Williamston Town Council makes budget revisions for big ticket items

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Milliken property funding tabled

Williamston Town Council approved two budget revisions Monday allowing funding for Brookdale Park project and matching funds for a CDBG grant, however funding for the Milliken property purchase was tabled.

The 2011-12 budget revision on the agenda was to include all three items, however following a motion by Councilman Mike Looper to vote on the items individually, only two items were approved.

The budget was revised to provide $44,800 in funding for the Brookdale Restroom project and $52,389 for matching funds for a Community Development Block Grant for a new sewer line from Gray Drive to the Milliken line. Both items are being funded from the town’s capital improvement fund Mayor Carthel Crout said.

A proposed budget revision to allow funding for the Milliken property purchase was tabled after considerable discussion.

Town Attorney Richard Thompson said that the property had been transferred from Milliken to Milliken-Pacolet Mills about five or six years ago and that the larger tract the town is purchasing is comprised of several smaller tracts.

Thompson said he is in the process of making sure all of the property is covered in the deed and that all of the smaller properties were conveyed to Milliken-Pacolet.

He said if the property is part of future industry or commercial development, “It is very important the title is correct.”

Concerns were expressed by Councilmen Mack Durham and Mike Looper about liability on the property should there be contaminants, environmental problems or other issues. Both Councilmen indicated they wanted reassurance that Milliken Pacolet was not aware of any problems with the property.

Attorney Thompson said that town engineers had checked the property but there had not been any environmental analysis for contaminants.

While Councilman Durham was concerned about possible brownsfield contamination and wetlands, Councilman Looper had other concerns.

“It would be very unwise to purchase propety that could have been a landfill,” Looper said, referring to comments made at a previous council meeting that a portion of the property may have once been used as a landfill by the Town of Williamston.

After the budget revision for funding the Milliken property was tabled, Council instructed the town attorney to draft a letter requesting Milliken to disclose any known problems with the property.

The Milliken property purchase, at a price of $150,000, was approved by the town at their last meeting.