Town moving forward on Main St. program, projects

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During their July 1 meeting, Williamston Town Council was expected to go into executive session to discuss contractural and employment matters and receive legal advice. There was also expected to be discussion with County officials about a major economic development project in the area.

Although no specifics have been announced on that project, Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said there are a number of big projects in the works.

“There are about a dozen exciting projects on the threshold that we will announce as soon as we can confirm them,” the mayor said.

One of the projects already underway is the SC Main St. program the town is implementing.

Durham said the town is gathering a lot of information for the application process for the program which is offered through the SC Municipal Association

The program is designed to help small towns in revitalization and economic development efforts.

The town recently approved $78,043 in the 2013-14 budget for the Main Street SC program which will cover first year start up costs including a paid coordinator.

Durham said the town and the Municipal Association are already receiving a lot of interest from persons interested in the position and that applications are being accepted.

“Getting the right person will be the key to making the program a success,” the mayor said.

The coordinator will be a full time, 40 hour per week position with a salary comparable to other economic development professionals in the area, estimated at $35,000 to $45,000.

The Main St. program requires a three year committment. The cost to participate is $10,000 for the first year, $7,500 for the second year and $7,500 for the third year. Once performance standards are met, the ongoing yearly cost is $5,000.

The program will focus on four areas including organization, promotion, design, and economic development.

The town will host a meeting on July 11 at 6 p.m. for public comments on another project, a recreation trails program being considered for the area.

Council also heard a report from Councilman Tony Hagood on the recent presentation of a proclamation honoring Louise Pressley.

Council gave final approval of the Williamston/West Pelzer law enforcement mutual aid agreement, heard an update on the Gray Drive bridge and a security camera and approved changes on a plaque honoring Dr. Dwight Smith.

The Williamston Area Historic Commission has been approved to place the plaque, which recognizes Dr. Smith’s endorsement of the mineral spring water, in Williamston’s Mineral Spring Park.

There was also discussion on placing a covered shed at the Gray Drive Park.