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Aiken City Council will learn more about a plan to manage stormwater affecting the historic Hitchcock Woods property, as well as meet in executive session to evaluate two of the city's top staff members at its regular meeting this week. 

On Monday, City Council will hold a work session at 5 p.m. ahead of its regular 7 p.m. meeting to discuss the Hitchcock Woods Stormwater Project and city financial statements for fiscal year 2016-17.

The stormwater project refers to a management plan designed to prevent continued erosion and waste into Hitchcock Woods following what officials say has been decades of discussion but little improvement. 

Phase I of the plan involves the use of capital sales tax funding approved by voters in 2004 and 2010, according to the city. 

City Council documents state the City currently has more than $5.2 million available to implement the first phase of the project.

"By beginning mitigation, this will enable the city (through our consultant) and the (Hitchcock Woods) Foundation to apply for additional grants to continue efforts to address the stormwater erosion in the Sand River Basin," City Manager John Klimm wrote in a memo attached to the Council's agenda.

"This will include money for stormwater retention on Hitchcock Woods property, which is unanimously supported by the Hitchcock Woods Foundation …"

In other business, officials with audit firm, Mauldin & Jenkins Certified Public Accountants LLC, will also attend the work session to discuss the city's recently completed financial audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

The work session will be held in Room 204 of the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave. S.W. 

Following work session, Council also will consider first reading of an ordinance to accept the audit at its regular meeting in Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.

The request to spend capital sales tax funds for the stormwater project also will be considered at the meeting.

Among other items City Council will consider Monday are: 

• First reading of an ordinance for the issuance of water and sewer system revenue bonds.

• First reading of ordinances to grant franchises to Aiken Electric Cooperative Inc. and SCE&G for use of rights-of-way in the city to provide electrical and gas service to customers in Aiken.

• Approval to accept a grant under the 319 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Program from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control for the Shaws Creek Watershed Water Quality Improvement Project.

Agricultural property owners and operators within the watershed area will be targeted for installation of best management practices, or BMP, to reduce non-point source pollutants entering Shaws Creek, Council documents state.

"Agricultural lands with cattle, horse, poultry, orchard and row crop production located adjacent to Shaws Creek and its tributaries will receive priority for BMP installation, although the program will be available to any agricultural producer in the watershed," the documents read.

Funding for the project will be $346,027.43 from SCDHEC, $ 115,631.86 from the City of Aiken, and $115,219.76 from landowner grant participants.

Agenda documents state the city's match will be provided through Capital Project Sales Tax II funding from greenways and open space.

The Council will meet in executive session after the meeting to conduct annual evaluations of City Manager John Klimm and City Attorney Gary Smith.

Christina Cleveland is the city government reporter at the Aiken Standard.

Christina Cleveland is a reporter with the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since October 2015. A native of Seneca, South Carolina, she holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.