Williamston included in Greenville-Pickens area

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For Transportation Study
By Stan Welch – Williamston has joined West Pelzer in accepting their inclusion into the GPATS domain. GPATs stands for Greenville Pickens Area Transportation Study. “We kind of got gulped up,” said Mayor Carthel Crout, “but this is the smartest move for our town.”

The town could choose to remain in the ANATS, or Anderson area, group. “But being at the far end of the county we really will probably fare better with Greenville-Pickens.”

For one thing, the GPATS group usually gets approximately $16 million in federal funds, while ANATS gets about $2.5 million a year. “Of course, there are a lot more hands in the cookie jar in the GPATS area,” said Crout. “But we have been assured that the funds are allocated according to set criteria for projects.”

Crout said that he thinks rumors that Easley had considered forming its own area are probably true, but he doubts that they will come to fruition. “I just think Easley is doing pretty well where they are.”

Each area is served and overseen by a MPO, or municipal planning organization, which identifies needs and helps design projects. “We don’t have anything specific to put into the hopper right now,” said Crout. “But we’re several months away from being formally involved. The staff and the area’s policy committee will also help us in the planning aspects. The Council has voted to give me the authority, later this year, to provide a letter to the GPATSD expressing our wishes to be included.”