By Al Dozier
What should a new town of Irmo flag look like?
The Irmo Town Council considered a variety of suggestions at Tuesday’s work session.
One of the recommendations from an advisory service calls for the inclusion of a blue heron, a bird often seen around the Irmo area. The heron is pictured with a half-moon.
Another suggestion would feature the popular gazebo in the Irmo Town Park that is often used in wedding celebrations.
Mayor Barry Walker Sr. didn’t care for the heron, and insisted that the name “Irmo” should be the most prominent feature of the flag.
There was some speculation that the Okra Strut, or Lake Murray, would be featured on the flag but those selections were not featured among the displays shown at Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilman Eric Sickinger said the council would continue to get feedback from citizens before making a final selection.
Irmo currently has a town flag, but it’s 21-years-old and rarely seen anywhere. The council agreed in March that a different flag was needed.
In other action the council held a discussion on the town’s 2023-2024 budget proposal.
The proposal includes raises in step increase for police officers but Walker questioned whether more pay hikes were needed after the council recently approved new starting pay hikes. At last month’s meeting the council adjusted the starting salary for police officers from $40,000 to $44,000 in a continued effort to encourage retention and provide strong support for the department.
Some council members said the increases are all important to make sure the town is able to retain police officers for extended periods of time.
The council continued a discussion on making changes to zoning and development regulations to make sure new developments are properly regulated and comply with the town’s comprehensive plan.
The council also agreed to consider providing tax credit for property developers who follow conservation initiatives, such as providing green space.
“We are a Tree City USA,” said Sickinger, noting the town is part of a national network of cities in compliance with standards of the National Arbor Day Foundation.
No official actions are taken at council work sessions but discussion items are often placed on the agenda for the next regular council meeting.