The Aiken City Council has quite the full plate Monday.
On the agendas – an executive session, a work session after that, and a regular meeting later – is a breadth of legal, fiscal and real-estate discussions and ordinances.
At its 5 p.m. closed-door meeting, City Council will be briefed on "the status of a lawsuit filed against the city by a former employee," according to a public notice.
While its not explicitly clear what lawsuit will be discussed, Michelle Shepherd Jones, the city's former public works director, sued the city and other officials earlier this year, accusing the lot of race-, gender- and religion-based discrimination, which she says culminated in her untimely firing. The matter is now in federal court.
The city and its sued officials deny the allegations, according to court documents.
A state-level probe found insufficient evidence to back Jones's accusations.
At its 7 p.m. regular meeting, City Council is scheduled to set the fiscal year 2019-20 millage rate, which is used to calculate property taxes.
City Council last month approved a millage rate of 64 for FY19-20. That's a two-point uptick, the first increase in three decades.
Now, following a budget work session last week, City Council is poised to maintain the existing millage rate: 62. Last month's millage ordinance – approved 5-1 – will need to be amended, in that case.
The second and final reading of the city's budget, which is tightly intertwined with the millage rate, is also on City Council's Monday night agenda. The two matters are voted on separately.
City Council will also, among other things, review a firm's plans to radically redo the old Aiken County hospital tract.
WTC Investments LLC is seeking approval from the city to raze the area – 828 Richland Ave. W. as well as 159 Morgan Street N.W. – and erect a boutique hotel, a connected conference center, a four-floor parking garage, residential housing, an amenity area and walking trails.
The Planning Commission, an advisory body, previously recommended the concept plan and rezoning to City Council, but with a bevy of conditions. The Planning Commission's recommendation was unanimous.
City Council meets at the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave. S.W.