Lewis Greenview Elementary School celebrated National Reading month by participating in the 2018-2019 Book It! Reading Program.

The students of A.J. Lewis Greenview Elementary School’s goal were to read 10,000 books from October 1 through March 30, 2019. The students exceeded the goal and read 12,000 books.

The faculty and staff held a celebration for their students where parents and city officials were invited to attend. On behalf of City of Columbia, Councilman Sam Davis, representative of District I proclaimed March 22, 2019, as “A.J. Lewis Greenview Elementary Literacy Celebration Day.”

City held All Access Columbia Workshop

The City of Columbia Community Development (CD) department held an All Access Columbia workshop on Saturday, March 9, 2019, at the Busby Street Community Center. Approximately 50 residents of Columbia attended the workshop and gained information about capacity building practices and community grant writing.

Councilman Sam Davis,
City of Columbia Councilmember
Andelyn Nesbitt,
CD Program Compliance Specialist
Tige Watts,
Columbia Council of Neighborhoods President
Crowd Shot

City held Birds & Bees Workshop

The City of Columbia held a birds & bees workshop on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Hyatt Park. Participants learned  how to increase habitat for wildlife in their own backyards! 

Speakers at the workshop discussed how to create important habitat for our birds, bees, and shoreline species, and also provided information on beneficial species you may find in your backyard.

The workshop concluded with a tour of the newest addition to Hyatt Park, the pollinator garden.

City Park Ranger Benjamin Wildt playing basketball with workshop attendees kids in Hyatt Park gymnasium.
Jay Keck, South Carolina Wildlife Federation teaching workshop
City Manager Teresa Wilson Attends
Harbison West Elementary School's Career Fair

On Thursday, March 21, 2019, City Manager Teresa Wilson attended Harbison West Elementary School for their career fair. The City Manager engaged with the 3rd, 4th & 5th grade students as they ask her questions about her role and responsibilities. 

The City Manager provided the students with tips on how to become a successful individual and how education plays a major key factor with succeeding in life.
The COMET and Blue Bike Forms Partnership News Conference

On Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., The COMET held a press conference at the Blue Bike Station in front of Columbia City Hall to showcase the new partnership between The COMET and Blue Bike. 
Columbia’s bike share system, Blue Bike SC, will grow by 8 fully functional, docked stations this year as part of the program’s expansion funded by a $250,000 Federal Transit Administration grant from The COMET. In addition to funding the station expansion, an amount of $70,000 is allocated to Blue Bike as a pilot to provide a “first mile, last mile” connection specifically for The COMET riders utilizing bike-share in the downtown Columbia area. 
Pet Adoption


The Columbia Animal Shelter often need citizens to take home kittens and puppies for a better environ-
ment instead of the animal shelter.

The fostering time can be 1-3 weeks. There are also times when an individual animal is a bit scared and shy when being in new homes. They will need some time to adjust and become comfortable to their new homes. View all
Columbia's foster pets or visit our website.


City Community Connection 

City of Columbia #KnowYourCity Trivia Challenge

Each Wednesday, the Public and Media Relations Department post a question on Instagram about a current event or a fact about our City.

The first person to answer correctly wins a City of Columbia prize pack.


Columbia City Council

Vision Statement
Please click on the banners and logo below to learn more
about the City Council Vision Statement.

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