The following are highlights from Richland County Government in October:
· Richland County commemorated the one year anniversary of the historic October 2015 flood with a memorial plaque dedication that remembered flood victims and recognized first responders. Councilmembers presented a plaque that includes the names of the nine people who lost their lives in Richland County as a result of the flood.
· Richland County emergency services staff, Public Works employees and other essential personnel worked around the clock in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. Before, during and after the storm, County staff assisted the state with transportation logistics, provided essential resources and helped with cleanup and recovery.
· Richland County Solid Waste & Recycling partnered with Dutch Fork Elementary School for a pilot program to reduce the amount of food waste the school sends to the landfill.
· The fourth of four homes renovated through the Richland Restores flood recovery program was completed, and the homeowner was welcomed back with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony.
· Richland County announced that it will begin using ZoomGrants, an online application management system, for entities applying for Accommodations tax, Discretionary grants and Hospitality tax grants beginning in 2017.
· To mark National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October, the IT Department held a cybersecurity event for County employees to test their knowledge of protecting private data and learn the dos and don’ts of sharing information.
· The Richland County Office of Community Development and Columbia Housing Authority kicked off a series of public input meetings to gather information about fair housing. The data will be used for an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH), an official report that is required by the federal government.
· Residents got an inside look at the County’s new Decker Center during a special edition of Richland 101. The facility, which is set to be opened by the end of the year, will house Central Magistrate Court, a Sheriff’s Department substation and a community gathering space.
· The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District announced four local schools as winners of mini-grants to be used for conservation-themed classroom projects.
· Richland County's Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) celebrated National Community Planning Month with a “spirit week.” NIP held several public events that showcase the programs it has successfully implemented over the years and the importance of its community and neighborhood partnerships.
· Richland County Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson, District 2, was a featured presenter at a Women & Leadership in South Carolina forum held at Columbia College.