Town to purchase property for industrial development site

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By David Meade

During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council approved first reading on an ordinance to purchase approximately 70 acres of property located within the town limits and acted on a recommendation from the town’s Park Committee concerning the Brookdale Park restroom project.

Mayor Carthel Crout said that two tracts of land owned by the Milliken/Pacolet company could be used for an industrial development site and an outdoor lab site.

The 41 acre tract has frontage along the town’s mill village and First St. Crout said purchase of the property will bring jobs to the town when it is developed. As part of the purchase agreement, Milliken will grant a right of way across a portion of their property for a sewer line to access the industrial site property, Crout said.

The other tract, approximately 31 acres, is located adjacent to the Williamston Cemetery and has frontage on Williams Street. It is within 2 miles of six schools and could be developed as an outdoor labratory with a partnership with the school district. Crout said. He also said grants could help with the outdoor lab initiative.

Council unanimously approved first reading on the purchase. Second reading a and public hearing will be held on the purchase, according to Mayor Crout.

Council also unanimously approved a recommendation made by the town’s Park Committee on the location of the new restroom at Brookdale Park.

The committee recommended the location be closer to the shelter, playground and ballfield area.

Council Tony Hagood initially recommended a site where old tennis courts were located, but after considerable, and at times heated discussion (separate story to be posted soon), Hagood said he would support the recommendation. The recommendation was unanimously approved with a 5-0 vote by the Council.

Former Mayor Phillip Clardy addressed the council during public comments about a police department grant and questioned whether the town followed their purchasing policy. Mayor Crout said he did not intend to get into a dialog with Clardy on the issue, but would address it outside the council meeting.

(See follow up on this to be posted soon).