New leaders take office in Irmo

By Al Dozier

Bill Danielson was officially sworn in as the new mayor of Irmo at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Danielson unseated Barry Walker, who has served as mayor since 2019 and served on the council for some 20 years. Danielson was first elected to council during a special election in March of 2020 and was re-elected to serve a full term in 2021.

Phyllis Coleman, a political newcomer, and incumbent Erick Sickinger also took the oath of office at Tuesday’s meeting.

The council elected Sickinger as the town’s new Mayor Pro-tem. Renee Caviness was reappointed as Municipal Clerk. Jake Moore and lawyers with the Moore Bradley Myers law firm were reappointed to the town’s legal team.

The new council heard a presentation from Jake Petrosky of the Stewart Corporation on the town’s Vision 2034 Comprehensive Plan.

Petrosky said the plan calls for a vision over the next 10 to 20 years of Irmo’s future growth.  He said an important goal is to get community input from the citizens of Irmo. Small group meetings, surveys and communications with local business people are planned during the next few months.

The town of Irmo received a positive report in a presentation from Hightower & Hightower, LLC on the town’s annual financial audit.

The audit found Irmo in a “good financial position,” according to the presentation.

In other action, the council gave a final reading to an ordinance on zoning and land development that sets new guidelines for sign types, message centers and commercial signs.

There was a lot of discussion about the length of time political signs could be displayed. The council approved a measure to limit the display time to 45 days before an election.

The council also gave final reading approval to an amended ordinance that will move residential units out of commercial zones.

In the New Business agenda, the council approved a change in the starting time of council meetings from 7 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., an adjustment that better suited the schedule of council members.

The council approved the following contract offers for entertainers for the next Okra Strut Festival: Simply Shania, not to exceed $8,000; Root Doctors, not to exceed $8,000; Cowboy Mouth, not to exceed $13,000; Absolute Queen, not to exceed $12,000.

The council approved the appointments of Lauren Sherr, Buddy Burke and Anna Unversaw to the Okra Strut Commission.

The council also approved an agreement with LCK, LLC. for Project Management Services not to exceed $180,000. The agreement will provide construction administration and project coordination services in connection with the construction of a new town hall.

The council also approved a schedule for town council meetings for the coming year.