This edition of the City Manager’s Blog features a spotlight on the City’s new Storm Water Administrator, an update on the new collaboration with Aiken Technical College on supervisory training programs, an award to ADPS from PETA, and numerous commercial project updates.

City of Aiken Department of Public Works Hires New Storm Water Administrator
The City of Aiken Department of Public Works has hired Susan Yates as its new Storm Water Administrator, to oversee the implementation and compliance of the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit.  Susan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Charlotte, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Science, and a concentration in Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.  She has over 18 years of experience in storm water, sediment, and erosion control in both the public and private sectors, in North and South Carolina.  Prior to joining the City, she was a Storm Water Compliance Manager for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), in the Water Pollution Compliance Section.  In that role, she oversaw compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for Construction, Industrial, MS4 and Mining for one-third of the State. Susan holds the following certifications:

  • Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC)
  • Certified Erosion, Sediment, and Storm Water Inspector (CESSWI)
  • South Carolina Certified Storm Water Plan Reviewer (CSPR)
  • South Carolina Certified Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Inspector (CEPSCI)

Susan has remained very active in her field throughout her career, presenting at various conferences and training sessions as a member of the review board for Clemson Extension’s Carolina Clear Program, and serving as the past President of the Land Development Council for the Homebuilders Association of Charlotte.  Education of residents and the development community is near and dear to Susan’s heart, with consistent regulatory oversight being her primary focus.  She understands that most entities that are being regulated just want to know what they need to do in order to comply, and that if that goal is consistent then it is much easier to ensure that everyone is playing by the same rules, thus enabling the development community to properly anticipate costs and time frames.

Since joining the City, Susan has begun working on several projects – most notably, a Pet Waste Clean Water Campaign to protect our water.  In her new role, Susan’s goal is to ensure that the City is in compliance with its MS4 permit, to provide excellent customer service to the citizens and the development community, and to engage the City in its environmental awareness.  Please join us in welcoming Susan Yates to the City, and offer your support as she transitions into her new role!

Supervisor Training
The City of Aiken has partnered with Aiken Technical College to revamp supervisory training.  The first round will be Boot Camp Overview conducted January 17th, 24th, and 31st for senior managers.  The second round is one day per month for ten months with graduation celebration for mid-level managers.  We have also scheduled Sexual Harassment Training on February 7th with our employment attorneys from Gignilliat, Savitz & Bettis LLP out of Columbia, SC.

ADPS Officers Save Dog from Burning Truck
On January 1, 2018, Aiken Public Safety Officers responded to a vehicle fire in the Kroger parking lot.  When they arrived they observed a smoke-filled truck in the parking lot with an unresponsive basset hound in the back seat.  Officer Ashton Posey administered oxygen to the dog with a K-9 mask.  The dog, Bella, was rushed to a veterinarian for additional treatment.  Bella is expected to recover.  PETA has awarded ADPS with a framed certificate and a box of vegan cookies for their life saving efforts for Bella.

Commercial Projects Update:

The following commercial projects are under construction:

  • ARMC 2nd/5th FL Acute Care remodel – 302 University Parkway
  • Regional Finance upfit – 161 S Aiken Lane
  • McDonalds ADA remodel – 1902 Whiskey Road
  • Rural Health Service office upfit – 740 Teague Street
  • Prompt Care Richland Avenue – 3515 Richland Avenue West
  • Kroger Clicklist remodel – 1795 Whiskey Road
  • Circle K – 2948 Whiskey Road

The following permit applications have been received and are under review:

  • Betsy’s Around the Corner upfit – 224 Park Avenue SW
  • ARMC Southside OUtpatient Lab & Imaging Center – 430 Society Hill Drive
  • ARMC 2nd/5th FL Acute Care remodel – 302 University Parkway
  • Regional Finance upfit – 161 S. Aiken Lane
  • Ameriprise Financial Office – Oriole & Cardinal Drives
  • Gatewood Apts pavilion and pool house remodel – 303 Pebble Lane

The following plans have been received and are under review:

  • McDonalds remodel – 1157 York Street NE
  • Old Navy remodel – 427 Fabian Drive
  • Walmart online grocery pickup remodel – 3581 Richland Avenue W
  • McDonalds ADA remodel – 1902 Whiskey Road

The following commercial projects received their Certificate of Occupancy:

  • Aiken Cafe Upfit – 108 Coach Light Way
  • Financial Planner office upfit – 137 Old Market Street
  • Healing Minds office upfit – 137 Old Market Street
  • Benton House senior living faiclity – 530 Benton House Way
  • Stand at the Crossroads Ministries duplex – 842 & 844 Eastern Place
  • Chamber of Commerce Remodel – 121 Richland Avenue E
  • Panda Express – 1065 Pine Log Road
  • St. Mary’s meeting room remodel for storage/bathrooms – 125 Union Street SE


Revenue Administrator / Tax Collector Al Cothran helped a tax payer and future resident and received a nice compliment.  Mr. Wayne Tryon sent him an email thanking him for his patience.  He stated it’s folks like Al that make him glad he chose Aiken as the place to retire.

Mr. Felak had a sewer issue after hours on the evening of January 11.  He called to say he had prompt, very courteous service.  The two on-call employees, Senior Maintenance Worker Travis Sanchez and Maintenance Worker Diego Morales, tried desperately to find the problem.  Mr. Felak said since it was not life-threatening it could wait until first thing in the morning when the Jet Truck crew came on.  Maintenance Worker Chris Thomson and Maintenance Worker Alex Butler arrived at Mr. Felak’s first thing.  He said they were awesome.  They quickly determined the problem was on his side and he would need to call a plumber.  Mr. Felak wanted us to know that the City has many excellent employees and are often overlooked.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, January 23 at 6:00PM: The Board of Zoning Appeals will hold its regular monthly meeting in Council Chambers, Second Floor of the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave., SW

Wednesday, January 24 at 5:00PM: The Equine Committee will meet in Room 204 of the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave., SW

Tuesday, February 6 at 6:30PM: The Design Review Board will hold its regular monthly meeting in Council Chambers, Second Floor of the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave., SW

Monday, February 12 at 7:00PM: The next regularly-scheduled City Council meeting will be held in Council Chambers, Second Floor of the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave., SW.