Lt. Shane Martin and Officer Dillon Sherfield showed council the uniforms that all road patrol will now wear for the Laurens Police Department.
According to Chief Sonny Ledda, the new uniforms have many positive qualities including more longevity and they are about $15-$20 cheaper per set.
Comfort will be a key factor for officers not only in the fabric but also in the fact that they will no longer have to wear a bullet-proof vest on the inside of their uniform. The new uniforms come with a vest that is worn on the outside of the uniform with multiple pockets in the front and POLICE adorning the back.
Ledda expects that the new vest and uniform will take 20-30 lbs. off of an officer that they would normally carry during a shift. Taking items off of the belt and placing them on the vest will allow officers to position that weight on their shoulders instead of their back.
Lt. Martin said that the new vest is less constricting and can be taken on and off easily.
Joe Strauss with Retail Strategies gave council an update on the recruitment of commercial development for the City of Laurens.
Strauss said that national trends include growth in the areas of discount apparel retailers and restaurants in the fast and fast-casual category.
Strauss said that he has seen more interest in Laurens and Laurens County in the last six months than in the last 18 months.
“There’s a lot of good activity,” said Strauss. “It’s an exciting time in retail.”
Though he could not mention specifics because of confidentiality, Strauss said that areas showing interest in Laurens include hardware stores, sporting goods and convenience stores. He said that eight restaurants are interested in coming to Laurens and two are in negotiations. Strauss expects announcements in early 2016.
City Manager Gary Coleman updated council on The Ridge at Laurens. Coleman said that the steel should be completed this week and the interior work should begin next week. The exterior of the building should start to take shape in two weeks with an anticipated completion date of mid-February.
Special Projects Director Tommy Burns said that storm clean-up continues along the Little River and at the city-owned ponds. Burns said that parts of the walkway along the Little River were damaged during the flooding and that renovation work is beginning.
In other business, council unanimously agreed to second reading on an ordinance to sell a parcel of real estate at 103 Goode St for $3,000.
Council unanimously approved first reading of the ordinance to adopt the 2015 Comprehensive Plan for the City of Laurens.