The ranks of the Richmond Hill Fire Department grew Tuesday as three new firefighters were sworn in by Mayor Harold Fowler at the City Council meeting.
Brendon Greene, Jordan Johnson and Steven Woods took the firefighter’s oath in front of family and friends while swearing to protect the lives and property of area residents.
Mayor Fowler told the new firefighters they were an important part of the city’s family and he expected great things from them.
Also recognized for their hard work and years of dedication to the city were Joe Forlenza and Lee Newton, both of whom were promoted to lieutenant and will lead a shift of city firefighters.
Mayor Fowler also praised the contributions of retired command Sgt. Maj. Charles Bradley, who recently retired from helping shape and lead the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Richmond Hill High School.
The mayor also cited Bradley’s contributions to the country during a long and distinguished Army career.
In other business, the council:
• Approved a conditional-use permit to allow a mini-storage facility behind the A-1 Motel with conditions that a 25-foot undisturbed buffer remain, the rear of the units be painted in an earth tone and that all lighting be directed downward. The council discussed the impact such a development will have on neighboring townhomes in the Live Oak subdivision. Councilman Johnny Murphy felt the conditions placed on the conditional-use approval were sufficient to protect the rights and investments of local homeowners.
• Also approved a text amendment to include as a conditional use for boat and recreational vehicle storage at the above property behind the A-1 Motel on Highway 17.
• Approved the preliminary and final subdivision plats for the pump station, force main and water main at the Belfast Commerce Center on Belfast Keller Road.
• Discussed and approved a height variance from 6 to 9.75 feet for a SouthCoast Medical sign at Interchange Drive and Highway 17.
• Approved changes to the Revenue Ordinance regarding some facility usage fees. The approval raises the usage fees on some city facilities while granting discounts on those increases for city residents.
• Allowed a variance for a manual changeable-copy sign at the Richmond Hill Pharmacy be replaced with an LED changeable-copy sign.
• Approved the building signage for the Navy Federal Credit Union at 3490 Highway 17 in the Food Lion Shopping Center.
• Approved a transfer of $40,000 to the general fund to cover various refurbishment projects in the City Hall. The transferred funds represent accrued monies, Finance Director Bob Whitmarsh told the council, from principal funds in the city’s water/sewer accounts.
• The city will host its yearly Memorial Day observance at 11 a.m. Monday in J.F. Gregory Park.