Pelzer to raise fees, cut costs

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By David Meade

During their meeting Friday, Pelzer Town Council took actions including approving an appointment to the election commission, providing security fencing, and measures to raise fees and cut costs by reducing street lights, changing town hours and making changes at the town’s swimming pool.

Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Steve McGregor was released from duties as a councilman and officially sworn in as the town’s mayor at the start of the meeting.

McGregor has been serving as head of the town since former mayor Kenneth Davis resigned recently.

Council approved the appointment of Jackie Robbins of Anderson Street to the election commission. She will replace Ricki Riddle who recently passed away.

Council also approved funding of $100 for a request from Foothills Alliance for funds to help with abused children.

Council approved up to $2000 for security fencing behind town hall. The town recently experienced the theft of some maintenance equipment from a storage shed which will be inside the new fence.

The town will advertise a request for proposal (RFP) for trash pickup service. The company contracted to provide the service has experienced financial difficulties and cannot meet the needs, administrator Skip Watkins said. The service will be provided by Ken Davis until a new provider can be found.

There was some discussion about replacing four lifeguard stands at the Pelzer pool. Anderson County will be contacted for possible help with the funding, Watkins said.

Council also agreed to a new schedule for the pool this summer that will reduce some of the expenses associated with keeping a pool in operation.

The pool will open June 7 and close August 4 with new daily hours of 12 noon to 6 p.m.

The pool will be available for after hours parties for two hours after closing. Rental fee will be $100 with two life guards provided for parties of 25 or less. If a party has more that 25 persons swimming, an additional life guard will be required and at additional cost. Daily admission to the pool will be $5.

Council approved an increase in rent for the community building, which will go to $90. There was also some discussion about an electrical problem associated with the air conditioning system at the building. A contractor will be contacted to look at it.

In an effort to reduce electricity cost 20 to 25 percent, the town will be looking at reducing the amount of street lights. Pelzer currently has one light for every 3.3 houses, according to Watkins. The cost to provide lighting, to area mostly outside the town proper is $11,000, he said.

Duke Energy recently increased rates, causing additional cost to the town.

Council approved a request by Department Head Brad West to change the hours for the maintenance department. The work day will be extended one hour during the summer allowing employees to rotate having one day off.

Council also approved changing town office hours to allow closing at 12 noon on Friday when out of the billing cycle.

The town administrator said reducing his schedule by four hours on the weeks the town is not billing will also save the town some money.